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Sally Potter on the Cast Iron Ceiling for Women Directors

Sally Potter on the Cast Iron Ceiling for Women Directors

In preparation for a career retrospective next month at the Bradford International Film Festival and the publication of her book Naked Cinema, Sally Potter answered some questions for the Guardian about her career.

She talks about the limitations placed on her career because she is a woman. Her comments are reminiscent of what director Kimberly Peirce said recently.

I haven’t made anything like the quantity of films I feel I’ve been capable of. This is not unique to me, as a female director: the so-called glass ceiling has, along the way, felt more like cast-iron. A lot of the films I’ve made have been risk-taking, and it’s a very, very risk-averse culture. Is the industry more worried about female directors taking risks compared to men? Well, the statistics do rather speak for themselves.

She also talks about why she thinks only one woman has won the best director Oscar. 

There are real – even if subtle – impediments for any female director. Film-making is an act of leadership and often involves a lot of money. It is also one of the biggest art forms that reflect back who we are: the resistance to being shown a reflection that is different is extremely strong. And the obstacles are also internal: in young women not having the confidence just to do it and brave the criticism.

Her thoughts basically sum up why women don’t get more directing opportunities.

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