Fox exec Nicole Bernard will spearhead a new initiative aimed at hiring more women directors at the film and TV studio.
The Fox Global Directors Initiative will recruit twenty candidates for a five-week directors' lab, then select a group of standouts for "additional instruction" for another ten months, including "production support and funding for a Fox-branded short," according to Variety.
“To connect with viewers today, we need stories that represent the amazing range of experiences and voices in the real world," said Fox COO Joel Earley. "Along with writers, the vision of directors is key as they obviously bring those stories to life through their own lens."
Only 6% of the top 250 movies of 2013 were directed by female filmmakers -- a decrease of 3 percentage points from the previous year. On TV, women make up 23 percent of creators, according to the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, but still only 12-14% of directors by the DGA's count.
Fox Audience Strategies has been a supporter of the Athena Film Festival and I (Melissa) have had the opportunity to meet with Nicole Bernard and her terrific team to discuss with them their efforts to increase diversity across Fox. The fact that they are proactively looking to increase the opportunity for women directors is a terrific step in the right direction. Women and Hollywood will be one of the partners in this effort.