Behind the Camera

The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative has extensively examined the representation of women and people of color behind the camera in film, as well as in TV and digital storytelling. This includes quantitative research on the employment of females and people of color, as well as qualitative studies on the barriers and opportunities facing female filmmakers as they move through their careers.

Behind the Scenes in Top-Grossing Films

2018: Inclusion in the Director's Chair?

  • Read the full report on gender, race, and age of directors across 11 years and 1,100 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2017. The study also includes an analysis of the executive and leadership ranks at major companies.

View previous reports:

Behind the Scenes in Independent Film

This series of reports includes three phases of research conducted in partnership with Sundance Institute and Women in Film Los Angeles. 

  • 2015: PDF icon Phase III examines distribution patterns of male- and female-directed films after appearing at Sundance Film Festival. Additionally, interviews with industry experts illuminate the barriers and opportunities for female filmmakers as they move from independent to top-grossing films.
  • 2014: PDF icon Phase II examines the participation of male and female filmmakers at Sundance Film Festival from 2002-2014, as well as the gender distribution of Sundance lab participants and the trajectory of male- and female-directed projects as they move from lab to screen. Further data on barriers facing female directors is presented.
  • 2013: PDF icon Phase I examines the participation of male and female filmmakers at Sundance Film Festival from 2002-2012, including data on submissions to the Festival. Additionally, qualitative data is presented from interviews with industry experts on barriers facing female directors and producers in independent film.

Behind the Scenes in Short Films

2015: PDF icon Gender & Short Films: Emerging Female Filmmakers and the Barriers Surrounding their Careers 

  • An analysis of director gender at 10 top worldwide festivals, barriers facing female filmmakers, and the content of 115 short films screened at LUNAFEST. Report prepared for LUNAFEST film festival.

Behind the Scenes in Other Reports

The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative also includes behind the camera analyses in our annual reports on top-grossing films, as well as other projects examining on-screen content. 

2018: Inequality in 1,100 Popular Films

  • Annual report on top-grossing film. Includes data on employment patterns of females (directors, writers, producers, and composers) and hiring of Black and Asian directors (2007-2017).

View previous reports:

2014-15: PDF icon Inclusion or Invisibility? The Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity (CARD) PDF icon Full Report)

  • Report examines film, television, and digital content. The study ranks companies based on inclusivity on screen and behind-the camera.

2014:  PDF icon Gender Bias Without Borders  PDF icon (Full Report) 

  • An investigation of female characters in popular films from 11 countries. Report prepared for the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

2010: PDF icon Gender Representation 1977-2010

  • Females on screen and behind-the-camera in Best Picture nominees.

2006: PDF icon Gender Representation 1977-2006

  • Females on screen and behind-the-camera in Best Picture nominees.