Women in film

Women in film describes the role of women as film directors , actresses , cinematographers , film producers , film critics , and other film industry professions. The work of women film scholars, including feminist film theorists is also described. Women are statistically underrepresented in creative positions in the center of the US film industry, Hollywood . This underrepresentation has been called the ” celluloid ceiling “, a variant on the employment discrimination term ” glass ceilingIn 2013, the “… top-paid actors … made 2½ times as much money as the top-paid actresses.” [3] “[O] lder [male] actors make more than their female equals” in age, with “female movie stars mak [ing] the most money on average for movie at age 34, while male stars earn the most at 51.” [4] In 2013, 9% of directors were women. the Academy Award for Best Director for the first time When Kathryn Bigelow won for The Hurt Locker (2009). [5]

Pay and representation

The 2013 Celluloid Ceiling Report Conducted by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at the San Diego State University collected a list of statistics gathered from “2,813 individuals employed by the top 250 domestic grossing films of 2012.” [6]

Women accounted for …

  • “18% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors.” [6]
  • “9% of all directors.” [6]
  • “15% of writers.” [6]
  • “25% of all producers.” [6]
  • “20% of all editors.” [6]
  • “2% of all cinematographers.” [6]
  • “38% of films employed, 23% employed 2 women, 28% employed 3 to 5 women, and 10% employed 6 to 9 women.” [6]

New York Times article stated that only 15% of the top films in 2013 had women for a lead acting role. [7] The author of the study noted that, “The percentage of female speaking roles has not increased since the 1940s, when they hovered around 25 percent to 28 percent.” “Since 1998, women ‘s representation in behind – the – scenes roles has just gone up just 1 percent. Women “… directed the same percent of the 250 top-grossing movies in 2012 (9 percent) as they did in 1998.” [3]

In 2015, Forbes reported that “… just 21 of the 100 top-grossing films of 2014 featured a female lead or co-lead, while only 28.1% of characters in 100 top-grossing movies were female … This means it’s much rarer for women to get the sort of blockbuster role Which would warrant the massive backend deals Many male Counterparts demand ( Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible or Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man , for example). ” [8]In the US, there is an “industry-wide [gap] in wages of all scales.” On average, white women get paid 78 cents to every dollar in white man makes, while Hispanic women earn 56 cents to a white male’s dollar, Black women 64 cents and Native American women just 59 cents to that. ” [8] Forbes ‘ analysis of US acting employees in 2013 determined that the “… men on Forbes’ list of top-paid actors for that year made 2½ times as much money as the top-paid actresses. -compensated actresses made just 40 cents for every dollar that the best-compensated men made. ” [3]Studies have shown that “… age and gender discrimination [together] can yield an even more significant wage gap.” Young women actresses tend to make more than young male actors. However, “older [male] actors make more than their female equals” in age, with “female movie stars mak [ing] the most money on average for movie at age 34, while male stars earn the most at 51.” [4]

According to Jennifer Lawrence actress , “… women negotiating for higher pay worry about seeming ‘hard’ or ‘spoiled. ‘ ” [8]

Women’s cinema

Main article: Women’s cinema

Women’s cinema film directors and, to a lesser degree, the work of other women behind the camera such as cinematographers and screenwriters . [9] [9] Although the work of women film editors , costume designers , and production designers is usually not considered to be decisive enough to justify the term “women’s cinema”, it does have a large influence on the visual impression of any movie . Some of the most distinguished women directors have tried to avoid the association with women’s cinema in the fear of marginalization and ideological controversy. [10]

Alice Guy-Blache made the first narrative film The Cabbage Fairy in 1896. [11] In Sweden, Anna Hofman-Uddgren debuted as the first female film director when she produced the silent film Stockholmsfrestelser in 1911. [12] Lois Weber was a successful film director of the silent era. Women screenwriters included Marion Frances , Anita Loos and June Mathis . In the 1920s, large banks assumed control of Hollywood production companies. Dorothy Arznerwas the only woman filmmaker in this era. Germaine Dulacwas a leading member of the French avant-garde film movement after World War I. and Maya Deren did experimental cinema.

