Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness.
Of the 512 Best Picture nominees in Oscar history, only eleven were directed or co-directed by women. Only four women have been nominated for Best Director in 86 years. The first was Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties (1976); her film was not nominated for Best Picture. The first three women to have their films nominated for Best Picture - Randa Haines for Children of a Lesser God (1986), Penny Marshall for Awakenings (1990) and Barbra Streisand for The Prince of Tides (1991) - were not nominated for Best Director. The first film directed by a woman to be nominated for Best Picture *and* Best Director was The Piano (1993), directed by Jane Campion. It would take another ten years for a film directed by a woman to be nominated again - Lost In Translation (2003) by Sofia Coppola, who was also the youngest woman to direct a nominated film (she was 32 at the time). The first - and so far only - woman to win the Best Director award is Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker (2009). She is also the only female director to have two films be nominated for Best Picture, the second being Zero Dark Thirty (2012). One woman - Valerie Faris - has co-directed (with Jonathan Dayton) a film to a Best Picture nomination, for Little Miss Sunshine (2006). Lone Scherfig is the first - and so far only - European woman to direct a film nominated for Best Picture, for An Education (2009). The only LGBTQ woman to direct a film nominated for Best Picture is Lisa Cholodenko for The Kids Are All Right (2010). Debra Granik was nominated for her screenplay, but not for her work as director for Best Picture nominee Winter’s Bone (2010). In the 86 years of Oscar history, there have only been two years when multiple films directed by women were nominated for Best Picture: 2009 and 2010.
“To the people clinging to the notion that female-led pictures are a niche genre, people see them! They make money! The world is round, people!” - Cate Blanchett
Oscar nominees Best Animated Feature 2014
Earlier today this article was brought to my attention, in which it becomes clear that some of the Academy voters have little to no respect for the animation industry. They openly admit not having watched the nominated films and/or claiming that animated films are for kids, so they didn’t vote. Even the ones shown in the article that did vote barely motivated their choice.
I find this extremely disrespectful of the animators who poured their heart and soul into making these movies, only to have their work be pushed aside without a second glance by the judges of one of the most prominent and well known film awards out there. As an aspiring animator, I am deeply insulted.
Please note that in this post I am expressing no opinion on whether Frozen should have won or not. I think it’s a wonderful film, just as all the other nominees. I am simply saying that we deserve better.
What they did is disrespectful to the creators of every single one of these films, even Frozen. By barely motivating their choice, they make it look like they voted for Frozen simply because of Disney’s status in the industry. Because it’s Disney, and it made a lot of money, so it had to be at least somewhat good. To me it seems like some of the voters just defaulted to voting for the Disney film, and nobody likes to win by default.
Don’t get me wrong, I too have been guilty of loving Disney simply because it’s Disney, but there is so much more beautiful animation out there and it deserves to be taken into consideration. And if Frozen won, it should have won because the majority of the voters thought it was the best film, not because part of the voters was too lazy to even watch the nominated films.