Directed by Caroline Suh (SundanceTV’s “Iconoclasts”), “The 4%” draws its title from research led by Dr. Stacy L. Smith of the USC Annenberg Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative, which found that, on the 1,300 highest-grossing films produced between 2002 and 2014, only 4.1% of the directors were women. The six-part docuseries features interviews with Jill Soloway (“Transparent”), Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids”), Judd Apatow (“Trainwreck”), Lake Bell (“In a World”), Mira Nair (“Queen of Katwe“), Patricia Clarkson (“Delirium”), Mo’Nique (“Bessie”), Christine
Vachon (“Carol”), and many other major figures in film and television.
Produced under Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions shingle, with the support of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender In Media and Meryl
Streep, each installment of “The 4%” approaches Hollywood’s yawning gender gap from a different angle, tackling a new theme. Though efforts to combat inequality in Hollywood continue gain
steam—Jennifer Lawrence publicizing the wage gap; Davis and Streep
inveighing against the dearth of roles for women in front of and the behind the
camera; the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigating
gender discrimination in hiring practices; the Academy’s pledge to double the number of women and people of color in its membership by 2020—the data collected by Smith and her team remains damning. For example, in the 100 top films of 2014, only 2 women worked as
directors. Worse still, across 700 films and 779 directors from 2007 to 2014, only three were black women.
“The 4%: Film’s Gender Problem” is produced by Erika Frankel. Executive Producers are Stacey Offman, Laura Michalchyshyn, Lynne
Kirby, Caroline Suh, Betsy West, and Alex Gibney. Jocelyn Diaz, Ross Bernard, and
Jill Burkhart are Executive Producers for EPIX. The docuseries debuts on EPIX March 8 (International Women’s Day) and will run throughout March to coincide with Women’s History Month.