Summary Gender Study German Film Festivals 2016 (download)

The study by Tanja C. Krainhöfer and Konrad Schreiber is based on 1,830 films which were produced by a single male or female director and screened at 19 German (Bavarian) film festivals in 2015.

The analysis of those films showed:

Films by female directors are clearly under-represented in German film festival programs. Even though many festival directors agree with the agenda of “Pro Quote Regie“, strong constraints and inter-dependencies in scheduling result in only ONE out of the 19 film festivals with a gender-balanced program.

Considering all programs, the analysis shows 27 percent of movies made by female directors as opposed to 73 percent made by their male counterparts. The gender ratio among all programs is 1:3. Considering the volume of German films, the ratio is approximately 1:2 with 32 percent made by female and 68 percent by male directors.

Furthermore we find that:

Festival entries by women consist mainly of short films (32 percent) and medium-length films (36 percent), largely composed of animation films (41 percent) and documentaries (31 percent). The fictional program is dominated by male directors with 77 percent (compared to 23 percent by female directors). Thus, feature length films by female directors amount to only a 24 percent share of the total feature festival volume. Compared to a 22 percent share of annual movie production in the feature length film category, only 12 percent of female-directed features are presented in the festival programs.

Furthermore, there is a significant disparity between the share of female short films screened by a festival and the share of such movies actually produced.

Festival entries by women are more often festival hits (shown at multiple festivals), more often competition entries and winners, considering the fact that so few of them are actually screened. However, the average prize for female directors is 1,919.00 Euro, compared to the average of 5,027.66 Euro for men.

With a ratio of 1:9 among film historical works, men dominate the view of the past.

With regard to to the call by many for boards, committees and other decision makers in the film subsidy boards, TV networks, the sales, rental and distribution sectors  to be fairly “manned“ when it comes to gender, here, too, the findings  indicate a clear trend. The  more women acting as festival curators, the higher the ratio of works by female directors presented in that festival.

Based on the facts outlined in the study, we support the call for action by “Directors UK”, as the situation is unlikely to improve in the near future, despite a growing awareness:

“We are calling for strong action because we don’t believe that the situation will change without it. This report shows that women directors are limited and inhibited at every stage of their career – from making their first short films to working on big budget productions. Gender inequality must be tackled at every level by everyone involved in hiring and funding decisions, including directors themselves. The time for talking about low numbers has passed. Now it’s time for change”.

Andrew Chowns, Chief Executive of Directors UK