Hollywood Reporter printed these stats yesterday, originally compiled by critic Carrie Rickey (all stats are 2006 only):
60% (3 of 5) of 2006 Oscar nominated documentary features are directed by women,
40% (2of 5) of 2006 Oscar nominated foreign-films are directed by women,
25% of Sundance 2007 features and shorts are directed by women,
0% of 2006 best-picture Oscar nominees are directed by women,
6.25% of top-250 domestic box office grossers in 2006 are directed by women,
1.8 % of top-1000 domestic box office grossers in 2006 are directed by women.
As the article points out, you can probably spin this raw info any way that you want, but it’s interesting to see that even though Sundance is roughly 15 times better at presenting women’s films than the market as a whole, it can still only manage to fill 25% of it’s slate with films by female directors. This is not a criticism by any means–I am sure they are doing everything that they can. I’m merely pointing out how few films are directed by women at this point in time, and how few of those films that do get made get any significant distribution whatsoever. Clearly, institutions like Sundance, most other film festivals, and even the Academy are inclined to recognize as many good films by women as they can. But for whatever reason, women get very few chances to succeed in the film marketplace.