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2012 Celluloid Ceiling Study Results Are In. Spoiler Alert: They Aren't Great

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by Melissa Silverstein and Kerensa Cadenas
January 25, 2013 12:30 PM
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Following the Sundance Institute & Women in Film’s unveiling of their new groundbreaking study of women directors during the Sundance Film Festival, comes Dr. Martha Lauzen's annual Celluloid Ceiling study, which looks at how many women worked on the top 250 films of the year.

The results are, unfortunately, what you’d expect. In 2012, women were 18% of the directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films. This represents no change from 2011, which is supremely depressing.

The study looked at the behind–the –scenes employment of 2,813 people working on the top 250 grossing films (not including any foreign films.) 38% of films employed 0 or 1 woman, 23% employed 2 women, 28% employed 3 to 5 women, and 10% employed 6 to 9 women. Women worked mainly in documentary, drama and animated films. They didn’t work as often in action, horror or science fiction.

Here’s a breakdown of the statistics by position.  (All the statistics are for the top 250 grossing films of the year.)

Women comprised 9% of all directors. This is an increase from 2011, but stayed the same with statistics from 1998. So while we went up from last year we still have not made any progress in over a decade.

Women accounted for 15% of writers.

Women comprised 17% of all executive producers. 

Women accounted for 25% of all producers.

Women comprised 20% of all editors.

Women accounted for 2% of all cinematographers.

This week has been an important week because we get to see how women are faring in the indie and commercial world all at once.  For anyone to say that women have made it one only needs to look at both these studies to confirm that this is not true. 

The full reseach report is available from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State.

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