New research from writer, producer and film industry data miner Stephen Follows has found that women make up just 32% of 'high status' employees at the three key international film markets.
The study looked at sales and distribution professionals attending the European Film Market (EFM), Marche du Film (Cannes) and American Film Market (AFM) over the past 10 years.
In 2009, women accounted for 35% of all attendees, and so far in 2018 the figure has risen to 44%. Well that's progress, right? Sadly, no.
By breaking down the data by sub-sectors within the sales and distribution world, Follows found that distribution companies and production companies have the highest percentage of men in high-status jobs (71% and 69% respectively). Only film commissions have a majority of women in such roles (52%). The publicity sector has 43% women in high status roles and film festivals 41%. All sub-sectors were found to have a majority of women in their lowest ranks.
This all matters because not only does it suggest an inequality of professional opportunity, but the sales and distribution sectors wield a lot of power over what films get seen. So if most of those top decision makers are male, their bias, conscious or unconscious, may mean a full and diverse range of voices are not being heard.
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