There was a brief post on the Women and Hollywood blog about the Cannes Workshop focusing on women filmmakers which initially seems positive in light of years past where women were completely absent from the festival (a petition was circulated in protest for the 2012 competition where no women directors were present). However I couldn’t help but think of Lexi Alexander’s conversation at the Athena Film Festival where she discussed her blog post about women directors in Hollywood and lamented that we have so many surveys but when will the statistics actually change!
Maybe this is a step in the right direction in Cannes? According to Women and Hollywood blogger Inkoo Kang:
There will also be a panel discussion on how to boost female participation in the film industry, including the possibility of using “positive discrimination” to encourage young women directors to enter the field.
But how about getting work for the qualified directors already in the industry?
– Jennifer Dean
I worked for many years in magazine publishing, specifically, 11 years for Hearst Magazines, which publishes many magazines for women readers. The editors and staff were mostly women. I don’t know the figures on movie-goers but I would assume that women probably make up half the audience. Yet many movies today are aimed at young males, with scenes of car chases and gratuitous violence–shoot-’em-ups with little dramatic interest. We would have more interesting movies if we had more women screenwriters, like Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and Nora Ephron, and more women directors.
My experience of editors in chief is that they are typically visionaries and take ownership of the finished product. Great editors are often obsessively hands-on. In my day, an obsessive editor like William Shawn, at The New Yorker, was considered a genius and an inspiration to his staff, who joked that he had “a whim of iron.” But an equally obsessive female editor could earn a reputation as a bitch. This double standard–as well as a predilection for violent spectacles–may explain why fewer women than men are asked to direct movies.