“What Happens to All These Women After They Direct Their First Film?”
“If someone had said to me when I started directing 20 years ago that in 2014 we would still be talking about the lack of employment of women directors, I would have said that’s impossible. Sadly, the stats are essentially the same as they were in 1994: In TV, women directors represent 14% and in film a meager 9%. Films schools are now nearly 50-50 male-female, and women are also well represented at festivals and in indie film. But what happens to them after they direct their first film or short? Where do they go? They certainly aren’t being given the same opportunities as their male counterparts.
Directing isn’t an easy road for anyone. But it’s also not an equal playing field. We often hear of a male director directing a great indie and immediately being offered the next huge comic book movie. Rarely, if ever, does this happen to a woman. Here are a few common excuses: “We hired a woman director once and it didn’t work out, so we won’t hire another one.” Can you imagine someone saying: “We hired a male director once and it didn’t work out, so no more men”? If a woman succeeds, another will be allowed into the club. If not, the whole gender is somehow held responsible. And there’s this one: “Women can’t direct action.” What? Gender has nothing to do with the ability to blow up a truck or stage a fight or a car chase! That’s as ridiculous as saying men can’t direct scenes with character or emotion. And this one: “We wanted to hire a woman director, but you and a handful of constantly working women directors weren’t available and there aren’t any others.” That might be the lamest excuse of all and a great way to look like you tried when you actually didn’t.“
Lesli Linka Glatter,