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What Does a Woman Director Look Like? The Global Directors Initiative Seeks to Find Out

Jessica Sanders directed a new short film as part of Fox's Global Directors Initiative.

The film industry’s gender divide is well known at this point, but action is often slow to follow knowledge. Fox took a step toward closing that gap with its Global Directors Initiative, which is “dedicated to cultivating emerging and established directors with diverse voices, backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives spanning episodic broadcast and cable television, filmed entertainment, sports and digital media.” The FDI launched with an introductory video called simply “Fox Directors.” Watch below.

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Among the featured filmmakers are Hannah Fidell (“A Teacher”), Anja Marquardt (“She’s Lost Control”), Amanda Marsalis (“Echo Park”), Marta Cunningham (“Valentine Road”), and Cherien Dabis (“May in the Summer”), all of whom briefly discuss their work and their experiences within the industry. The video is directed by Jessica Sanders, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker whose documentary “After Innocence” won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance in 2005.

“I directed this short film ‘Fox Directors’ to highlight these filmmakers and their work, and to create a visual story to express ‘what does a director look like,'” Sanders told Refinery29. “With the recent federal investigation into the unequal hiring practices in Hollywood (only 7% of Hollywood feature films are directed by women), this is my contribution to bring awareness and change, and to support inclusive filmmaking with so many talented voices and films that the world needs to know about and see.”

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The video closes with more damning statistics: 17 percent of television is directed by women, and only two percent of it by women of color.

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