WEEK IN WOMEN: BBC Survey Shows Women Are Left Out of Cinema History — Brandy McDonnell reports

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If you’re paying any attention to the ongoing issue of gender representation in film, the lack of women filmmakers on BBC Culture’s list of the 100 greatest foreign-language films wont be a surprise.

According to the BBC, 209 critics sent in their 10 greatest foreign-language films for the poll. Of these respondents, 94 were women – that’s 45 percent – yet there are only four female directors with titles in the top 100: Chantal Akerman (Jeanne Dielman, 23 Commerce Quay, 1080 Brussels), Claire Denis (“Beau Travail), Agnès Varda (Cleo from 5 to 7), and Katia Lund (co-director of City of God).

As Ana Maria Bahiana rightly observes in her BBC report, “This troubling result puts the current conversation about the dearth of women film-makers in a wider context: by being barred from the exercise of their craft in cinema, women run the risk of being excluded from its history.” Continue reading on THE WEEK IN WOMEM.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A similar survey conducted by AFI in 2007 spurred the Alliance of Women Film Journalists to compile and publish AWFJ’s List of Top 100 Films, which includes a significantly larger percentage of women directors.

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Brandy McDonnell

Brandy McDonnell writes features and reviews movies, music, events and the arts for The Oklahoman, Oklahoma's statewide newspaper, and NewsOK.com, the state's largest news Web site. Raised on a farm near Lindsay, Okla., she started her journalism career in seventh grade, when she was elected reporter for her school's 4-H Club. Taking her duties seriously, she began submitting stories to The Lindsay News, and worked for the local weekly through high school. She attended Oklahoma State University, where she worked for The Daily O'Collegian and earned her journalism degree with honors. She worked for three years at small Oklahoma dailies The Edmond Sun and Shawnee News-Star. In 2002, she joined The Oklahoman as a features reporter, writing about movies, the arts, events, families and nonprofits. She moved to The Oklahoman's entertainment desk in 2007. In 2004, she won a prestigious Journalism Fellowship in Child & Family Policy from the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Along with her membership in AWFJ, she also is a founding member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle. Brandy writes The Week In Women blog for AWFJ.org.