Oscars Gender Gap Narrows: Women Directed Record 27% of Best Picture Contenders

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100 of the 366 films eligible for the 2021 Oscars had female directors

emerald fennell regina king chloe zhao
Emerald Fennell, Regina King and Chloé Zhao (Getty Images)

While Hollywood is still a long way from gender parity, the fight to get more women in the director’s chair hit a milestone this year: For the first time, 27% of the 366 films eligible for this year’s Academy Award for Best Picture had a female director. That’s up from last year, when 23% of eligible films had a woman as director or co-director (79 out of 344 films) — and a marked improvement from five years ago, when only 15% did. “The percentage of female-identified directors in the Oscar race is encouraging,” Kirsten Schaffer, executive director of Women in Film, told TheWrap.


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