Stars join 4% Challenge

Hammer, Witherspoon, Feig among stars pledging to make film with female director

by Amber Wilkinson

The latest initiative to increase the number of films made by female directors has been launched at Sundance.

The #4percentchallenge calls on industry leaders to commit to announcing a project with one female director in the next 18 months.

So far, stars including Armie Hammer, Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon have taken up the pledge. Others signed up include Brie Larson, Amy Schumer, Jordan Peele and JJ Abrams.

The project - by Time's Up and the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative - is so named because over the past decade only four per cent of the top 1,200 studio films were directed by women.

Nina Jacobson, Paul Feig, Amy Schumer, Angela Robinson and Franklin Leonard kicked off a wave of commitments during a panel discussion and Tessa Thompson officially inaugurated the challenge during a keynote address at the festival.

Time Up say studies show women-directed films are more inclusive in terms of girls and women on screen, female characters 40 years of age and older and underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. Women directors also hire other women in key behind-the-camera roles.

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