President Of Women In Film: There Have To Be More Female Oscar Nominees

Though the Oscars are now over and we did see a number of women take home the gold last night, they were still in the minority. But they weren’t in the minority on Friday at the Women in Film’s fifth annual pre-Oscar party. Of the year’s nearly 200 Academy Awards nominees, 45 were women, said Cathy Shulman, president of Women in Film, Los Angeles. “You’re the best of the best,” she said Friday. “But you’re only a quarter of the nominees.” Women have consistently comprised less than 25% of annual Oscar nominees, Shulman said, “and it’s important we work together to increase that statistic.”

But rest assured Shulman and others are working on helping more women in film. In January at the Sundance Film Festival it was announced that both the Sundance Institute and Women In Film Los Angeles will collaborate to support independent women filmmakers working in both narrative and documentary feature film. Initiatives like this are much needed as only 7% of the top 250 top-grossing films released in 2010 were directed by women, 10% were written by women and 24% were produced by women. Early research shows that when the number of women in behind the camera roles increases, so do the roles for women in front of the camera and so does the content interesting to women and girls worldwide. Only 7% of the 3,879 feature films in both narrative and documentary categories submitted to the 2012 Sundance Film Festival were directed by women. While the number of films made by women as directors and producers is higher in the independent film world, and particularly among documentary films, there remains a marked disparity between the numbers of feature length films completed by male versus female filmmakers. Hollywood legend Jane Fonda recently said, “Until more women wield the power to decide what movies and TV shows get made, Hollywood culture won’t really yield all the fascinating complexities that are the realities of women’s lives,” she said. “Until then, we’re accepting supporting roles in an industry many of us have devoted our lives to.”

Nominees Viola Davis and Janet McTeer also joined in the festivities, along with female producers, composers, animators and documentarians. Shulman gave accolades to longtime Martin Scorsese editor Thelma Schoonmaker and flame-haired costume designer Sandy Powell as “part of the over-10-times club.” Both were nominated this year for their work on Hugo, and each has three Oscars already. As Gwyneth Paltrow, co-host of the party, said. “We’re smarter than men and better than men. I raise an imaginary glass to all the nominees.”

Share This Post: