Somewhere in the 600 or so miles between this mountain town, host to the Sundance Film Festival, and the movie factories of Hollywood, female filmmakers seem to vanish.
Of the top 100 movies at the 2010 box office, three were made by women: “The Last Song” (No. 51), “Nanny McPhee Returns” (96) and “Ramona and Beezus”(100.) Meanwhile, 27 of the 117 features playing at this year’s festival have female directors. […]
In its most basic form, the disparity exposes the sharp differences between specialty film and multiplex movies. The idiosyncratic pictures that thrive at Sundance — the Ozarks drug tale “Winter’s Bone” won the festival’s grand jury award for drama last year (and, incidentally, was directed by a woman) — are a world away from what works at the mall: special effects, superheroes, sophomoric comedy. […]
There are other reasons for the disconnect. Festival programmers are a more diverse bunch and place an emphasis on a variety of cinematic voices. Women also typically must balance work and parenting to a greater degree than men, and this becomes especially hard with the job of directing — a 24/7 endeavor that often requires being away from home for months on end.
And studios remain a boys’ club, at least when it comes to top production jobs and financing positions. They tend to dip from a pool of male directors, for whom box office failure seems to mean something different from what it does to their female counterparts.
[h/t to Mo for the article]