An Actress's Thoughts

And the Oscar 2013 goes to …

The Academy Awards 2013

In the night of February 24 this year’s Academy Awards (“Oscars”) were announced. Today let’s have at look at the nominees for Best Picture.

Best Picture

For all who like me weren’t quite sure about the regulations for nominating a film, here’s a brief recap of the procedure (based on Wikipedia): Feature films can be proposed for the preselection, if they played between January 1 to  December 31 2012, at least seven consecutive days, in a public cinema for money, in Los Angelese County, California.  Then there is a vote among the 6000 or so members of the Academy. All (5 to 10) films that get at least 5 % of this vote, are then nominated. For 2012 – i.e. the Oscars 2013 – there were nine nominees. Here they are in alphabetical order:

1. Amour, 2. Argo, 3. Beasts of the South, 4. Django Unchained, 5. Les Misérables, 6. Life of Pi, 7. Lincoln, 8. Silver Lining Playbook, 9. Zero Dark Thirty.

I compared – like I did already for the competition of the Berlinale 2013 – six departments for these 9 films: direction, script, producer, cinematography, sound and editing (6-departments-check).Oscars13

Figure A shows the share of women in these six departments for the whole of the 9 nominees. No woman was responsible for cinematography or sound in any of the 9 films. The highest values (and please note: the vertical axis only goes up to 50 %) is found among the producers (7 female and 21 male) and editors (3 female and 11 male). Overall there are 12 women and 85 men involved, and just one female director and one female co-author on a script.

Figure B shows the nine films and their individual share of women in the core teams. Twice two films stand out prominently. The two films without any women are Argo (winning the oscar in this category as well as an award for best adapted script and best editing) and Life of Pi (this one won the most Oscars in 2013, 4 overall: for best director, best cinematography, best original score and best visual effects).

The two films with the highest female quota are the european production Amour (3 out of 10 = 30 %) and Zero Dark Thirty (3 out of 9 = 33 %), the latter being the only film directed by a woman, Kathryn Bigelow.

I wish for a bigger involvement of women in US-film productions in 2013 and the years to come, and also  I wish for much less  coverage of women’s dresses at the Academy Awards Ceremony.

Actresses, female directors, cinematographers, editors, producers, singers etc. are primarily filmmakers, not dummies for evening gowns.