AFI and 20th Century Fox Team Up To Boost Female Directors


At this point, through multitudinous pieces of research and multiple in-depth studies, it’s pretty clear that women are being shut out of directing jobs at the big studios. Now it’s time for the studios and those in charge to do something about it.

20th Century Fox and AFI (the American Film Institute) are teaming up for an initiative to increase the number of female directors working on studio films, The Hollywood Reporter writes.

Graduates of AFI’s Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women will have the opportunity to direct short films based on the studio’s franchises. Films like “Alien,” “Independence Day,” and “Planet of the Apes” will be included to give female filmmakers an opportunity to showcase action and sci-fi chops, which often go underrepresented. This way, the alums will have samples of their work in these genres, which make up some of the larger studios’ biggest properties.

“The dearth of female directors is not a matter of passion or talent,” said 20th Century Fox CEO Stacey Snider, who made the announcement today. “Instead, it’s often a question of access and resources. We’re excited to offer these to talented women filmmakers, who then can build upon this practical work experience.”

“AFI believes that the future of this American art form is a true symphony of voices. We have been committed to this issue from our founding, and we look forward to this landmark collaboration with Fox to impact the art and entertainment landscape in a profound way,” added AFI president Bob Gazzle.

As THR reports, “Thirty-five to 50 graduates will be selected for an introduction to the terms of the initiative. Ten finalists will be chosen to present their pitches to Fox, at which point one or more filmmakers will be picked to make their concepts into short films.”

This is a good acknowledgement by 20th Century Fox (a studio, if you recall, that didn’t have any female directors on its slate through 2018) and AFI, but let’s not only remake old films. Let’s give women the opportunities to tell original stories and get paid for them.

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