Films and Female Empowerment: Where Are the Ladies?

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by Jasmine Davis

Here at Women’s Annex, we love female filmmakers! We offer plenty of beautiful films from female filmmakers around the world. Of course, while Women’s Annex offers plenty of film distribution opportunities to women filmmakers, wider distribution can be challenging.

If you’re interested in women in film, you’ve probably heard about the recent Sundance Institute and Women In Film Los Angeles study that explores how female filmmakers are rare. As the researchers point out, only 4.4% of the top 100 films in the last ten years were directed by women, while 24% of films shown at Sundance were directed by women. Why is that? A recent article points out that it may be more challenging for female filmmakers to get funding. Although film schools are graduating women, they’re simply not able to get Michael Bay levels of funding.

What would happen in a world of female filmmakers? First of all, there would be more movies featuring women and girls, as well as family stories. Right now, these often get swept under the table in favor of movies with more explosions. As the article states, “Hollywood clearly has a bias that largely favors men and the way their narrative storytelling is focused.”

According to Stacy L. Smith, one of the study’s authors, “Audiences are being socialized to view most stories and perspectives through a male lens. Such a viewpoint is at odds with the moviegoing audience, half of which are female, the gender composition in the U.S. and the buying power of females in this country.” Of course, it’s not just about the U.S., it’s about women filmmakers worldwide. Programs like the Afghan Development Project recognize the power of women in film and provide a technological education in Afghanistan for women to develop their creative powers through film.

Female empowerment through film is entirely possible in today’s world. Getting more women involved in filmmaking is a great way to break through barriers and tell important stories. In a post-2014 world, it’s even more important that we let ladies join the filmmakers club. After all, film is not a one-size-fits-all medium, geared toward only one story. It has the power to unlock entire world for audiences. Supporting projects like the Afghan Development Project is one step toward a better, brighter future in filmmaking.

About the author


WHO WE ARE The Digital Citizen Fund" knowing formally Women’s Annex Foundation" is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in New York City which has set out to help girls and women in developing countries gain access to technology, virtually connect with others across the world, and obtain necessary skills to…

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