San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film generates a number of large annual studies documenting women’s representation and portrayals, as well as investigations of the business environment surrounding women in film and television.
In light of the Center’s recent findings, and given the growth of film opportunities in Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Film Society (CFS) sees a great opportunity to address the issues facing women in film, starting right here in Cincinnati.
Employment of Women in Film – “Women comprised 20% of those working in key behind-the-scenes roles on the top 700 theatrically released films in 2014. By role, women accounted for 27% of producers, 21% of executive producers, 18% of editors, 13% of writers, 13% of directors, and 9% of cinematographers. Films with women directors employed substantially higher percentages of women in other key behind-the-scenes roles than films with exclusively male directors. The study found similar results when women comprised at least one-third of executive producers and producers.”
Portrayal of Women in Film – “In the Top 100 Films of 2014, females comprised 12% of protagonists, 29% of major characters, and 30% of all speaking characters in the top 100 grossing films. Gender stereotypes remained abundant in last year’s films. Female characters were younger than their male counterparts, and were more likely to be identified solely by personal life-related roles such as wife, mother and girlfriend. Regarding racial and ethnic diversity, while the percentages of Black female and Latina characters declined slightly, the percentage of Asian females increased slightly. 11% of female characters were Black, 4% were Latina, and 4% were Asian.”
Cincinnati Film Society believes that media in our society can be reshaped to have a stronger positive impact if we empower more women to work in the medium, take part in ownership of the industry, and educate the consumer on these issues. CFS wants to shine a light on women being overlooked for jobs with the lack of equal opportunity that is given in the Film and TV industry, and create conversations and opportunities for women to develop an industry that has equal opportunity.
Women Behind the Scenes – Program Overview
In response to these disparities, and in an effort to harness local growth opportunities for film in Cincinnati, CFS is launching a new program, Women Behind the Scenes. The purpose of this program will be to address the issues of women’s portrayal and employment in film.
- Discuss the issues of the woman’s image in media, who creates this image, and new ways women can take control of this image
- Develop opportunities for women to gain ownership of media by connecting women to the right education, training and job opportunities to make their mark on-screen
- Educate young women on how the woman’s image is portrayed
- Increase awareness of women’s issues in film
- Grow the # of local women entering film careers
- Peer networking and support for women filmmakers
- Educate girls and young women on careers in film
- Lecture series of professionals in media discussing how women are represented, and the impact of being underrepresented and misrepresented in mainstream media.
- Provide women with opportunities to develop their own film projects that express their socio-political views and creativity.
- Connecting women with other professionals in the film industry and creating opportunities for professional development and career advancement.