8 Mar 2010

oscarAt the 82nd Academy Awards, film director Kathryn Bigelow won the Oscars for best director and best film. It is the first time in the history of the Awards that a female director wins the best feature direction award.

In over 80 years, before Bigelow, only four women have ever been nominated for a best director Academy Award including Lina Wertmuller for Seven Beauties in 1977, Jane Campion for The Piano in 1994 and Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation in 2003.

In Europe, only 4 women have won best prize for direction in main festivals such as Cannes and Venice. These include Margarethe Von Trotta, Agnes Varda, Mira Nair (all awarded with the Golden Lion) and Jane Campion (winner of the Golden Palm).

The lack of female directors winning prestigious prizes is a very actual topic and relates to the low representation of women directors in Europe.

According to a study of the European Institute for Comparative Cultural Research (ERICarts), in the period from 1996 to 2003, among the top 50 grossing films in Europe 3% were directed by women (with an increase of 9% without considering US films).

Full study of the European Institute for Comparative Cultural Research available at: http://www.gender-research.net/web/index.php