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European film and TV-business need more women

European film and TV-business need more women

There is still an obvious gender gap in the European film and TV-series business, a yearbook 2020/2021 from the European Audiovisual Observatory shows.

Women are still a minority among directors and screenwriters. Overall, women only represented 22% of directors having made at least one European feature film between 2015 and 2018.

In TV fiction, female directors accounted for an even smaller share (19%) of all directors. Instead, women’s presence was higher among screenwriters, where they represented 25% of active professionals in film and 34% in TV fiction.

Among feature films written by at least one female screenwriter, 67% were co-written, in most cases (87%) together with at least one male colleague.


“Therefore, only 18% of the feature films were directed by a female driven team, in other words by a majority of female professionals in the role of director. This share was lower (14%) for episodes of TV fiction series. Among screenwriters, the share of works written by female-driven teams was 17% for films and 21% for TV fiction.”

In all groups, the share of female professionals has remained comparatively stable over the timeframe analysed, the report said. Documentary is the film genre with the highest share of titles by female-driven teams, both looking at teams of directors (25%) and screenwriters (25%)

For each job category, and in both film and TV fiction, the Observatory also looked at average female presence based on the gender ratio of all the professionals involved in each film or TV episode. Among directors, the average female presence was 20% for feature films and 15% for TV fiction; and among screenwriters, the results were 24% for feature films and 31% for TV fiction.


In all groups, female professionals were slightly less active compared to their male counterparts. Between 2015 and 2018, 91% of female directors only worked on one single film, compared to 86% for male directors. On average, women directed seven fiction series episodes, compared to nine episodes for men.

On average, women worked in teams with other colleagues more often than men and were proportionally more likely to work in gender-mixed teams, a pattern that can be detected across all sub-groups analysed, the report says.

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