Outside of the massive amounts of films ready to be devoured at the Sundance Film Festival, there were many filmmakers and stars talking about a new initiative created by the Time’s Up movement, dubbed the 4% Challenge. And in the short time since the creation of the movement, some of the biggest names in the film industry have stepped up to the plate to accept this challenge that will, hopefully, lead to more major films with female directors.
As announced in a speech by Tessa Thompson during the weekend, the 4% Challenge encourages Hollywood figures to make the declaration that over the next 18 months, they will announce a film that will be made by a female director. The title of the challenge comes from the statistic that only 4% of the directors of the 1,200 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2018 were women.
Joining Thompson in accepting the challenge are names like Nina Jacobson, Paul Feig, Amy Schumer, Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Constance Wu, Kerry Washington, Reese Witherspoon, J.J. Abrams and his production shingle Bad Robot, and Jordan Peele. Obviously, this is just a shortened list (you can find the full list, as of this writing, below).
Having a formal announcement at this year’s Sundance Film Festival seems fitting, as a recent study of the event has come back with the determination that Sundance is one of the best pipelines for female filmmakers out there. Unlike some of the other major festivals, such as Venice, the Utah event puts an emphasis on recognizing female filmmakers with a significant percentage of its submissions and selected films being made by women directors.
Here are all the names (so far) that have committed to the accepting the 4% Challenge from the Time’s Up movement:
Alex Saks and Page Fifty-Four Pictures
Amy Baer and Gidden Media
Bryce Dallas Howard
Gloria Calderón Kellett
J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot
Jess Wu Calder and Keith Calder
John Legend, Ty Stiklorius and Mike Jackson
Lucy Fisher and Doug Wick
Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson
Sarah Ann Masse
Tracee Ellis Ross
“Because only 4% of the top 100 studio films over the last DECADE have been directed by women, #TIMESUP is initiating a challenge, the 4% challenge, and I intend to take it: I commit to working with a female director in the next 18 months.” –@TessaThompson_x #TIMESUPX2 pic.twitter.com/GjsuqeryKj
— TIME'S UP (@TIMESUPNOW) January 26, 2019