Women On Film – Dr. Martha Lauzen’s 2009 Celluloid Ceiling Report – Jennifer Merin reports

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Celluloid Ceiling stats guru, Dr. Martha Lauzen’s latest study reveals that women made scant gains in Hollywood during 2008:

A preview of the study indicates that

  • Women comprised 16% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films during 2008, representing a decline of 3 percentage points from 2001 and an increase of one percentage point from 2007.
  • Women accounted for 9% of directors in 2008, an increase of three percentage points from 2007. This figure represents no change from the percentage of women directing in 1998.
  • Twenty two percent (22%) of the films released in 2008 employed no women women directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, or editors. No films failed to employ a man in at least one of these roles..
  • A historical comparison of women’s employment on the top 250 films in 2008 and 1998 reveals that the percentages of women directors and cinematographers have remained stable, whereas the percentages of women writers, executive producers, producers, and editors have declined slightly.

The complete study will be released on March 3, 2009.

Dr. Lauzen’s Thumbs Down Report shows similarly disparate stats regarding professional women film critics.

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Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin is the Film Critic for Womens eNews and contributes the CINEMA CITIZEN blog for and is managing editor for Women on Film, the online magazine of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is President. She has served as a regular critic and film-related interviewer for The New York Press and About.com. She has written about entertainment for USA Today, The L.A. Times, US Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Endless Vacation Magazine, Daily News, New York Post, SoHo News and other publications. After receiving her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts (Grad Acting), Jennifer performed at the O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference, Long Wharf Theater, American Place Theatre and LaMamma, where she worked with renown Japanese director, Shuji Terayama. She subsequently joined Terayama's theater company in Tokyo, where she also acted in films. Her journalism career began when she was asked to write about Terayama for The Drama Review. She became a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor after writing an article about Marketta Kimbrell's Theater For The Forgotten, with which she was performing at the time. She was an O'Neill Theater Center National Critics' Institute Fellow, and then became the institute's Coordinator. While teaching at the Universities of Wisconsin and Rhode Island, she wrote "A Directory of Festivals of Theater, Dance and Folklore Around the World," published by the International Theater Institute. Denmark's Odin Teatret's director, Eugenio Barba, wrote his manifesto in the form of a letter to "Dear Jennifer Merin," which has been published around the world, in languages as diverse as Farsi and Romanian. Jennifer's culturally-oriented travel column began in the LA Times in 1984, then moved to The Associated Press, LA Times Syndicate, Tribune Media, Creators Syndicate and (currently) Arcamax Publishing. She's been news writer/editor for ABC Radio Networks, on-air reporter for NBC, CBS Radio and, currently, for Westwood One's America In the Morning. She is a member of the Critics Choice Association in the Film, Documentary and TV branches and a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. For her AWFJ archive, type "Jennifer Merin" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).