Shirley Clarke was an independent American filmmaker in the 1950s. The National Film Board of Canada allowed many women to produce non-commercial films. Joyce Wieland was a Canadian experimental film maker. Early feminist films often focused on personal experiences. Wanda (1970) by Barbara Loden is a portrait of alienation. Resisting the oppression of female sexuality is one of the core goals of second wave feminism . Women’s movies explored female sexuality, including the films of Birgit Hein , Nelly Kaplan , Catherine Breillat and Barbara Hammer. Women filmmakers also documented the participation of women in anti-imperialist movements.

Director Kathryn Bigelow works in male-dominated genres like science fiction, action, and horror. She became the first woman to win both the Academy Award for Best Director and the Directors Guild of America Award in 2010 for The Hurt Locker . [13] [14] Catherine Hardwicke ‘s film-have grossed a cumulative total of $ 551.8 million. [15] Her most successful films are Twilight (2008) and Red Riding Hood (2011).

Nancy Meyers : The Parent Trap (1998), What Women Want (2000), Something’s Gotta Give (2003), The Holiday (2006), and It’s Complicated (2009) which have amassed $ 1,157.2 million worldwide. [16] Before she started her directorial career she wrote Some Other successful movies like Private Benjamin (1980) for qui She Was Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay , Baby Boom (1987) Gold Father of the Bride (1991). [17]Sofia Coppolais a critically acclaimed director who has also had financial success. Her award-winning movie Lost in Translation (2003) grossed over $ 119 million.

Julie Dash ‘s Daughters of the Dust (1991) was the first full-length film with general theatrical release written and directed by an African American woman. Since then there have been several African women who have written, produced or directed films with national release. In 1994 Darnell Martin became the first African American woman to write and direct a film produced by a major studio Columbia Pictures backed I Like It Like That . Nnegest Likke is the first African American woman to write, direct and act in a full-length movie released by a major studio, Phat Girlz (2006) starring Jimmy Jean-Louis and Mo’Nique .

Women’s movies

Main article: Women’s films
Bette Davis and Henry Fonda in Jezebel (1938), one of the quintessential woman’s films. Davis plays a Southern belle who loses her fiance (Fonda) and her social standing when she defies conventions. She redeems herself by self-sacrifice. [18]

A woman’s film is a movie genre that includes women-centered narratives, female protagonists and is designed to appeal to a female audience. Woman’s films usually portray “women’s concerns” such as problems revolving around domestic life, the family, motherhood, self-sacrifice, and romance . [19] These movies Were Produced from the silent era through the 1950s and early 1960s, aim Were Most Popular in the 1930s and 1940s, reaching Their zenith During World War II . Although Hollywood Continued to make films characterized by some of the elements of the traditional woman’s film in the second half of the 20th century, the term itself largely disappeared in the 1960s.

The work of directors George Cukor , Douglas Sirk , Max Ophüls , and Josef von Sternberg has been associated with the film genre. [20] Joan Crawford , Bette Davis , and Barbara Stanwyckwere some of the most prolific stars . [21] The beginnings of the genre can be traced back to DW Griffith’s silent films. Film historians and critics defined the genre and canon in retrospect. Before the woman’s movie became an established genre in the 1980s, many of the classic woman’s movies were referred to as melodramas .

Chick flicks

Main article: Chick flicks

Chick flick is a slang term for the movie genre dealing mainly with love and romance and is targeted to a female audience. [22] [23] Feminists such as Gloria Steinem have “chick flick” and “chick flick” [24] and a film criticizes the term “chick flick” derogatory. [25]It can be specifically defined as a genre in which a woman is the protagonist. Although many types of films may be directed to the female gender, “chick flick” is typically used in the context of the subject matter of the relationship. Chick flicks are often released en masse around Valentine’s Day . [26] [27] The equivalent for male audiences is the guy-cry movie .

