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Greta Gerwig discusses amount of women directors
Via YouTube

Greta Gerwig: number of women directors is ‘still not where it needs to be’

Speaking at the Oscars luncheon, the filmmaker discussed her hope to see more women working in the industry

Despite there being a number of incredible films directed by women this year, when the Academy announced its nominations for Best Director, it was unsurprisingly: men, men, men, men, men. Now, speaking at the Oscars luncheon, Greta Gerwig has said that the number of women directors is “still not where it needs to be”. 

Similarly snubbed at the Golden Globes – where the list of nominees were also all men – for her beautiful adaptation of Little Women, Gerwig previously said: “There’s so much beautiful work by women this year that you’d love to see it acknowledged by anyone who has trophies to give out. You hope that they give them to some ladies.”

In her new speech, filmed by the Associated Press, the director turned her attention away from accolades, instead addressing the lack of women in the film industry more widely. “The thing I am relentlessly focused on, and the thing that I care about most is… to get that next at bat,” Gerwig said. “That’s the only thing I can do and can control. You want to see the work honored, but at the same time you need to get the numbers (of women directors up) overall.”

The Lady Bird director continued: “I think the best year, according to the Annenberg Study, was this past year, and it’s looking to be even better next year for female directors – and it’s still under 20 per cent! It’s still not where it needs to be.”

Discussing female role models, Gerwig added: “It’s not that I necessarily needed to know that there were women who did it to know that I could do it, but it certainly helps when you’re imagining possibilities for yourself. So, when I think about the kids who are 15 right now, I’m like, ‘you’re going to have a whole different view of who a storyteller is’, and that’s very exciting for that generation.” 

Gerwig’s Little Women was released in December 2019 to widespread critical acclaim, scooping six nominations at the Oscars – including Saoirse Ronan for Best Actress and Florence Pugh for Best Supporting Actress – and two at the Golden Globes. 

Speaking in conversation with Ronan – her on-screen daughter – for Dazed in November, Laura Dern said: “It was so interesting to watch Greta be an incredibly clear visionary in terms of what she wanted (with Little Women). She was very precise.”

Even though Gerwig missed out on her deserved Best Director nomination, here’s hoping she’ll go to the Oscars anyway and eat all the soup again.