Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Even With Bigelow's Directing Oscar, Hollywood Still A Boys' Town

Kathryn Bigelow's Best Director win at the Academy Awards March 8 was a welcome event. With the golden statuette in her hand, Bigelow became the first woman to win the award for best direction, with her work on "The Hurt Locker."

But female directors, and most female filmmakers, remain in short supply in Hollywood. According to a recent report, in 2009, women constituted just 16% of all directors, executive producers, writers, cinematographers and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films. Women were only 7% of directors in 2009, a figure dead even with the percentage of women directing films in 1987!

Martha Lauzen of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University tracks these figures annually, and each year it is dispiriting to see how little movement there is in women's advancement in the film industry. We need to patronize and praise films that involve women as storytellers and stars, from the indies all the way to the blockbusters, if we want to see more Bigelows walking to the stage to claim recognition for movies -- such as the powerful "Hurt Locker" -- that affect all of us.

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