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Film Post-International Women's Day

If you weren't on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or any other social media, you may have missed that Tuesday was International Women's Day. There were protests, there were speeches, there were important people saying important things, but, most important of all, there were Internet lists.

What would the world do without Internet lists?  How would we know what terrifying documentaries to watch or what this person learned from her pet snail? Okay, so those really condescending and sarcastic last few sentences do not reflect my real attitude toward Internet lists. I actually love them (well, most of them). I actually shared one on Twitter on International Women's Day about films directed by female filmmakers.

I wish I hadn't.

Now, let me be clear. It's not that I don't want to celebrate female filmmakers. I absolutely do. I just wish there weren't so few of them. The existence of the list I tweeted and so many others I saw on Tuesday proves that women in film are still seen as a minority in the industry, their films subcategorized as niche. There are plenty of statistics to show that this isn't getting any better, either.

What I'm writing is by no means a new revelation, nor is it unique to gender representation. There are issues with underrepresentation and marginalization for every filmmaker and character who is not a young, white male.

This scares me for my friends and me who don't fit into that category who want to make movies. In a way, it's also completely exciting. There is so much we can accomplish with our careers, and we can look back and laugh that the women before us, the pioneers, used to be a part of a subgenre instead of the norm.

It's not just the filmmakers' responsibility to change that, though. Watching movies with female protagonists and/or made by female filmmakers is something everyone can do to prove women can pull in any audience, not just those looking for the alternative and the eccentric.

Things are already changing, and we can do so much more to make the change more immediate and permanent. We are all a part of the population, and we all have a voice. Women can speak to everyone just like everybody else. It's time people know that. It's time the industry knows that.

Maybe sooner rather than later we'll no longer be names on a list.

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