Women Working Behind-the-Scenes on Independent Films More Than Blockbusters, Study Says


The “Independent Women” report revealed that 23 percent of directors on independent films are female, compared to just six percent on the top grossing films of 2013.

A new study has revealed that women are far better represented behind-the-camera on independent films than on big blockbuster movies.


The “Independent Women: Behind-the-Scenes Employment on Festival Films in 2013-14” report from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film in San Diego, Calif., which was released on Tuesday showed that 23 percent of directors on narratives or documentaries were female, compared to just six percent in the top grossing films.


“Considering that only one woman directed a studio film this summer – Lana Wachowski co-directed Jupiter Ascending – the opportunities provided by independent films are crucial for women filmmakers and their careers,” said executive director Martha Lauzen.

The study focused on domestically and independently produced feature-length documentaries and narrative films screening at 23 festivals including AFI Fest, Los Angeles Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, SXSW Film Festival, and Tribeca Film Festival.


It went on to reveal that 28 percent of directors working on documentaries and 18 percent of those working on narrative features are women.

The full breakdown of the behind-the-scenes roles is as below:

  • 23 percent of directors
  • 22 percent of writers
  • 27 percent of executive producers
  • 33 percent of producers
  • 20 percent of editors
  • 10 percent of cinematographers

Women fared the best as producers (33 percent) and executive producers (27 percent), with composers being included on the study for the first time, totaling 10 percent on independents and only two percent in the top grossing films.

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