(Credit: Alamy)

Women directed a record number of films in 2020

A new study conducted by America’s San Diego State University has revealed that a record-breaking number of women directed feature films in 2020.

According to the Centre for the Study of Women in Television and Film, women creatives contributed 16% of directors working on the 100 highest-grossing films throughout the year. According to Variety, that figure has risen from 12% in 2019 and 4% in 2018.

While the disparity gap is still huge, the study also revealed that the women working within the film industry only made up 21% of all directors, writers, editors, cinematographers, executive producers and producers working on the most profitable films across 2020.

Dr. Martha Lauzen, who oversaw the project at San Diego State University, said: “The good news is that we’ve now seen two consecutive years of growth for women who direct,” in a statement.

Adding: “This breaks a recent historical pattern in which the numbers trend up one year and down the next. The bad news is that fully 80% of top films still do not have a woman at the helm.”

As Variety notes, while the data suggests an improvement in the struggle for gender equality, it also highlights the continuing issues throughout the film industry. The publication states: “On the top 100 highest grossing movies, women held 28% of producer jobs and 21% of executive producer positions, an increase of two percentage points in both categories. Women comprised 18% of editors, 12% of writers, and 3% of cinematographers. The number of female cinematographers increased by a percentage point, but the number of writers and editors fell by eight percentage points and five points, respectively.”

They added: “The study also found that films with at least one female director were much more likely to hire women to be editors, cinematographers, or other key behind-the-scenes roles. For instance, on films with female directors, women comprised 53% of writers. Whereas on films with exclusively male directors, women accounted for 8% of writers. Women were editors on 39% of films with female directors and just 18% of films from men, and composed the music for 13% of films from female filmmakers and just 4% of movies from male directors.”