- Only 14.3% of all of the awarded creative directors are women.
- Women film directors who made it on the list account for no more than 5.6%.
Let the female directors be heard
“It’s obvious that there is a gender superiority complex — not to mention a racial superiority complex — when you see who gets the jobs as well as who commissions them. It’s mostly white men giving jobs to other white men.”
- Only 9.7% of rostered directors on the 2015 are women.
- In other roles, women comprised 11% of writers, 26% of producers, 20% of executive producers, 22% of editors, and 6% of cinematographers.
- Women hold just 30% of leadership positions in the ad world, .
“I’m surprised that [the percentage of rostered women] is that high. I thought it was 7 percent, [so this] feels like it’s growing. I might be taking a ridiculously optimistic view at a bad statistic.”
- 91% of female consumers can't identify with advertisements and feel misunderstood.
- Seven out of ten women even feel “alienated” by advertising.
Breaking the circle - Free The Bid
“It’s a simple idea that will help the entire advertising ecosystem be more open to women directors. Because it's right but also because it's smart. A more diverse industry means a more creative one and a better representation of their customers and of society itself.”
- Women account for half of the world’s population
- and half of the world’s creatives.
- They make 85% of all purchasing decisions.
- Right now, it is male storytelling that creates women’s stories in advertising. We come across cultural misrepresentations and stereotypes on a daily basis. Having women telling the stories will change the way they are represented.
Film Factory Interview Featuring Female Directors
1. Female directors in equality or inequality?
“We do notice a clear struggle everytime we propose models or actors with multicultural skintones. A lot of brands are still very narrow minded as for that matter.”
“The advertising world is a weird place with a lot of layers. Mostly we work directly with the client, so there is no advertising agency involved. We don’t experience direct discrimination but we do get a lot of positive feedback on our female touch when directing our films. We work super hard to get our jobs. We’re not sure if it’s easier for men but we’ve definitely lost a lot of pitches to men.”
“I feel equally entitled in my job,” she states. “I have to admit that sometimes I feel that I'm even being favored over men, since I am one of the few advertising female directors of my generation in Austria. The audiovisual language of a woman is often required, but at the moment there are not that many female directors in the advertising industry.”
“I would say I'm lucky to have had a pretty good experience in my career with regard to respect. In the few instances that I have felt any kind of lack of it, it’s been from patronising crew members. Needless to say I didn't work with them again.”
“For a long time, I’ve heard that female photographers as well as directors have bad character. People say “She is really difficult,” and “she is really hard with people,” Louis explaines, “What drives me crazy is that a man in the same position isn’t referred to as difficult or crazy, instead people see him as a person who knows what he wants.”
“For many years, I have seen the careers of many boys light up. Often they had the same or less experience than I had. It took me a long time to thrive because of it. I am part of a generation where in the production companies there was not much space for women directors, possibly a reflection of the market, where there was no room for us either.”
2. Free The Bid to Blow off the Lid
“In pitching, [female directors] have got a better chance than a male, just by their sex. Is that fair? Not really”, he admits, “but how else do you kickstart this? You have to go to this extreme level to make people aware. Natural progression just doesn’t happen. Why is that? It’s stupid.”
“I think the only way to change the percentage of women working in film is through policy. I wish it didn’t have to be that way, but I believe if we create strong rules surrounding equality, we will create opportunities for minorities to prove themselves. It is crazy that we even need to convince anyone - who better to sell stories and products to women than women themselves?”
Rainbow defends her opinion and gets backup from Curi:
“We can't expect situations to change “naturally”. “Naturally”, “gradually” are words I don’t like to use, because the audiovisual and advertising industry is marked by the male presence and naturally they will have the best opportunities. So I see that the system created by Free The Bid is extremely efficient, because it delimits a necessary quota for women. Only through actions like these, we might see change happening fast.”
“[…] putting someone on a pitch isn’t giving them the job. It’s just giving them a chance. A lot of the time I don’t think women are getting those chances.” ( reports)
“often are scared to dare new things. They should give female directors the chance to show what they're capable of."
What’s the difference anyway?
“Female directors do their homework, or even more than they need to,” and they can identify with that statement, “That definitely sounds like us.”
“They wanted to be sure that the idea they had wouldn't be read as sexist. I think in this case they wanted a female director so that their idea would be presented in a way that would be appealing to women, and working with me made them confident of that.”
“Even in a video with only breasts we made it fun and fashionable and not corny or pornographic. A man would have made it totally different for sure.”
“We were thrilled to work with JJ Adler on our latest Microsoft project. She rocked it but we didn’t pick her because of her gender. Truth is when we first spoke with JJ, we had no idea she was a she. We just assumed she was a guy because she had a lot of humor on her reel – what’s that say about us?”, they told the Free The Bid crew.“Besides making us feel like terrible feminists, it made us realize that Free the Bid is important not just to put pressure on production companies, but also to challenge our own creative biases as well.”
So what does Film Factory's Managing Partner and Executive Producer Thomas Andreasch think about it?
"When considering which director fits best to convert a certain idea into a movie, I don't think about gender. When it comes to the human side of the issue, it is— among others— a very important aspect though. The director concerned needs to have affinity for the topic and if he or she gets along with the team, everybody enjoys the whole process a lot more and that generally results in a better film. In most cases when working with female directors, I've noticed the positive characteristics that are generally associated with women in leading positions."
“It’s not saying that just because you have a male director you will get a skewed, misogynistic view of women,” she explains, “because that plainly isn’t true. But variety and diversity of point of view is a good thing and you get insights and reflections that you wouldn’t get from men.”
“By including women we can build bridges and a dialogue between women and men,” Curi hopes, “That will result in new stories and new perspectives.”
“as storytellers with the duty to send the right message to the world and hear the voices of all. It’s 2017, after all.” (Sasha Rainbow)