EPIX to Air “THE 4%: FILM’S GENDER PROBLEM” – An Original Series of 6 Short Documentaries with First Person Insights About Gender Inequality in Hollywood Debuts March 8, on International Women’s Day 2016
Produced by Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions, Directed by Caroline Suh and Featuring Interviews with Jill Soloway, Paul Feig, Toni Collette, Anjelica Huston, Catherine Hardwicke, Judd Apatow, Amy Heckerling, Julie Delpy, Lake Bell, Mira Nair, Amanda Peet, Patricia Clarkson, Mo’Nique, Anne Sweeney, James Franco, Christine Vachon, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Kristin Wiig and more…
Informed by Research Conducted by USC Annenberg Professor, Dr. Stacy L. Smith
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Premium TV network EPIX® announced today that THE 4%: FILM’S GENDER PROBLEM, a series of 6 original short films designed to explore the issues around the current gender gap in Hollywood, has completed production. The 6 shorts will air on the network and across all EPIX platforms on International Women’s Day – March 8, 2016 – and run throughout the month, coinciding with Women’s History Month. The first short will be presented at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival’s “Women at Sundance Brunch” on January 25, 2016.
Produced by Alex Gibney’s award-winning Jigsaw Productions (Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, Taxi To the Darkside, Enron: Smartest Men In the Room), the series spotlights directors and creative personalities – both women and men – who share first-person insights, questions and anecdotes about the role of women in Hollywood.
Participants include: Judd Apatow, Joe Arcidiacono, Lake Bell, Amy Berg, Patricia Clarkson, Toni Collette, Jonathan Dayton, Julie Delpy, Valerie Faris, Paul Feig, America Ferrera, James Franco, Donna Gigliotti, Geoffrey Gilmore, Debra Granik, Catherine Hardwicke, Mary Harron, Amy Heckerling, Dawn Hudson, Anjelica Huston, Vicky Jenson, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Rebecca Keegan, Jon Kilik, Ellen Kuras, Mimi Leder, Franklin Leonard, Tina Mabry, Victoria Mahoney, Michael Mann, Lori McCreary, Mo’Nique, Michael Moore, Rachel Morrison, Mira Nair, Amanda Peet, Kimberly Peirce, Keri Putnam, Pamela Romanowsky, Cathy Schulman, A.O. Scott, Melissa Silverstein, Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Jill Soloway, Anne Sweeney, Anne Thompson, Rosemarie Troche, Christine Vachon, Mandy Walker and Kristen Wiig.
The series is informed by research conducted by USC Annenberg’s Dr. Stacy L. Smith, a renowned expert in the field, and which was supported by Women in Film Los Angeles and Sundance Institute. The series also has the support of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender In Media and Meryl Streep.
Even though it is widely recognized that female directors are strikingly under-represented in Hollywood, the numbers still manage to surprise. According to a multi-year study led by Dr. Stacy L. Smith and conducted by the USC Annenberg Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative, across 1,300 top-grossing films from 2002 to 2014, only 4.1% of all directors were female. This calculates into a gender ratio of 23.3 male directors to every 1 female director.
Each film will focus on a different theme, with segments varying in tone – from thoughtful, to controversial, to funny, sometimes all at once.
Mark S. Greenberg, President and CEO, EPIX, said, “EPIX has supported Stacy’s research for years and these shorts offer a richer, more authentic portrayal about the role of women and girls in media today. Support for this project has also brought together the talented Alex Gibney, and a prestigious list of some of the most gifted artists and creatives from the worlds of entertainment and the arts. Our objective is to help provide a forum for the discussion of ideas and potential solutions, as we collectively work towards closing the gap that exists today.”
Dr. Stacy L. Smith, the Initiative’s Founder and Director and lead researcher on the investigation, said, “The series offers an opportunity for a national audience to hear from the entertainment industry directly about the issues women face both as filmmakers and in other creative roles. My research is clear: females face a very real fiscal cliff as they pursue work at the highest echelons of this industry. I am proud that my research is associated with a team and a network that cares about female filmmakers and creating systemic change.”
According to research from Dr. Stacy L. Smith:
In the 100 top films of 2014, only 2 women worked as directors.
Across 700 films and 779 directors from 2007 to 2014, only 3 were Black or African American female directors.
Women were only 11% of writers and less than 20% of producers across the 100 top-grossing films of 2014.
Only 30% of all on-screen speaking characters in 700 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2014 were girls or women.
A total of 21 of the 100 top films of 2014 featured a female lead or roughly equal co-lead.
