A new clip has been released from Caroline Suh’s EPIX docu-series “The 4%: Film’s Gender Problem.” The video features film experts, executives, directors, producers and behind-the-scenes crew members speaking about the difficulties women directors face maintaining their careers once they have gained entry into the Hollywood. Cinematographer Ellen Kuras succinctly summarizes the problem, “I’ve seen guys — where they haven’t done anything — or they’ve had two flops and then they go back and get $50 million to make their next movie. So I myself have questioned, ‘What is that about?'”
In the clip, an array of figures from the film industry — including Women and Hollywood’s founder Melissa Silverstein, Mira Nair (“Monsoon Wedding”) and Kimberly Peirce (“Boys Don’t Cry”) — discuss the precarious position of women directors within the industry. Women have to fight harder to stay in the industry once they make it there. Peirce says, “If a woman makes a mistake, people remember it. If a man makes a mistake, more often than not, people forget it.”
As Silverstein puts it, “If a female director doesn’t succeed, she’s going to go to directing jail. Guys get out of directing jail a lot faster than women.”
Mimi Leder, who also speaks in the clip, is an example of a director who went to “movie jail” after a weak run at the box office with the film “Pay it Forward.” It took the “Deep Impact” helmer eight years to produce her follow-up film, “Thick As Thieves.” What she describes as a “painful experience” is sadly a common reoccurrence for women directors.
In spite of this, Patricia Clarkson, Judd Apatow and director Tina Mabry (“Mississippi Damned”) share words of hope, saying “it is possible” for women directors to make a place for themselves within the industry.
You can watch more segments from “The 4%: Film’s Gender Problem” online.
Check out the clip below.