The #4PercentChallenge

Ahh, Academy Award season: It’s this time of the year where film buffs discuss and debate the Academy’s choices of nominations. The 91st Academy Awards had a lot of snubs from First Man not being nominated for Best Sound Mixing to Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Not being nominated for Best Documentary Feature. However, personally, I thought one of the biggest snubs was not nominating a woman director. Until a friend said to me, “no offense, but what woman director made something worthy of a nomination?” Of course, I went to the internet to prove my friend wrong. But after doing some research, I found that “over the last decade only 4% of the top 1,200 studio films were directed by women.” But thanks to the TIME’S UP movement and Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, they are trying to change that statistic.

On Sunday, January 25th at the Sundance Film Festival, actress Tessa Thompson formally launched the TIME'S UP and the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, #4PercentChallenge, committing to announce a project with one female director in the next 18 months: 

So far,  Universal Studios, MGM Studios, and STX Entertainment have been the only major studios to accept the 4PercentChallenge. But, other figures in the film industry who have voiced their support for the challenge include actors Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Constance Wu, Janet Mock, Kerry Washington, Reese Witherspoon and directors J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele.

One of my over-reaching dreams is to win an Academy Award someday. But in the 90-year history of Academy Awards, only five women have ever even been nominated for Best Director. Of course, Kathryn Bigelow has been the only one to win Best Director for The Hurt Locker in 2010.

Franklin Leonard, founder of the BLKLST tweeted: "If your favorite Hollywood actor or producer hasn't committed to work with a female director on a feature film in the next 18 months, ask them why not?"

So if you and your friends haven’t paid to see a movie directed by a woman in the last 18 months, I am going to ask you the same question. Why not?