Less than a quarter of all speaking characters were female in the top animated films of 2014.
Only 22% of speaking characters in top action/adventure films of 2014 were female.
34% of characters in top 2014 comedies were female.
Other data on female directors shows:
Only four women have been nominated for a Best Director Oscar® in the past 85 years, with only one winner among them.
“THE 4%: FILM’S GENDER PROBLEM points to the fact there is an undeniably gaping disparity in Hollywood. It’s one that many – including those in Hollywood and at the ACLU and EEOC – believe needs to change. What better way to draw attention to the issue than to have some of the business' most recognizable voices come together in support of more diversity in making movies,” notes director Caroline Suh. “I’m very happy that the project found a partner in Jigsaw, a company known for its activism in exploring human rights violations and the abuse of power. Jigsaw is an amazing group of diverse yet like-minded people whom I’ve loved working with. Further pleased to be working with the support of EPIX, led by Mark Greenberg, who has been committed to these issues for a long time. There’s also a great team of executives and production people who have rallied around the cause.”
THE 4%: FILM’S GENDER PROBLEM is a series of EPIX Original short documentary films produced by Jigsaw Productions. Caroline Suh is the director and Erika Frankel is the producer. 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.
About USC Annenberg Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative
Dr. Stacy L. Smith is the Founder and Director of the Media, Diversity, and Social Change Initiative at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California. Dr. Smith's work examines gender and race on screen and behind the camera in cinematic content as well as barriers and opportunities facing women and people of color in the entertainment industry. She also conducts economic analyses related to diversity and the financial performance of films. Dr. Smith has written more than 100 journal articles, book chapters, and reports on content patterns and effects of the media. In terms of the popular press, Dr. Smith’s research has been written about in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, fivethirtyeight.com, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, Newsweek, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Slate.com, Salon.com, The Boston Globe, NPR, and USA Today, to name a few. She has a co-edited essay in Maria Shriver’s book, A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything (2009). Dr. Smith’s most recent research reports include a landmark study with Sundance Institute and Women in Film Los Angeles, a study of 700 top-grossing films conducted at USC Annenberg, and multiple investigations with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Her work is also generously supported by EPIX, The Harnisch Foundation, LUNAFEST, The Jacquelyn and Gregory Zehner Foundation, and other individuals. To learn more, visit http://annenberg.usc.edu/mdsci or follow on Twitter @MDSCInitiative.
Jigsaw Productions is helmed by Oscar® and Emmy® Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney. Jigsaw has produced some of the most acclaimed documentary films in recent years, including the Academy and Emmy Award-winning Taxi to the Dark Side, the Oscar-nominated Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, Showtime’s Emmy-winning History of the Eagles, the Sundance-premiering We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, and the explosive film about Lance Armstrong’s long fall from grace, The Armstrong Lie. More recent Jigsaw releases include the controversial and three-time Emmy winner Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, one of the most watched documentaries in HBO’s history, the Peabody Award-winning Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown, the Emmy-nominated two-part series Sinatra: All or Nothing At All for HBO, and Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine for CNN Films, in theaters now. Television projects currently in production include: The New Yorker Presents for Amazon, which adapts the venerable The New Yorker magazine to the screen; Cooked, a four-part food docu-series based on the award-winning Michael Pollan book of the same name for Netflix; and the four-part Parched: The Water Wars for National Geographic.
EPIX is a premium movie and original programming entertainment network delivering the latest movie releases, classic film franchises, original documentaries, comedy and music events on TV, on demand, online and on digital devices. Launched in October 2009, EPIX has pioneered the development and proliferation of “TV Everywhere.” It was the first premium network to provide multi-platform access to its content online at EPIX.com and to launch on Xbox, PlayStation®, Android phones and tablets, and Roku® players. EPIX is also available across Chromecast, Apple® iPhones® and iPads®, Android TV and more and is the only premium service providing all its programming on all platforms, delivering more movies than any other premium network, with thousands of titles available for streaming.
EPIX is a joint venture between Viacom Inc., its Paramount Pictures unit, Lionsgate and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM). Through relationships with cable, satellite and telco partners, EPIX is available to over 50 million homes nationwide. For more information about EPIX, go to www.EPIX.com. Follow EPIX on Twitter @EpixHD (http://www.twitter.com/EpixHD) and on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/EPIX), YouTube (http://youtube.com/EPIX), Instagram (http://instagram.com/EPIX), Google+ (http://plus.google.com/+EPIX), Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/EPIX) and Vine (https://vine.co/EPIX).