Produced by Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions, Directed by Caroline
Suh and Featuring Interviews with Jill Soloway, Paul Feig, Toni
Collette, Anjelica Huston, Catherine Hardwicke, Judd Apatow, Amy
Heckerling, Julie Delpy, Lake Bell, Mira Nair, Amanda Peet,
Patricia Clarkson, Mo’Nique, Anne Sweeney, James Franco, Christine
Vachon, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Kristin Wiig and more…
Informed by Research Conducted by USC Annenberg Professor, Dr. Stacy
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Premium TV network EPIX® announced today that THE 4%: FILM’S
GENDER PROBLEM, a series of 6 original short films designed to
explore the issues around the current gender gap in Hollywood, has
completed production. The 6 shorts will air on the network and across
all EPIX platforms on International Women’s Day – March 8, 2016 – and
run throughout the month, coinciding with Women’s History Month. The
first short will be presented at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival’s
“Women at Sundance Brunch” on January 25.
Produced by Alex Gibney’s award-winning Jigsaw Productions (Going
Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Steve
Jobs: The Man in the Machine, Taxi To the Darkside, Enron: Smartest Men
In the Room), the series spotlights directors and creative
personalities – both women and men – who share first-person insights,
questions and anecdotes about the role of women in Hollywood.
Participants include: Judd Apatow, Joe Arcidiacono, Lake Bell, Amy Berg,
Patricia Clarkson, Toni Collette, Jonathan Dayton, Julie Delpy, Valerie
Faris, Paul Feig, America Ferrera, James Franco, Donna Gigliotti,
Geoffrey Gilmore, Debra Granik, Catherine Hardwicke, Mary Harron, Amy
Heckerling, Dawn Hudson, Anjelica Huston, Vicky Jenson, Sam
Taylor-Johnson, Rebecca Keegan, Jon Kilik, Ellen Kuras, Mimi Leder,
Franklin Leonard, Tina Mabry, Victoria Mahoney, Michael Mann, Lori
McCreary, Mo’Nique, Michael Moore, Rachel Morrison, Mira Nair, Amanda
Peet, Kimberly Peirce, Keri Putnam, Pamela Romanowsky, Cathy Schulman,
A.O. Scott, Melissa Silverstein, Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Jill Soloway, Anne
Sweeney, Anne Thompson, Rosemarie Troche, Christine Vachon, Mandy Walker
and Kristen Wiig.
The series is informed by research conducted by USC Annenberg’s Dr.
Stacy L. Smith, a renowned expert in the field, and which was supported
by Women in Film Los Angeles and Sundance Institute. The series also
has the support of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender In Media and
Even though it is widely recognized that female directors are strikingly
under-represented in Hollywood, the numbers still manage to surprise.
According to a multi-year study led by Dr. Stacy L. Smith and conducted
by the USC Annenberg Media, Diversity and Social Change
Initiative, across 1,300 top-grossing films from 2002 to 2014, only
4.1% of all directors were female. This calculates into a gender ratio
of 23.3 male directors to every 1 female director.
Each film will focus on a different theme, with segments varying in tone
– from thoughtful, to controversial, to funny, sometimes all at once.
Mark S. Greenberg, President and CEO, EPIX, said, “EPIX has supported
Stacy’s research for years and these shorts offer a richer, more
authentic portrayal about the role of women and girls in media today.
Support for this project has also brought together the talented Alex
Gibney, and a prestigious list of some of the most gifted artists and
creatives from the worlds of entertainment and the arts. Our objective
is to help provide a forum for the discussion of ideas and potential
solutions, as we collectively work towards closing the gap that exists
Dr. Stacy L. Smith, the Initiative’s Founder and Director and lead
researcher on the investigation, said, “The series offers an opportunity
for a national audience to hear from the entertainment industry directly
about the issues women face both as filmmakers and in other creative
roles. My research is clear: females face a very real fiscal cliff as
they pursue work at the highest echelons of this industry. I am proud
that my research is associated with a team and a network that cares
about female filmmakers and creating systemic change.”
According to research from Dr. Stacy L. Smith:
- In the 100 top films of 2014, only 2 women worked as directors.
Across 700 films and 779 directors from 2007 to 2014, only 3 were
Black or African American female directors.
Women were only 11% of writers and less than 20% of producers across
the 100 top-grossing films of 2014.
Only 30% of all on-screen speaking characters in 700 top-grossing
films from 2007 to 2014 were girls or women.
A total of 21 of the 100 top films of 2014 featured a female lead or
roughly equal co-lead.
Less than a quarter of all speaking characters were female in the top
animated films of 2014.
Only 22% of speaking characters in top action/adventure films of 2014
- 34% of characters in top 2014 comedies were female.
Other data on female directors shows:
Only four women have been nominated for a Best Director Oscar® in the
past 85 years, with only one winner among them.
