2019 is Shaping Up to be a Great Year for Women in Film!

April 9, 2019

Marsai Martin- at the “Black-ish” FYC Event at Disney Studios on April 28, 2018 Photo by Jean Nelson/depositphoto.com

Inclusion rider. 50/50 by 2020. TRANSform Hollywood.

These might be some buzzwords you’ve been hearing your favorite activists/celebs talking about. But what do all these terms really mean? It means that Hollywood is working to change the positions of power in the industry. Working to have the silver screen reflect the world around us. Working toward diversity, inclusivity, and intersectionality.

Specifically, 50/50 by 2020 is looking to create equality by having women and people of colour hold 50% of roles – director, producer, on screen talent, and crew positions. Maybe you’re saying, “But 2020 is only 9 months away!”. And to that we say, “Yes! But that’s OK!” Because 2019 is shaping up to be a great year for women in film.

Women at the Helm

Captain Marvel destroyed box office records, and featured two strong female leads (one being a woman of colour), but it’s still early in the year and we have so many exciting things to look forward to.

Like Mindy Kaling’s Late Night about a female talk show host  who currently holds the longest running on-air record (played by Emma Thompson), and directed by veteran Brooklyn 99 director Nisha Ganatra.

Frozen 2 is also set to come out this year, which will be co-directed by Jennifer Lee. It is one of the many films that Disney has put women at the helm of, in the hopes of having at least 40% of their films directed or co-directed by women this year.  

There’s Booksmart, directed by Olivia Wilde, about two girls graduating from high school and their attempt to cram 4 years of fun into one wild night. And who isn’t excited about Greta Gerwig’s upcoming adaptation of Little Women, one of the OG tales about strong women coming into their own.

Plus some amazing news about things in production or being completed this year. Like Marsai Martin’s Little, in which the Black-ish star will be acting as Executive Producer, earning her the record of youngest EP ever. Or the upcoming adaptation of the YA the novel The Naming Girl, which will be directed by Jennifer Phang. And two exciting movies that came out of Sundance: Knock Down the House, a political documentary directed by Rachel Lears that follows the primary campaigns of four female politicians, one of them being Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. And Blinded By The Light, the most recent feature from Bend it Like Beckham’s Gurinder Chada, about a young Muslim teen struggling to grow up in Margaret Thatcher’s London, making it through with the help of some great Bruce Springsteen tracks.

50/50 by 2020

This is just the tip of the iceberg for films directed by and heavily featuring women that we’ll be hearing about this year. These women have busted down the doors of studios, hustled on a shoestring budget, and are beginning to pave the path toward representation in Hollywood. They are demanding space for themselves now, and making space for women in the future! Proving that 50/50 by 2020 is very much attainable.

By Olivia Latta

Greta Gerwig at the 2018 BAFTA Tea Party Arrivals Photo by Jean Nelson/depositphoto.com

Learn more about Inclusion Riders here.

Learn more about TRANSform Hollywood here.

Here are some other movies directed by women to keep an eye out for:

Gloria Bell
Fast Color
Where’d you go, Bernadette?
The Sun is Also a Star
The Kitchen
Charlie’s Angels
A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood