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Independent film directors and writers set records

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HOLLYWOOD, CA A new report says the number of women working as directors and writers in independent films is higher than ever.

The report, titled “Indie Women: Behind-the-Scenes Employment of Women in Independent Film, 2019-2020,” said women made up 38% of directors and 35% of writers in narrative feature films and documentaries. Report author Martha M. Lauzen, professor of television, film and new media at San Diego State University, said the numbers were a new record.

Over 8,000 credits from over 800 films in 2019-2020 were analyzed for the report. The study also reviewed more than 88,000 credits from nearly 9,000 films from 2008 to 2020.

The study suggests that documentaries offer better gender parity than narrative features. Women made up 40% of “key behind-the-scenes roles” in documentaries, but only 29% in narrative films.

Major festivals also presented roughly an equal number of male and female-directed documentaries, but twice as many male narrative feature films as female.

There was a noticeable spillover effect in gender portrayal on films with female directors. Women made up 73% of writers on films with at least one director, compared to a paltry 12% for male productions.

Read the full report here.

City News Service and Kenan Draughorne contributed to this report.

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