Generally, a chick flick is a film designed to have an innate appeal to women, typically young women. [27] Defining a chick flick is, as the New York Times has stated, more of a parlor game than a science. [28] These films are held in popular culture as having formulaic, paint-by-numbers plot lines and characters. This makes use of the term “problematic” for implying “frivolity, artlessness, and utter commercialism”, according to ReelzChannel . [26] However, several chick flicks have received high critical acclaim for their stories and performances. For example, the 1983 movie Terms of Endearment received Academy Awardsfor Best Screenplay, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Actor in a Supporting Role. [29]

Girlfriend flicks

Alison Winch (“We Can Have It All”) writes about movies she calls “girlfriend flicks.” [30] These movies emphasize the relationship between friends instead of focusing on a love connection, and examples include Bride Wars and Baby Mama .

According to Winch,

Girlfriend flicks often have savvy, “nervous,” female voice-overs mirroring typical romantic comedies, but addressing female spectators in their assumption of the mutual minefield of negotiating relationships, body, work, family, depression-outcomes prevalent in conduct, diet, and self-help books marketed specifically to women.

[30] Winch also states that the girlfriend flicks are meant to criticize “second wave feminism’s superficial understanding of female solidarity” by showing “conflict, bread, and betrayal acted out between women.” [30] By emphasizing the “complexities of women’s relationships,” the girlfriend flick breaks the mold for the usual chick flick and allows the genre to gain a bit of depth. [30]

Female buddy film

Main article: Female buddy film

Notable individuals

Film directors

Main article: List of female film directors

According to Dr. Martha Lauzen, the executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, “If (white) men are directing the vast majority of our films, the majority of those will be about (white) males from a (white) male point of view. ” [31] The female presence in filmmaking is more important than just employment, it contributes to a greater cultural issue. Even though there is a huge gender disparity in filmmaking, there are notable exceptions, women who have figuratively broken through the celluloid ceiling and become pioneers in their field. Leni Riefenstahl , Kathryn Bigelow , Jane Campion , Gina Prince-Bythewood , Claire Denis ,Sofia Coppola , Patty Jenkins , Ava DuVernay , Catherine Hardwick , Amy Heckerling , Julie Taymor , and Nora Ephron are some significant female names in filmmaking today and in history. [32]

  • Alice Guy-Blaché is considered to be the first female film director, as well as the first director of a fiction film. Blaché directed her first film in 1896, The Cabbage Fairy and founded Solax Studios in 1910. Over her lifetime, “she directed between 40 to 50 films and supervised nearly 300 other productions”. [33]
  • Kathryn Bigelow is an American film director , producer , screenwriter , and television director . She became the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director for the Hurt Locker , the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing, the BAFTA Award for Best Direction , and the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Director and the Saturn Award. for Best Director . [34]
  • Jane Campion is a New Zealand film director , screenwriter , and producer . She is the second of four women directors to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director , and was the first female director to win the Palme d’Or , the most prestigious award at the Cannes Film Festival . [35]
  • Catherine Hardwicke is best known as the director of the teen vampire romance film Twilight , with the highest grossing opening weekend of $ 69.6 million, the highest-ever opening for a female director. [32]
  • Amy Heckerling is best known for the Fast Times at Ridgemont High , European Vacation and Clueless movies . She has been awarded the Franklin J. Schaffner Medal from the American Film Institute and the Crystal Award from Women in Film (WIF). [32]


About 2% of cinematographers are women. Notable cinematographers include:

  • Sue Gibson (born 1952) is a British cinematographer and director of photography known for the movie Mrs. Dalloway (1997). Gibson is also the first female member of the British Society of Cinematographers , and later became the first female president of the society in 2008. [36]
  • Nancy Schreiber (born 1949) [37] is an American cinematographer known for her work on the Chain of Desire , Dead Beat , [38] The Celluloid Closet , November , and The Nines . During the 1990s, Schreiber was an adjunct professor at the American Film Institute and taught advanced cinematography. [39] In 1995, she became an official member of the American Society of Cinematographers and was the fourth woman to join it. [39]Throughout her career, Schreiber has been on the board of governors of the American Society of Cinematographers, a board member of the Women in Film Foundation, and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences . [39]She won the Women in Film’s Kodak Vision Award in 1997 and the Sundance Film Festival award for Excellence in Dramatic Cinematography in 2004 for her work on November .

