What is See Change?
See Change is Film Streams’ initiative to reach gender parity among directors of the films we program by 2021.
Where are you getting your statistics from?
All industry-wide metrics used in our informational material and media are from research conducted by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and the San Diego State Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film, two organizations spearheading the movement for gender parity in Hollywood. When possible, we have used the most recent available data.
The Inclusion Initiative’s report, Inclusion in the Director’s Chair? is published annually in January, covering the previous calendar year. The report studies the gender, race, and age of directors across 1,200 of the highest earning narrative features released between 2007 and the current year of study. The study also looks at C-Suite, board of directors, and executive film teams of major American film studios including Walt Disney Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures and Lionsgate. Research for the study is led by Dr. Stacy L. Smith.
San Diego State’s Celluloid Ceiling report which tracks women’s employment in the top 100, 250, and 500 films of the year is published annually in January, covering the previous calendar year. Additionally, their Indie Women report is the most comprehensive study of women’s behind the scenes employment in independent film. The most recent report was published in July 2019 and assessed the demographic breakdowns behind the scenes of documentaries and narrative feature films screening at 22 major film festivals from July 18 to June 2019. Research for both studies is led by Dr. Martha M. Lauzen.
Film Streams’ internal metrics are assessed and reported by our Executive Director and Artistic Director in collaboration with our Weitz Fellow and Finance Manager.
Why 2021? I thought the national target was 50/50 by 2020?
Every three years, Film Streams updates its strategic plan, which shapes the focus and vision for our organization. For years we have been actively tracking the number of films we show by women directors.
During our latest strategic planning process for 2019 through 2021, it became apparent that staff, board members, and our patrons supported us in our desire to follow our passion in advocating for women in film. See Change is a way to institutionalize a commitment that has been a part of how we program new releases, repertory, and educational content for years. Though we fully support the industry’s initiative, as a non-profit, we must also consider organizational timelines when making our own goals, which is why See Change falls within our current strategic plan ending in 2021.
What happens after 2021?
We hope that See Change and Film Streams become a model for arthouses, festivals and other industry groups working toward gender parity. We do not intend to end our commitment to women directors after 2021, though we will use our successes or failures within this three-year period to reevaluate our strategy and tactics for the future. We are hopeful that our audience will rally behind this great cause and at the end of 2021, we are planning for a continued expansion of See Change.
What about genderqueer, non-binary, or gender non-conforming directors?
Though Film Streams’ See Change initiative is focused on women directors, we always program with diversity and inclusivity in mind. We work hard to represent a spectrum of experience in film content, visiting artists, and in our community partnerships. We intend to keep doing so.
There is little data on the number of genderqueer, non-binary, or gender non-conforming directors currently working in Hollywood so it is difficult for us to set a target or accurately know if our numbers are better or worse than industry standards.
We also feel that it is in keeping with the autonomy of non-binary gender identified people to not conflate their representation on or offscreen with those of women or other identity groups.
We hope to responsibly and knowledgeably address different identity-based calls for action in the future and we welcome any information on current research on non-binary gender representation behind the scenes in mainstream or independent film.