2020 has been a chaotic year, yet there is some good news to note. Against all expectations, the cinema has had its share of surprises, as revealed by a study conducted by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University.
Women featured in 2020
Movie theaters have been closed for much of 2020, yet it is neither more nor less than a banner year for female directors’ representation in Hollywood. The study conducted by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film reveals that 16% of the 250 highest grossing films of the year were directed by women. We can cite Birds of Prey by Cathy Yan, Wonder Woman 1984 by Patty Jenkins or even Mulan by Niki Caro.
A small score that is on the contrary never seen in Hollywood, proof that a change in mentality on gender equality is underway. By comparison, only 12% of the most profitable films were shot by women in 2019 and 4% in 2018. The study specifies that the industry is evolving extremely slowly because in 20 years, the percentage of female directors at the head of profitable films increased by only 4 points (9% in 1998 and 13% in 2019), reports the Time.
What should we expect from 2021?
Despite everything, this percentage could have been higher if the coronavirus had not been there! Indeed, the cinemas had to project Black widow by Cate Shortland and The Eternals by Chloé Zhao. However, it is neither more nor less a turning point in the film industry.
In addition, the generics provide details that distort this record. Indeed, Konbini reports that for 67% of films, only 0 to 4 women are really involved in the creation process (directing, writing, production or editing). As for France, Agnès Jaoui pointed out the gap between French directors (80%) and female directors (20%) in her speech on November 25 on the occasion of the 3rd edition of the Assises du Collectif 50/50 .
2021 is a year that worries the industry. Even if viewers are vaccinated, will they return to theaters or stay home in front of Netflix and other streaming platforms?