Oscar nominations: Only 14% of eligible film for Best Picture are directed by women

Only four female directors have been nominated in the Best Director category throughout the Oscars' history. Lina Wertmuller was the first woman nominated for the 1976 film, Seven Beauties. Jane Campion was number two for the 1993 film, The Piano, Sofia Coppola is number three for the 2003 film, Lost in Translation, and number four is the only one to make it to the podium, Kathryn Bigelow for her film The Hurt Locker. After 87 distinct awards races and ceremonies, Bigelow stands as the only female director to win Best Director or Best Picture.

There are several reasons for this most frustrating bit of Oscar trivia, but the most important one lays in the sole structure of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. There are less than 400 directors in the Academy, and while it's definitely meritorious that Kathryn Bigelow represents the Director's Branch, of 377 members, only 36 of those people are women. That's fewer than 10%.
In many articles which include Oscar predictions, Angelina Jolie is often mentioned as the only female director this year with the potential to switch up the vast gender gap. Taken into consideration all of the 305 films which are submitted this year for the Oscars, and which are waiting January 14th for the nomination announcement, there are only 43 films directed or co-directed by women, which is  14%

Out of those 14%, a large number of European female directors can be noticed. They have directed some of the best foreign language films this year, which have been widely recommended, such as Veronika Franz’s Goodnight Mommy, Celine Sciamma’s Girlhood, Denis Gamze Ergüven’s Mustang and Ivona Juka’s You Carry Me. All of those films are eligible for Oscars and they are strong contenders for the most important film award in the world.  
One may think the gender equality statistics are better overboard, but unfortunately, they are even worse. Since 1988, when the European Film Award was founded, popularly known as the European Oscar, no woman was ever awarded Best Director, nor was any movie directed by a female director awarded Best Picture.

Every year many voices unite in pointing out the inequalities in the film industry, but last season they seemed pretty loud. Ava DuVernay was pronounced snubbed – while her film “Selma” was nominated for Best Picture and Best Song, she was ignored for the Best Director award. DuVernay would have been the first black woman nominated for Best Director in Oscar history. And yet, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, herself the first black woman to gain that role, told Vulture that the Academy doesn’t have a diversity problem “at all.” The voices will surely unite this season also, but the most disappointing thing is that the industry's most powerful body sees no need to improve.

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