Variety has chosen its 10 Directors to Watch for 2013 and believe it or not, five of the 11 directors on the list (one entry consists of a pair) are women. Could it be an encouraging sign that gender inequality in film may be on the decline?

The Directors to Watch for 2013 are:

Amma Asante ("Belle")

Clio Barnard ("The Selfish Giant")

Anthony Chen (Ilo Ilo")

Paul Duane ("Very Extremely Dangerous" "Natan")

Ben Falcone ("Tammy")

Maya Forbes ("Infinitely Polar Bear")

Aron Gaudet & Gita Pullapilly ("Beneath the Harvest Sky")

Dome Karukoski ("Heart of a Lion")

Justin Simien ("Dear White People")

Gren Wells ("The Road Within")

Read More: Gender Inequality in Film in Infographic Form

Variety will honor the "Directors to Watch" and recognize John Lee Hancock ("Saving Mr. Banks") with the Creative Impact in Directing award and actor Jonah Hill ("The Wolf of Wall Street") with the Creative Impact in Acting Award at a brunch on Jan. 5 during the Palm Springs International Film Festival. The honorees are selected by a team of Variety editors, critics and reporters.

Directors who have appeared on past "10 to Watch" lists include Ben Affleck ("Argo"), George Clooney ("The Ides of March"), Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight Rises") and Benh Zeitlin ("Beasts of the Southern Wild").