Natalie Portman caught everyone off-guard at the Golden Globes earlier this month when she threw some shade while presenting an award. “Here are the all-male nominees,” she said, before reading off the list of those in contention for Best Director.
The only woman to ever win the award before was Barbra Streisand for the film Yentl, and that was 34 years ago. Meanwhile, at the more prestigious Academy Awards, only one woman has taken home the award for Best Director, and that was Katheryn Bigelow, nine years ago, for The Hurt Locker. The only way to get these numbers up is for women to have more opportunities to make more types of movies. Just 4.2% of the 100 top-grossing American films are made by female directors, a statistic that has remained static for too long. This disparity may be changing, however, as more people are drawing attention to it. At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, movies directed by women are at an all-time high of 38%–a slight increase over last year’s 36%, and a big uptick on the average 25% of films between 2002 and 2013. Hopefully, the films that studios actually release this year will be more reflective of the upward trend than in years past.