Film

EPIX to air “The 4%: Film’s Gender Problem,” focusing on Hollywood’s gender inequality

EPIX confirmed the premiere date for “The 4%: Film’s Gender Problem,” the new original series consisting of 6 Short Documentaries focusing on gender inequality in Hollywood. The six-part series will debut on March 8, 2016 to coincide with International Women’s Day.

The 6 shorts will air on the network and across all EPIX platforms and will run throughout the month, which also happens to be Women’s History Month. The first short will be presented at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival’s “Women at Sundance Brunch” on January 25.

Produced by Alex Gibney’s award-winning Jigsaw Productions (Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, Taxi To the Darkside, Enron: Smartest Men In the Room), the series spotlights directors and creative personalities – both women and men – who share first-person insights, questions and anecdotes about the role of women in Hollywood.

Participants include: Judd Apatow, Joe Arcidiacono, Lake Bell, Amy Berg, Patricia Clarkson, Toni Collette, Jonathan Dayton, Julie Delpy, Valerie Faris, Paul Feig, America Ferrera, James Franco, Donna Gigliotti, Geoffrey Gilmore, Debra Granik, Catherine Hardwicke, Mary Harron, Amy Heckerling, Dawn Hudson, Anjelica Huston, Vicky Jenson, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Rebecca Keegan, Jon Kilik, Ellen Kuras, Mimi Leder, Franklin Leonard, Tina Mabry, Victoria Mahoney, Michael Mann, Lori McCreary, Mo’Nique, Michael Moore, Rachel Morrison, Mira Nair, Amanda Peet, Kimberly Peirce, Keri Putnam, Pamela Romanowsky, Cathy Schulman, A.O. Scott, Melissa Silverstein, Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Jill Soloway, Anne Sweeney, Anne Thompson, Rosemarie Troche, Christine Vachon, Mandy Walker and Kristen Wiig.

The series is informed by research conducted by USC Annenberg’s Dr. Stacy L. Smith, a renowned expert in the field, and which was supported by Women in Film Los Angeles and Sundance Institute. The series also has the support of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender In Media and Meryl Streep.

According to a multi-year study led by Dr. Stacy L. Smith and conducted by the USC Annenberg Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative, across 1,300 top-grossing films from 2002 to 2014, only 4.1% of all directors were female. This calculates into a gender ratio of 23.3 male directors to every 1 female director.

Each film will focus on a different theme, with segments varying in tone – from thoughtful, to controversial, to funny, sometimes all at once.

Mark S. Greenberg, President and CEO, EPIX, said, “EPIX has supported Stacy’s research for years and these shorts offer a richer, more authentic portrayal about the role of women and girls in media today. Support for this project has also brought together the talented Alex Gibney, and a prestigious list of some of the most gifted artists and creatives from the worlds of entertainment and the arts. Our objective is to help provide a forum for the discussion of ideas and potential solutions, as we collectively work towards closing the gap that exists today.”

Dr. Stacy L. Smith, the Initiative’s Founder and Director and lead researcher on the investigation, said, “The series offers an opportunity for a national audience to hear from the entertainment industry directly about the issues women face both as filmmakers and in other creative roles. My research is clear: females face a very real fiscal cliff as they pursue work at the highest echelons of this industry. I am proud that my research is associated with a team and a network that cares about female filmmakers and creating systemic change.”

Only four women have been nominated for a Best Director Oscar in the past 85 years, with only one winner among them.

“THE 4%: FILM’S GENDER PROBLEM points to the fact there is an undeniably gaping disparity in Hollywood. It’s one that many – including those in Hollywood and at the ACLU and EEOC – believe needs to change. What better way to draw attention to the issue than to have some of the business’ most recognizable voices come together in support of more diversity in making movies,” notes director Caroline Suh. “I’m very happy that the project found a partner in Jigsaw, a company known for its activism in exploring human rights violations and the abuse of power. Jigsaw is an amazing group of diverse yet like-minded people whom I’ve loved working with. Further pleased to be working with the support of EPIX, led by Mark Greenberg, who has been committed to these issues for a long time. There’s also a great team of executives and production people who have rallied around the cause.”

THE 4%: FILM’S GENDER PROBLEM is a series of EPIX Original short documentary films produced by Jigsaw Productions. Caroline Suh is the director and Erika Frankel is the producer. Executive Producers are Stacey Offman, Laura Michalchyshyn, Lynne Kirby, Caroline Suh, Betsy West and Alex Gibney. Jocelyn Diaz, Ross Bernard and Jill Burkhart are Executive Producers for EPIX.