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Women directed just 11% of the top-grossing films in the US, study finds

Lack of acknowledgement for women directors was called out by Natalie Portman at the Golden Globes

Roisin O'Connor
Thursday 11 January 2018 11:00
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Natalie Portman shades the All Male directors category GoldenGlobes

Women directed just 11 per cent of the top-grossing movies in the US for 2017, a study has found.

Researchers at San Diego State University looked at the top 250 films at the US box office last year and learned that, overall, women comprised just 18 per cent of directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors and cinematographers: barely improving from the 17 per cent which held those roles 20 years ago.

The most successful film with a female director in 2017 was Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman - the ninth top-grossing film of the year.

The proportion of female directors rose by four percentage points in 2017 - up from 7% the previous year. It was the first time the figure had reached double figures since 2000, when it was also 11 per cent.

The study also found that 83% of the top 250 films films had no female writers.

Natalie Portman famously addressed the issue at the Golden Globes last weekend, as she introduced the Best Director category which many believed had snubbed the likes of Jenkins and Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig.

“And here are the all-male nominees,” she said.

Responding to Portman’s jab after the ceremony, Jenkins told ET: “What could you say? It made me laugh, and it made me smile.

“Look, it’s been a little glaring that women directors don’t get nominated so often and it is odd. Particularly when their films are being celebrated in every other way, so I thought it was interesting to highlight it. And what a difficult category to present without saying something about it, so she did it so perfectly.”

The nominations for next month's Bafta film awards were announced earlier this week - once again snubbing women for the Best Director category.

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