New Statistics from Sundance Institute and Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

Posted by Rena Sternfeld on February 4, 2013 in The search |

Females in Key Creative Positions by Genre Type
Across 11 years (2002-2012) of programmed U.S. feature-length films at the Sundance Film
Festival, 29.8% of content creators (directors, writers, producers, cinematographers, editors)
were female. This translates into 2.36 males to every 1 female behind the camera. Significant
findings were found regarding content creator gender in three areas: storytelling genre (narrative vs. documentary), creative position (director, writer, producer, cinematographer, editor),
and Festival program section (Competition, Premieres, and Niche=Midnight, NEXT, New
Frontier, Spotlight).
Consistent with other research, the independent documentary culture appears to be
more egalitarian than the culture surrounding independent narrative content creation.
One-quarter (25.3%) of all content creators were female in narratives (n=1,911), whereas
39.1% were female in documentaries (n=1,422).
We further examined specific behind-the camera posts (see Table 1), finding that gender varies significantly by genre type.
Just under 17% of directors were female in the narrative film category, which is less than half of the percentage of female directors in documentaries (34.5%). A large gap was observed between
female producers in narratives (29.4%) and documentaries (45.9%). Narratives were also
less likely than documentaries to feature female writers, cinematographers, or editors in

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