20th Century Fox hits back at diversity critics with drive for more female directors

Film studio 20th Century Fox has teamed up with the American Film Institute for a push to find unearth more women to direct major movies. The film company wants female directors to make short films based on its franchises, which include the X-Men, Alien and Die Hard series. It hopes the initiative will give the film-makers, who will be graduates selected from the AFI’s conservatory, the chance to showcase their talents. It has promised that at least one of the films will get made. “We’re excited to offer these to talented women film-makers who then can build upon this practical work experience,” said CEO Stacey Snider.

The dearth of female directors is not a matter of passion or talent. Instead, it’s often a question of access and resources.

20th Century Fox CEO Stacey Snider

The scheme comes as Hollywood faces increasing criticism about the lack of opportunities for women and ethnic minorities. Figures show that just 4.1% of the directors of the top films of the past eight years were women. They are also far less likely to direct big budget films. AFI president and chief executive Bob Gazzale said: “AFI believes that the future of this American art form is a true symphony of voices. We have been committed to this issue from our founding and we look forward to this landmark collaboration with Fox to impact the art and entertainment landscape in a profound way.”