Studio executives

Amy Pascal is the head studio and is the only female head of a major studio. [40] In 1988, Pascal joined Columbia Pictures ; she left in 1994 and went to work for Turner Pictures as the president of the company. In her first years at Columbia she worked on such films as Groundhog Day , Little Women , and A League of Their Own . When Pascal first started her career, she was Vice President of Production at 20th Century Fox in 1986-1987. Before Pascal joined Fox She was a secretary for Tony Garnett Who Was an independent producer with Warner Bros . [41]

Organizations and awards

Alliance of Women Film Journalists

The Alliance of Women’s Film Journalists (AWFJ) is a non-profit founded in 2006 and based out of New York City , United States , dedicated to supporting work in the film industry. [42] The AWFJ is composed of 76 professional female movie critics , journalist , and feature writers working in print , broadcast and online media . The British Film Institute describes the AWFJ as an organization that collects articles by its (mainly US-based) members, gives annual awards, and “supports films by and about women”. [43]Beginning in 2007, the group begins giving awards to the best (and worst) in film, as voted on by its members. These awards have been reported in recent years by mainstream media sources including TIME , USA Today , and Variety , and are also included in the New York Times ‘ movie reviews awards lists. [44] [45] [46] [47]

In 2007, AWFJ released a Top 100 Films List in response to the American Film Institute review of their 100 Years, 100 Movies list. [48]The AWFJ created their list to see if their members would come up with a different list from AFI. AWFJ has Best Female Director, Best Female Director, Best Female Director, Best Female Director, Best Female Director, Best Female Director Award, Hanging in There Award for Persistence, Actress Defying Age and Agism, Lifetime Achievement Award, Award for Humanitarian Activism, Female Icon Award, and This Year’s Outstanding Achievement in the Film Industry) and “EDA Special Mention Awards” (eg , Most Egregious Age Difference Between Leading Man and Love Interest). [49]

New York Women in Film & Television

New York Women in Film & Television is a nonprofit membership organization for professional women in film, television and digital media. It works for women’s rights, achievements and points of view in the film and television industry. It also educates media professionals and provides a network for the exchange of information and resources. It was founded in 1977 and brings together more than 2,000 professionals, including EMMY and Academy Awardwinners, who work in all areas of the entertainment industry. It is part of a network of 40 international Women in Film Chapters, representing more than 10,000 members worldwide. It produces over 50 programs and special events annually; advocates for women in the industry; and, recognize and encourage the contributions of women in the field.

Women Film Critics Circle

The Women Film Critics Circle is an association of 64 women film critics and scholars nationally and internationally, who are involved in the print, radio, online and TV broadcast media. The United States, in the belief that women’s perspectives and voices in film criticism would be fully recognized. The organization was founded in 2004. The Circle has made annual awards, the Women Film Critics Circle Awards , since 2004.

Women in Film

Women in Film (WIF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women achieve their highest potential within the global entertainment, communications and media industries and to preserving the legacy of women in those industries. Women in Film Foundation provide for members an extensive network of contacts, educational programs, scholarships, filmfinancing funds and grants, access to employment opportunities, mentorships and comprehensive services in support of this mission. ” [50] WIF is a huge organization, offering internships, classes, competitions, a PSA production program, scholarships, and much more. [51]

The Crystal and Lucy Awards were first presented in 1977 by the Women in Film organization. The awards include the Crystal Award, the Lucy Award, the Dorothy Arzner Directors Award, the MaxMara Face of the Future Award, and the Kodak Vision Award. The Crystal Award was established in 1977 to honor outstanding women who, through their endurance and excellence in their work, have helped to expand the role of women in the entertainment industry. Dorothy Arzner was the first woman member of the Directors Guild of America. This award was established in her honor to recognize the role of women directors in the movie and television.The MAXMARA Face of the Future Award was inaugurated at the 2006 Crystal + Lucy Awards, this award is given to an actress who is experiencing a turning point in her career through her work in the industry and through her contributions to the community at large. The Kodak Vision Award is presented to a female filmmaker with outstanding achievements in cinematography, directing and / or producing, who also collaborates with and assists women in the entertainment industry. The Founder’s Award was established in 1996 at the Lucy Awards and was first presented to Tichi Wilkerson Kassel. The award is given in recognition of distinguished service to Women In Film. The Nancy Malone Directors Award has been shown to passionate commitment to filmmaking. The Women of Courage Award was established in 1992 to recognize women who suffer from adverse conditions and conditions in their lives.

