Check out this story – Festival Producer Melissa Silverstein and Athena Award Winner Nancy Schreiber are included

Women still a rarity in top film jobs

One reason that the number of women working in film hasn’t increased more quickly may be the fee-for-hire system used to staff movies, said Melissa Silverstein, co-founder of the Athena Film Festival, which opens Feb. 10 in New York City with the theme of celebrating women’s leadership in film.

“Directors, writers — they’re technically not employees of the movie studios,” said Silverstein. “So the studios keep no statistics, except of course for counting box office.” And without statistics, there’s no urgency to change, Silverstein said.

The film category where women are scarcest is cinematography; women shot just 2% of films in the study. “We used to think it would get a lot easier for women,” said Nancy Schreiber, who shot the recently released Helen Hunt and Liev Schreiber movie “Every Day.” “But things are changing much more slowly than I ever anticipated.”

Being a rarity, Schreiber said, adds extra stress to an already pressured career path. “As a cinematographer, you’re running the set, the camera, grip, electrical departments. We cannot make mistakes, ’cause it reflects on every other woman.”

“If this were a Fortune 500 company and they looked at these statistics, they would have a diversity committee working on this immediately,” she said. “How could you have a company in the 21st century and less than 10% of its leaders are women?”