In Quebec, women in directing remain in the minority, even if they have made considerable progress in recent years. They mainly work with female screenwriters, also put more female characters in the lead, and feature more diverse characters on screen. But they have lower budgets averaging $ 1.7 million, which is just 63% of the average envelope given to their male colleagues.
These are the findings that emerge from the study Who films who?, produced by Anna Lupien, Anouk Bélanger and Francine Descarries in collaboration with Réalisatrices équitables, released on Tuesday.
“There are a number of reasons that films directed by women tend to have smaller budgets,” said Katherine Jerkovic, vice president of Equitable Directors, in the discussion following the study’s presentation. I think producers tend to ask for tighter budgets. Already, at the base, there is perhaps a little less ambition. “
“For producers, it represents a greater risk to choose a woman’s project with a very large budget. Because the producer will be afraid of not being able to have his money in distribution or that the film will flop. They are based on an industrial logic, ”added filmmaker Isabelle Hayeur.
From the outset, the researchers struggled to find an equal number of films made by men and by women to compare them.
Initially, they wanted to evaluate all the films released in theaters in 2019. Of the 39 films on this list, 15 were directed by women, and 24 by men. To continue their comparisons, they therefore added 10 films directed by women in 2018.
In 2011, when a similar study was carried out, only 7 out of 35 films were made by women.
A striking fact is that all the production and scriptwriting tandems of the 49 films studied are single-sex.
“All films directed by women are scripted or co-scripted by women, and all films directed by men are scripted or co-scripted by men. “
The data collected also illustrates the correspondence between what happens behind and in front of the camera. Thus, female directors have given 84% of their leading roles to women, and directors 72% of their leading roles to men.
Analysis of the works shows that the female characters staged by women have more depth than those staged by men.
Interestingly, it seems that the female directors also give depth to their male characters.
In addition, men are more likely to portray skinny or thin women, and young.
Female characters meet these criteria in 84% of cases, compared to 67% of female characters directed by female directors.
Violence also appears twice as often in films directed by men than in films directed by women.