Women in International Film and Television

Women in Film and Television International (WIFTI) is a “global network of women in the film industry.” [52] The organization was founded in 1973 in Los Angeles by Tichi Wilkerson Kassel and grew rapidly worldwide, hosting their first film in New York City in September 1997. [53]

Women’s International Film and Arts Festival

The Women’s International Film & Arts Festival (WIFF) is a “unique, cultural event featuring films, visual and performance arts and other artistic expressions by women.” “The festival is composed of panel discussions, workshops, and symposia.” Wiff’s goals include empowering women of all ages to see themselves in a broader context. ” [54]

WITASWAN and International SWAN Day

In 2002, Jan Lisa Huttner began an organization known as WITASWAN – Women in the Audience Supporting Women’s Artists Now, a grassroots movement to eliminate the celluloid ceiling. Combining efforts with the WomenArts Network, WITASWAN hosts and promotes International SWAN (Supporting Women’s Artists Now) Day annually, beginning in 2008. Over 700 celebrations worldwide take place on the last Saturday, bringing people together to celebrate women artists and filmmakers. The event is designed to promote awareness of women in film and the ways that people can support them by being educated film consumers.

Women Make Movies

Women Make Movies (WMM) is a “non-profit media arts organization that facilitates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes” by “New York City.” Women Make Movies is a feminist media organization that focuses especially on the work of women of color. [55] The organization is independent; it receives less than $ 100,000 a year from the government, and its films are made by independent women artists. [56]

Founded in 1969 by Ariel Dougherty and Sheila Page, filmmaking. [57] In 1972, it was established in New York to introduce women to filmmaking, especially documentary. According to B. Ruby Rich , director of the film program at the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) in 1981, “Riches says that the organization emerged to help the problem of women’s lives being misrepresented in movies of the time. [58]

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the organization’s focus shifted towards the distribution of films made by women rather than just training. Was this change led by Debra Zimmerman, the executive director of Women Make Movies since 1983. [58] [57] It came in response to the Lack of distribution and presentation of movies made by women in a male Dominated field. Additionally, the organization was losing funding, but they were able to regain it through the help of Rich and the NYSCA with their new distribution program. [58]The program was focused on screenings in New York and the foundation of women’s film festivals. Today, the distribution program is their primary work. The organization distributes its collection of more than 500 films to institutions such as colleges, galleries, museums, etc. [55] The program “has been able to influence university curricula deeply and to advance the careers of women filmmakers whom it has taken under its wing.” [58]

As part of the distribution program, Women Make Movies is involved with international women’s film festivals. They distribute movies to countries that have helped to make films, which have helped Monaco and Sierra Leone. [56]Along with the distribution program, the filmmakers – they reach more than 400 filmmakers in 30 countries. [55]

The organization’s collection of films has grown from around 40 to more than 500. The collection includes films and videos of various subject matter and often represents women of disabilities. [55]

Overall, the goal of the filmmakers is a filmmakers in Hollywood filmmakers and filmmakers in Hollywood. They loved to combine politics and social problems with film theory to the reality of the lives of women. [56]

Feminist film theory

Feminist film theory is theoretical film criticism derived from feminist politics and feminist theory . Feminists have many approaches to cinema analysis, concerning the film elements analyzed and their theoretical underpinnings. The development of feminist film theory was influenced by second wave feminism and the development of women’s studies in the 1960s and 1970s. Feminist scholars having taken a cue from the new theories arising from these movements to analyzing film. Initial attempts in the United States in the early 1970s were based on sociological theory and focused on the filmnarratives or genres and stereotypes as a reflection of a society’s view of women. In this paper, the depicted stereotypes, the extent to which they are shown as active or passive, and the amount of screen time given to women. [59] In contrast, film theoreticians in England began integrating perspectives based on critical theory and drawing inspiration from psychoanalysis , semiotics , and Marxism. Eventually these ideas gained hold within the American scholarly community in the later 1970s and 1980s. Analysis focused on the ways “cinematic production affects the representation of women and reinforce sexism”. [60]

