Organizers of the annual ReFrame Report said Wednesday that 29 of the 100 most popular films of 2022 met the criteria to be awarded a ReFrame Stamp for gender-balanced productions, a list that includes Oscar Best Picture nominees like Sarah Polley’s Women Talking and The Daniels’ Everything Everywhere All at Once, as well as Gina Prince-Bythewood’s The Woman King and Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
The ReFrame initiative, launched in 2017 by Sundance Institute, Women in Film and IMDbPro, aims to identify and reward features that hire women or other underrepresented individuals on at least 50% of key roles including writer, director, producer, lead, co-leads and department heads. More points are awarded to productions that hire women of color in key positions, and to those with overall gender parity among their crews.
The report found that hiring levels for women in the top 100 productions (as determined by IMDb page views) continued on a flat trajectory in 2022 after seeing 66% growth from 2017 to 2018, and 35% growth from 2018 to 2019. There with no significant gains for women in key roles including directors (14%) and writers (31%) among the top 100 films in 2022, while the number of women of color hired as directors (2%) and writers (2%) both dropped year-over-year.
No non-binary or gender non-conforming people were hired as writers or directors among the top 100 films last year.
Among studios in 2022, Sony had the highest stamp rate, with 50% of their six listed releases earning the nod, followed by A24, with a 40% stamp rate. Netflix had the most entries on the top 100 list with 28 films; 11 of those earned the stamp (39% of entries).
The report found that 40.4% of films released directly to streaming services earned the stamp, while only 21.8% of films with a traditional theatrical release made the cut.
“We celebrate these new ReFrame Stamp recipients, the filmmaking teams who demonstrated a commitment to equitable hiring, and the successes of these films, which serve as a reminder that feature films can be critically well-received, beloved by audiences, and created with a commitment to inclusion,” ReFrame director Andria Wilson Mirza said Wednesday. “Our frustration lies with the stagnancy of these numbers. No more than 29% of the Top 100 films in any given year since ReFrame and IMDbPro began tracking this data in 2017 have earned the Stamp, meaning that the majority of popular titles did not meet baseline criteria for gender-balanced hiring.”
Read the full report and see the full list of 2022 stamp recipients here.