Canada's National Film Board to fund more female directors to combat Hollywood's gender gap

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The Independent Culture

In an attempt to combat Hollywood's ongoing gender equality problem, Canada's National Film Board has promised that half of its films will be directed by women.

The government-funded body says it’s making a 'firm, ongoing commitment to full gender parity'. The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) has promised that at least half of the films it finances will be directed by women.

The country's government-funded film body announced its new gender equality initiative on International Women's Day. 

"There have been good years and lean years for women's filmmaking at the NFB. No more," commissioner Claude Joli-Coeur said in a statement. "Today, I'm making a firm, ongoing commitment to full gender parity, which I hope will help to lead the way for the industry as a whole."

Joli-Coeur said that the NFB is already on course to meet its targets over the next two years. "In our current fiscal year, films directed by women represent half of our total spending on production. In 2016‒2017, the numbers are projected to be well above that," he explained.

The NFB's announcement sends a clear message to the global film industry as a whole, where female directors are still very much in the minority.

A study published last October by San Diego State University's Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film found that of 2014’s 700 highest-grossing films, just 13% were directed by women.