CATEGORIES Movie News
Kathryn Bigelow, director of The Hurt LockerAccording to the most recent estimates, 51 per cent of planet earth's human population is female - although this simple fact is yet to be realised in the cinema where it remains a man's world.

At least that's the finding of a recent study by the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in America who analysed the 100 biggest box office hits of 2007 - which included such blockbusters as Spider-Man 3, Transformers, I Am Legend, Knocked Up and Bourne Ultimatum - and discovered that women remain a considerable minority both on screen and behind the camera. Kathryn Bigelow, director of The Hurt LockerAccording to the most recent estimates, 51 per cent of planet earth's human population is female - although this simple fact is yet to be realised in the cinema where it remains a man's world.

At least that's the finding of a recent study by the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in America who analysed the 100 biggest box office hits of 2007 - which included such blockbusters as Spider-Man 3, Transformers, I Am Legend, Knocked Up and Bourne Ultimatum - and discovered that women remain a considerable minority both on screen and behind the camera.

The research, which was led by Professor Stacy L Smith, showed that just 29.9 per cent of the 4,379 speaking characters were female, while a staggering 83 per cent of all directors, writer and producers were male.

"Our findings show a representational roadblock for females in film," Smith told USC News. "They do not occupy 'half of the cinematic sky' - far from it. There is a dearth of females working in the movie industry no matter which way you look at the data."

The study did offer some hope for a fairer representation of the sexes. When women have influential roles in the production of a movie as writers, directors and producers the number of female actors rises from 29.3 percent to 44.6 percent.

However only three of the top 100 films of 2007 had a female director. That situation may be gradually changing with directors Hurt Locker (directed by Kathryn Bigelow) and An Education (directed by Lone Scherfig) both nominated for Best Motion Picture at next week's Academy Awards.