“THE 4%: FILM’S GENDER PROBLEM points to the fact there is
an undeniably gaping disparity in Hollywood. It’s one that many –
including those in Hollywood and at the ACLU and EEOC – believe needs to
change. What better way to draw attention to the issue than to have some
of the business’ most recognizable voices come together in support of
more diversity in making movies,” notes director Caroline Suh. “I’m very
happy that the project found a partner in Jigsaw, a company known for
its activism in exploring human rights violations and the abuse of
power. Jigsaw is an amazing group of diverse yet like-minded people whom
I’ve loved working with. Further pleased to be working with the support
of EPIX, led by Mark Greenberg, who has been committed to these issues
for a long time. There’s also a great team of executives and production
people who have rallied around the cause.”
THE 4%: FILM’S GENDER PROBLEM is a series of
EPIX Original short documentary films produced by Jigsaw
Productions. Caroline Suh is the director and Erika Frankel is the
producer. Executive Producers are Stacey Offman, Laura Michalchyshyn,
Lynne Kirby, Caroline Suh, Betsy West and Alex Gibney. Jocelyn Diaz,
Ross Bernard and Jill Burkhart are Executive Producers for EPIX.
About USC Annenberg Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative
Dr. Stacy L. Smith is the Founder and Director of the Media, Diversity,
and Social Change Initiative at the Annenberg School for Communication &
Journalism at the University of Southern California. Dr. Smith’s work
examines gender and race on screen and behind the camera in cinematic
content as well as barriers and opportunities facing women and people of
color in the entertainment industry. She also conducts economic analyses
related to diversity and the financial performance of films. Dr. Smith
has written more than 100 journal articles, book chapters, and reports
on content patterns and effects of the media. In terms of the popular
press, Dr. Smith’s research has been written about in The New
York Times, Los Angeles Times, fivethirtyeight.com, The
Atlantic, The Huffington Post, Newsweek, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Slate.com, Salon.com, The
Boston Globe, NPR, and USA Today, to
name a few. She has a co-edited essay in Maria Shriver’s book, A
Woman’s Nation Changes Everything (2009). Dr. Smith’s most
recent research reports include a landmark study with Sundance Institute
and Women in Film Los Angeles, a study of 700 top-grossing films
conducted at USC Annenberg, and multiple investigations with the Geena
Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Her work is also generously
supported by EPIX, The Harnisch Foundation, LUNAFEST, The Jacquelyn and
Gregory Zehner Foundation, and other individuals. To learn more, visit http://annenberg.usc.edu/mdsci or
follow on Twitter @MDSCInitiative.
Jigsaw Productions is helmed by Oscar® and Emmy® Award-winning filmmaker
Alex Gibney. Jigsaw has produced some of the most acclaimed documentary
films in recent years, including the Academy and Emmy Award-winning Taxi
to the Dark Side, the Oscar-nominated Enron: The Smartest
Guys in the Room, the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mea Maxima
Culpa: Silence in the House of God, Showtime’s Emmy-winning History
of the Eagles, the Sundance-premiering We Steal Secrets: The
Story of Wikileaks, and the explosive film about Lance Armstrong’s
long fall from grace, The Armstrong Lie. More recent Jigsaw
releases include the controversial and three-time Emmy winner Going
Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, one of the most watched
documentaries in HBO’s history, the Peabody Award-winning Mr.
Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown, the Emmy-nominated two-part
series Sinatra: All or Nothing At All for HBO, and Steve
Jobs: The Man in the Machine for CNN Films, in theaters now.
Television projects currently in production include: The New
Yorker Presents for Amazon, which adapts the venerable The
New Yorker magazine to the screen; Cooked, a
four-part food docu-series based on the award-winning Michael Pollan
book of the same name for Netflix; and the four-part Parched:
The Water Wars for National Geographic.
EPIX is a premium movie and original programming entertainment network
delivering the latest movie releases, classic film franchises, original
documentaries, comedy and music events on TV, on demand, online and on
digital devices. Launched in October 2009, EPIX has pioneered the
development and proliferation of “TV Everywhere.” It was the first
premium network to provide multi-platform access to its content online
at EPIX.com and
to launch on Xbox, PlayStation®, Android phones and tablets, and Roku®
players. EPIX is also available across Chromecast, Apple® iPhones® and
iPads®, Android TV and more and is the only premium service providing
all its programming on all platforms, delivering more movies than any
other premium network, with thousands of titles available for streaming.
EPIX is a joint venture between Viacom Inc., its Paramount Pictures
unit, Lionsgate and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM). Through
relationships with cable, satellite and telco partners, EPIX is
available to over 50 million homes nationwide. For more information
about EPIX, go to www.EPIX.com.
Follow EPIX on Twitter @EpixHD (http://www.twitter.com/EpixHD)
and on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/EPIX),
and Vine (https://vine.co/EPIX).