- Friday, May. 24, 2019
At the recently wrapped Cannes Film Festival, actress Julianne Moore said that quotas would be a viable option in order for the American movie industry to attain gender parity.
Gender quotas are more common in Europe where filmmaking is often partly subsidized by public money. Sweden, Norway and Ireland have instituted 50-50 quotas in allocating public funds for male and female filmmakers.
“We will not have gender parity unless everybody is cooperating. Women are not a special interest group. We’re 52 percent of the global population,” Moore said during an event at the Cannes Film Festival, as reported by Associated Press (AP). “In order to restore the balance, I do think that there will be, that we will need some measures to change our culture.”
Moore makes a strong case for quotas, particularly in light of the fact that women made up 8% of directors on the top 250 films at the U.S. box office last year.
However, at the same time, action short of quotas is making a positive impact at grass-roots levels. At last year’s SHOOT Directors/Producers Forum, panelist Emma Reeves, executive director of Free The Bid, noted that the nonprofit has picked up widespread industry momentum, asking ad agencies to include a female filmmaker on every triple-bid project, production companies to sign more woman directors, and marketers to seek one woman’s bid on each of their commercial productions. And now Free the Bid has expanded to open up more opportunities for other women artists, including DPs, editors and colorists.
Also sans quotas and strictly on the merits, SHOOT’s New Directors Showcase has seen its percentage of women filmmakers steadily grow. This year’s tally of 17 women is the highest ever, accounting for nearly half of the 36 directors filling 34 Showcase slots (32 individual helmers and a pair of duos).
The Showcase, which will be formally unveiled at the DGA Theatre in NYC on the evening of May 30, includes the following 17 women directors: Jess Coulter, Caitlin Cronenweth, Lisa D’Apolito, Mary Dauterman, Rachel Annette Helson, Alexandra Henry, Mackenzie Hilton, Crystal Kayiza, Ji Hyun Kim, Tamika Miller, Katie O’Grady, Jane Qian, the Ray Sisters (Austin and Westin Ray), Charlotte Regan, Samantha Scaffidi, and Cuba Tornado Scott.