IMDB Gets F-Rated

by Thea Voutiritsas

By unbekanntAmazon.com, Inc. (http://www.imdb.com/) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This year, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), added the F-Rating classification to their site. An F-Rating is applied to all films which are directed by women and/or written by women, and/or have significant women on screen. If a film has all three, it receives a TRIPLE F-Rating. The F-Rating system was develoepd by Holly Tarquini, executive Director of the Bath Film Festival.  It was inspired by the Bechdel test, which asks whether a work of fiction features at least two women or girls who talk about something other than a male. The differences in the F-Rating scale and the Bechdel test show how far women have come in film and media arts, however, they also show how much farther we have to go. In the top 250 films of 2015, women made up only 3.6% of all directors, 4.4% of all writers, and 10.4% of all producers.

The stories we see on screen need to be told by a broad spectrum of people to represent our diverse culture. Without change, we will train the next generation to only recognise white males as the protagonists and the ones in control of the cameras, scripts and budgets. As well as equality on screen and behind the camera, more female film critics from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities need to be welcomed into the industry so that opinion and feedback is balanced. The gender pay gap is also evident in the industry. By helping women gain recognition we can empower them to negotiate the contracts and salaries they deserve and help close the gap.

-The F-Rated Team

IMDB has attached the F-Rating to more than 22,000 films in its database. 81 films have received the TRIPLE F-Rating so far, including Clueless, Belle, My Brilliant Career, and The Zookeeper’s Wife. Users can also narrow the search by looking for only women-directed titles, or films with a female protagonist. That’s an F-YEAH for Feminism!