Brow Beat

Three Sundance Filmmakers on Why There Aren’t More Women Behind the Camera

Check out all Slate’s interviews from the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

This year’s Sundance Film Festival saw the emergence of a strong crop of new movies centered around women, many of them with women both in front of and behind the camera. Among the directors who made a splash were Kris Swanberg (Unexpected), Crystal Moselle (U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize-winner The Wolfpack), and Chloé Zhao (Songs My Brothers Taught Me), and we sat down with them to talk about their experiences working on their movies and why there aren’t more women in the director’s chair in Hollywood. According to a study put out by San Diego State University in January, among the top-earning movies, only 7 percent are directed by women.

In part one of our roundtable, they discussed the relative lack of female-directed movies in the film canon, and whether critics and teachers should consciously seek out more women’s voices. Their answer might surprise you:

We also discussed Ava DuVernay’s snub at this year’s Academy Awards, as well as the possible benefits of being a woman in the industry:

They discussed whether they think it’s important to mentor and network with other women in the film industry:

Finally, we opened the discussion by discussing what might be at the root of the problem and whether they feel pressure to tell stories from a “female perspective”:

Slate Sessions video edited by Anne Marie Lindemann. Interview booked by Raquel Bruno. Executive produced by Ayana Morali.