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A panel discussion at The Sundance Film Festival brought forth an exciting initiative which hopes to narrow Hollywood’s pervasive gender gap, Deadline reports. In a speech, Tessa Thompson announced the 4% Challenge, which encourages filmmakers to commit to working with women directors, especially women of color, within 18 months. 

Dr. Stacy L. Smith of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative disclosed that many high-profile leaders in the industry have already agreed to the challenge, including Franklin Leonard, Nina Jacobson, Angela Robinson, Amy Schumer and Paul Feig. Many more celebrities have taken to Twitter to announce their support. 

According to a study conducted by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, from 2007 to 2018, only 4% of 1,200 top grossing films were directed by women. In an effort to increase this unfortunate but unsurprising statistic, the Inclusion Initiative as well as Time’s Up launched the 4% Challenge. The list of participants keeps growing and can be viewed on the organization’s website. While the lasting effects of the challenge are yet to be determined, it will be exciting to see the work from women creators as a result of the commitment from industry leaders who have agreed to the initiative.

Top photo: Sorry To Bother You (2018)

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