Women Cinematographers Grant: Statistics

Women cinematographers are traditionally the most underrepresented group of technicians working  in the film industry. At 2% employment in the top 250 grossing films of 2013, women cinematographers are the least represented in a heavily male-dominated business where 2% of top films employ women as composers and SFX coordinators, 4% as sound designers, 5% as VFX coordinators, and 6% as directors.5

Historical Comparison of Percentages of Women Working on Films

Historical Comparison of Percentages of Women Working on Films (Documentaries and Narrative Features) Screening at High Profile U.S. Festivals -Center for the Study of Women in Film & Television, San Diego State University

  • Film schools in the United States have 50% male and 50% female graduates.1
  • No female director of photography has been nominated for an Academy Award.
  • The first studio film with a female director of photography was FATSO (1980).
  • The first female member of the American Society of Cinematographers, Brianne Murphy, was invited to join in 1980.
  • As of 2014, 14 of 374 members of the ASC are women, just 3.7%.2
  • From 2008-2014, an average of 11% of independent narrative and documentary features screening at major US film festivals had female cinematographers.3
  • Women comprised 7% of cinematographers working on narrative features screening at festivals in 2013-2014.3
  • Women accounted for 12% of cinematographers working on documentaries screening at festivals in 2013-2014.3
  • Women comprised 3% of directors of photography on prime-time broadcast television shows from 1997-2013.4
  • Women comprised 2% of directors of photography on all shows on broadcast networks, basic cable, pay cable, and Netflix original shows from 2012-2013.4
  • Women accounted for 3% of all cinematographers working on the top 250 domestic grossing films of 2013.5
  • 36% of the top 250 films employed 0 or 1 woman in the key roles of director, writer, executive producer, producer, editor, or cinematographer. 2% of films employed 10 to 13 women in these positions. Conversely, 1% of films employed 0 or 1 men in key roles, and 32% employed 10 to 13 men.5