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Where is the celluloid ceiling for female film directors in Europe? This is one of the questions investigated by the European Institute for Comparative Cultural Research (ERICarts) and its partners in its 2005 study, Culture Biz: Locating Women as Film and Book Publishing Professionals in Europe.


In the seven-year period from 1996-2003 only three per cent of the top 50 grossing films in Europe were directed by women. This figure increases to 9 per cent when US films are omitted. These figures are quite high in comparison to the fact that only four female directors have won either the Palme D’Or, the Golden Lion, the Crystal Globe or the Concha de Oro for their films in the past 30 years.

In Summer 2005 the ERICarts Institute published the results of a 15-month study on the opportunities for women to hold decision-making positions at different stages of the cultural production and distribution chain in the fields of film production and book publishing.

In-depth national studies were carried out in Austria (Mediacult), Finland (Finn-EKVIT), Germany (Zentrum für Kulturforschung-ZfKf) and Portugal (Observatorio das Actividades Culturais -OAC). The results are examined in European comparison by the ERICarts Institute.

The Culture-Biz project was funded within the framework of the European Community Programme on Gender Equality (2001-2005).

See also Culture-Gates