Spearheaded by Ormax Media and Film Companion and supported by Prime Video, the report witnessed industry-wide collaboration from multiple entities, including bodies like the Producers Guild of India and Active Telugu Film Producers Guild, streaming services like hoichoi, SonyLIV, Voot, and ZEE5, along with film leading film studios like Clean Slate Filmz, Dharma Productions, Emmay Entertainment, Excel Entertainment, Purple Pebble Pictures, RSVP and Sikhya Entertainment
From The report analyzed 150 theatrical films, streaming films, and series released in 2021 across 8 Indian languages. Findings indicate only 10% representation of women in senior roles behind the camera, as well as in corporate leadership.
Women in decision-making roles hired more women. The number of women hired to lead departments doubled when the film or series was commissioned by a woman.
Women saw a significantly lower share of talk time in promotional assets, such as trailers, with men out-speaking women by a ratio of 3:1
Streaming films and series outperformed theatrical films across all parameters, with higher contribution and representation of women on and off-screen
Media consulting firm Ormax Media and entertainment platform Film Companion today released O Womaniya! 2022,From the most definitive report on female representation in Indian entertainment. The report is supported by Prime Video, India’s most loved entertainment hub. The report highlights the on-screen and off-screen representation of women by analyzing 150 theatrical films, streaming films, and series released in 2021 across 8 Indian languages (Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi, Bengali, and Gujarati). First, the report received collaboration from multiple entities within the media and entertainment industry. This includes industry bodies like the Producers Guild of India and Active Telugu Film Producers Guild, streaming services like hoichoi, SonyLIV, Voot, and ZEE5, along with film leading film studios like Clean Slate Filmz, Dharma Productions, Emmay Entertainment, Excel Entertainment, Purple Pebble Pictures, RSVP and Sikhya Entertainment.
The report studied the representation and participation of women From three major categories – ‘content’ that included female representation on-screen and behind-the-camera, ‘marketing’ that studied female representation in promotional trailers of films and series, and ‘corporate’ that analyzed female representation in board rooms of top 25 media and entertainment firms. Key findings of the report include:
Low representation off-screen: Women have low representation behind the camera, with only 10% of head of the department (HOD) positions across key divisions (production design, writing, editing, direction, and cinematography) held by women. Out of the 56 theatrical films analyzed across languages, not even one was directed or edited by a woman. Even in media and entertainment corporate houses that are at the center of decision-making, only 10% of senior leadership roles were held by women, having a cascading effect on inclusivity through the production and execution chain. Low representation on-screen: Only 55% of the films and series passed the Bechdel Test1. Even in promotional trailers analyzed through the Trailer Talk Time Test2, women had only 25% talk time with 48 titles, even allocating 10 seconds or less to female characters. Women hire more women: The percentage of female HODs doubled when a woman greenlit a series or a film. Similarly, a higher percentage of films passed the Bechdel Test (68%), and women had higher trailer talk time (35%) if the title was commissioned by a woman.
From Streaming is driving the change: Streaming films and series performed better than theatrical films across all parameters indicating the change the sector is ushering in representation on and off-screen. For instance, the representation of female HODs in streaming films and series was five times higher than in theatrical films. Similarly, 64% of streaming series and 55% of streaming films passed the Bechdel Test, as opposed to more than half of theatrical films failing it. Likewise, streaming films and series provided more talk time to female characters in trailers, leading theatrical films by ten percentage points and 14 percentage points, respectively.
“While it’s no surprise that female representation in mainstream entertainment is low, the degree of skew, such as 10:90 on some key parameters, should be a wake-up call. While streaming titles, especially series, are more women-inclusive in on and off-screen representation, theatrical films continue to perform very poorly and, in fact, have shown no positive growth at all since the previous report, which covered content released in 2019 & 2020. We hope that this report serves as a starting point for the industry to come together and discuss ways to address the evident imbalance.”Shailesh Kapoor, Founder-CEO, Ormax Media,
“Data is essential to understanding how drastically skewed the gender equation in the Indian film industry is. O Womaniya! provides us with the starting point for discussion and debate. Starting out as an effort by Ormax Media and Film Companion, the initiative has now found resonance with the entire industry. The support that we have received from film bodies, streaming services, and studios is heartening. We will continue to build this momentum and hopefully lead the way to change.”Anupama Chopra, Founder & Editor, Film Companion,