13 May SEX, LIES AND WHY WE NEED FEMALE-LED FILMS
Producers looking for the next hit and want a piece of the exploding China market should be making more female-led films.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
In the article, Why Female-Led Movies Are Important it said that “Our perception shapes our reality. When women are portrayed as weak or unintelligent, this does not only affect girls. People of all ages and genders are led to believe that that is how a woman truly is, resulting in a lack of self-respect and respect for others.”
2018 saw the explosion of the #MeToo movement which highlighted the ongoing harassment and barriers women (and some men) faced in getting ahead – especially in the entertainment industry.
WOMEN ON SCREEN
Do women play presidents? CEO’s? Hardly.
In the article How Media Portrayal Affects Women, And What Geena Davis Is Doing About It, academy award-winning actress, Geena Davis discussed the lack of strong roles for women. She said, “…instead, the woman has often been the girlfriend or the wife of the lead character. This was sending a message to everyone in society that women had less value.” She also encourages the public to tweet on their hashtag #StrengthHasNoGender.
BUT IT’S ONLY A MOVIE. RIGHT?
Media surrounds us 24/7. According to one study, American teens spend an average of 9 hours a day using media. The US is pushing for women to enter STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Medicine) but without much success. The media could be a negative influence on little girls who are not motivated to follow this path.
The article said “Less than one-sixth (16.3%) in family films and slightly over one-fifth (21.1%) of STEM characters were women. What people see in movies and television can influence the careers they choose and acceptance of people in certain roles.”
ARE WE MAKING PROGRESS?
The article 2017 Had Even Fewer Female Protagonists Onscreen Than 2016, New Study Finds reported that “The numbers do not yet reflect claims of a tectonic or massive shift in the film industry. Women accounted for just 24 percent of protagonists in the 100 top-grossing films of 2017, – a drop of five percent from 2016.”
ATTRACTING THE ASIAN AUDIENCE
Since diverse casts have proven to attract a wider audience, producers now have the added incentive of putting more women in leading roles – the Asian audience. Asians go to the movies more than Caucasians. The article MPAA Report Says Non-White Audiences are Growing, While Women Drive Blockbusters reported on changing demographics. It said, “In a dramatic turn for the North American theater attendance, among frequent moviegoers, the number of Caucasians declined while Asian/Other and African-American audiences went up.”
Besides the fact that women make up more than 50% of the population, there’s now an added incentive to produce more female-led films – China. The article Chinese Box Office Growth Driven by Women and Millennials reported on Chinese cinema consumption trends. It stated that Chinese domestic film consumption was “…primarily driven by females, Millennials and repeat viewing, with an astonishing per head spending of several hundred dollars per month at the multiplex.”
WHAT DO WOMEN WANT?
Besides adding more women in leading roles – what do women want to see on screen? The article China’s Hollywood Courts Women Moviegoers said “For years, movies in China were targeted mainly to male audiences. Now, Chinese movie studios are making more female-friendly films, aiming marketing campaigns directly at women—and competing to cash in on the appeal of young, male heartthrobs.”
THE ROLE OF WRITERS
Besides increasing female-led films – producers would be smart to hire more female writers. In the article mentioned above How Media Portrayal Affects Women, And What Geena Davis Is Doing About It it said “One factor that increased the number of prominent female characters: female writers and directors. Women comprised 45 percent of protagonists in films with at least one woman writer and/or director, but just 20 percent of protagonists in movies written and directed exclusively by men.”
UPCOMING FEMALE-LED FILMS
Check out the upcoming female-led films from this link Here’s Every Upcoming Action Movie With a Female Lead
Do you agree more female writers will increase prominent female roles? Leave your reply in the comments.