In this film they are put together, many feminist film critics have pointed to what they argue is the ” male gaze ” that predominates in classical Hollywood filmmaking. Budd Boetticher summarizes the view thus: “What counts is what the heroine provokes, or rather what she represents.” She is the one, or rather the love or fear, she inspires in the hero, it does not matter how important it is. ” [61] Laura Mulvey’s influential essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” [62] [63]Published in 1973 and published in 1975, this article is intended to provide a framework for the study of the subject, which is typically depicted in a passive role that provides visual pleasure through scopophilia , [64]and identification with the on-screen male actor. [65] She asserts: “In their traditional exhibitionist role they are often looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so that they can be said to connote to-be-looked-at-ness ,” [ 61] and as a result contends that in a movie is the “bearer of meaning, not maker of meaning.” [61] Mulvey argues that the psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacanis a key to understanding how does this film create a space for female sexual objectification and exploitation through the combination of the patriarchal order of society, and ‘looking’ in itself as a pleasurable act of voyeurism, as “the cinema satisfies a primordial wish for pleasurable looking. ” [66]

Coming from a Black Feminist Perspective, American scholar bell hooks can be inferred from the notion of “oppositional gaze,” encouraging stereotypical representations of film, but rather actively criticizing them. [67] Janet Bergstrom’s article “Enunciation and Sexual Difference” (1979) uses Sigmund Freud’s ideas of bisexual responses, arguing that women are capable of identifying with male characters. [68] Miriam Hanson, in “Pleasure, Ambivalence, Identification: Valentino and Female Spectatorship” (1984) put forth the idea that women are also able to view their characters as erotic objects of desire. [68]In “The Master’s Dollhouse: Rear Window,” Tania Modleski argues that Hitchock’s film, Rear Window , is an example of the power of male gas and the position of the female as a prisoner of the “master’s dollhouse”. [69]

Bechdel test

The Bechdel test , coming out of 1985 from the comic strip “Dykes to Watch Out For” by Allison Bechdel , is an approach to observing the representation of women in popular film. Bechdel attributes the idea to Liz Wallace and has said the test should be called “Bechdel-Wallace test.” [70] To pass the test, movies must talk about something other than a man. The requirement that the two women are more likely to be named, rather than generic stock characters (eg, ” girlfriend “, ” groupie”, etc.) The term is used as an indicator for the active presence of women in movies and other fiction, and to call attention to gender inequality in fiction due to sexism . [71]A study of gender portrayals in 855 of the most financially successful US films from 1950 to 2006 showed that there were, on average, two male characters for each female character, a ratio that remained stable over time. Female characters have been portrayed as having sex with men, and their proportion of sexual violence has increased. Violence increased over time in male and female characters alike. [72] According to a 2014 study by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media , in 120 films made worldwide from 2010 to 2013, only 31% of named characters were female, and 23% of the films had a female protagonist or co- protagonist. 7% of directors are women. [73]Another study looking at the 700 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2014 found that only 30% of the speaking characters were female. [74]

In 2013, Swedish cinema and the Scandinavian cable television channel Viasat Film incorporated the Bechdel test in some of their ratings, a move supported by the Swedish Film Institute . [75] In 2014, the European cinema fund Eurimages the Bechdel test into its submission mechanism as part of an effort to collect information on gender equality in its projects. It requires “a Bechdel analysis of the script by the script readers”. [76] The website bechdeltest.com is a user-edited database of some 4,500 movies classified by whether or not they pass the test, with the added requirement that the women must be namedcharacters. As of April 2015 , it lists 58% of these films, 10% as failing one, 22% as failing two, and 10% as failing all three. [77]

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