EWA Network study on gender inequality in the film industry

Where are the women directors in European films?

Gender equality report on female directors (2006-2013)

This report is the culmination of a two-year process and brings together comparative research from seven European countries: Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom. It is a response by the European Women’s Audiovisual Network (EWA) to growing concern worldwide about the marginalisation of female directors in our film culture and aims to provide the evidence to inform policy change at national and European level.

Key findings

The report shows that there is a significant under-representation of female directors in all levels of the industry. This is in spite of evidence that there is an almost equal share of women graduating from film schools, women’s films perform well in festivals and awards and, in some instances, enjoy a higher average share of admissions per film than those directed by men.

Only one in five films in the seven European countries studied is directed by a woman (21%). This means four out five films are NOT directed by a woman.
The vast majority of the funding resources (namely 84%) go into films that are NOT directed by women.
Low funding perpetuates the scarcity of female-directed films in circulation, in turn affecting the markets’ willingness to invest and thus creating a vicious circle.
There is a significant difference between the proportion of female directors graduating from film schools (44%) and the overall proportion of female directors working in the industry (24%). The talent exists but the potential is not exploited.

Support and collaboration

The study was written and led by Holly Aylett (Birkbeck College, University of London) under the Project Direction of Francine Raveney (EWA Head of PR), and carried out with the support and collaboration of many institutions, including: the Austrian Film Institute, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, the CNC (France), the University of Rostock, Birkbeck College (University of London), the Centre d’histoire culturelle des societies contemporaines (CHCSC – Université de Versailles/Université Paris-Saclay), the Direzione Generale Cinema/MIBACT (Italy), the Swedish Film Institute, Creative Skillset (UK), the Centre for Regional, Economic and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University, the British Film Institute.

The study was prepared on the basis of detailed quantitative research and qualitative research involving approximately 1000 industry professionals from throughout Europe.

The first findings were presented at a conference at Venice Film Festival in September 2015, and subsequently at a conference held at the 2016 Berlinale. A press conference was also held in Paris with Kering-Women in Motion in April 2016.

Press release

For more enquiries, please contact francine@ewawomen.com