Lab Femmes de Cinéma: Italy Remains Among the Least Number of Female Film Directors

 Less than one out of six film directors in Italy is a woman, compared to around one out of three in Austria, Sweden, or Norway. The only country in Europe having fewer female film directors than Italy is Bulgaria (15% compared to 14%) overviewing 30 European countries, in which statistics were gathered by Lab Femmes de Cinéma study partner European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO). Comparing the number of feature films produced between 2018 and 2023, the French organization Lab Femmes de Cinéma reveals that despite a new film law that was adopted in Italy in 2016 and extended in 2021 to financially more prominently support women filmmakers, the women situation in the film industry in Italy improved only slightly.

Between 2019 and 2022 in documentary filmmaking women have risen from 17% to 25% of film directors, and from 11% to 13% in feature-length fiction films. Currently, statistical data is not officially available for the gender balance in other film professions, such as cinematographers, composers, sound designers, or editors. There are no official figures for non-binary people in these key positions in the film industry in Italy.

The Trieste Film Festival translated into Italian a study on the role and position of women directors in Europe produced by the Lab Femmes de Cinéma, a French think tank dealing with equality and diversity in the film and audiovisual industry. The study, made available on the website, is drafted and updated annually and follows the evolution of the policies implemented by the different European countries.

“The countries with the best gender equality in the film industry, for instance, Iceland with 37% of female film directors, are those that adopted the most ambitious and multidisciplinary policies to promote greater equality in cinema some years ago. Despite Italy making a lot of efforts in recent years, at this pace, equality is at least five decades away”, commented Fabienne Silvestre, Director of the Lab Femmes de Cinéma.

“The TSFF supports gender equality through its programme and through a number of targeted actions, including a focus that we dedicate each year to European female directors, “Wild Roses”, a tribute to female talent and creativity, choosing a different European country each year. It is our intention to encourage other film festivals and other cultural realities similar to ours to use and disseminate the study produced by Lab Femmes de Cinéma, in order to continue networking on common initiatives in which we are committed to supporting gender equality in the Italian audiovisual industry in an effective and constant way,’ commented Nicoletta Romeo, Artistic Director of the Trieste Film Festival.

According to the data by the Lab Femmes de Cinéma, the glass ceiling for women filmmakers still exists in European countries. Based on findings from 18 countries, quite an equal number of women and men graduate from film schools, but less than a quarter of women make it to the first or second feature film, and only 1 out of 6 women directs the third feature film. Also, only several national film centers revealed measures to improve the situation of black and non-binary filmmakers in 2023.

The annual study is conducted in collaboration with the European Audiovisual Observatory (OEA) and the European Film Agency Directors Association (EFAD), with the support of the French Ministry of Culture and the National Film Centre (CNC).
The study was translated into French, English, Italian, Lithuanian and Serbian thanks to the support of the Moving Images – Open Borders (MIOB) network.

LAB STUDY (in english)

SYNTHESIS (in english)

More information:
(the study is available in English, French, Serbian, Lithuanian and Italian) 

Lise Perottet
Lab Femmes de Cinéma
General Coordinator of the Lab Femmes de Cinéma
+337 504 99567

Goda Januškevičiūtė 
Moving Images – Open Borders (MIOB)
Head of Communications
+370 610 34427  

Carolina Stera
Moving Images – Open Borders (MIOB)
Project Manage+39 040 3476076 

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