Several years ago, a group of DGA women banded together to voice their displeasure at the accomplishments of women directors being overlooked at the DGA Awards. Out of that grew a campaign the following year, #BestDirectHer, that saw three women nominated in the first time feature director category. One of them, Alma Ha’Rel, won. We were thrilled.
This year, as voting starts for the DGA and PGA Awards, (am a member of both guilds), there are more female-directed projects under consideration than ever. It’s been a crazy year, and not as many films have been released as usual. Usually, at this time of year, we get these expensive campaigns on behalf of bigger-budget, mostly male-directed films. But those films have been held from release because their studios and producers want to be able to make more money (they hope) releasing their films theatrically.
Whatever the reason, I’m glad women are getting this opportunity to shine. There’s some great work out there. Have you seen EMMA, directed by Autumn de Wilde? Or WANDER DARKLY, directed by Tara Miele? How about PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN, directed by Emerald Fennell? Regina King’s ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI? NOMADLAND by Chloe Zhao?
There’s a lot to choose from.
Women in Film has published a ballot of ALL the talented women working this year – not just directors. And Ava Duvernay’s Array has put together a database of talented women and people of color in all categories. Women in Media has a database of talented women. There are several other organizations that have done similar work. So, no more excuses, in any category.
My hope – after this season, hiring a female director won’t be such an unusual thing. Or a woman in any category. We’re not unicorns, after all.