Posted by: Suzanne Motherwell on May 13, 2011
The Cannes Film Festival is underway and this year there are four female directors in the running for the Palme d'Or . Last year there were none.
It is the most women in one single year since Cannes started in 1946.
An improvement nonetheless, but as Charlotte Higgins discusses in the Guardian there is a chronic shortage of female directors in the industry.
Birds Eye View, whose aim is to 'celebrate and support international women film makers' suggest that only 6% of directors and 12% of screenwriters are women. The UK Film Council 2010 report states that of the number of UK titles released in 2009 only 17.2% of directors were women and 16.5% of writers were women.
The reasons why there are so few women are familiar; women are responsible for the majority of care at home, the lack of access to business networks make securing funding and sponsorship difficult, the 'macho' culture and the need to constantly prove your technical credentials that comes with working in a male-dominated occupation are also a problem.
As Lynne Ramsay said on the lack of women directors, "it is a bit like a country not being filmed – and that country not having a voice. It really does matter."