Skip to main site content.
Agnieszka Holland. (Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Glass ceiling

Oscar-nominated film director Agnieszka Holland says TV industry is “friendlier to women”

By WITW Staff on April 14, 2016

Polish director Agnieszka Holland, whose work has twice been nominated for an Oscar, described the film industry as a “boys club” during an interview at the British Film Institute Southbank in London. Holland told the Guardian’s Mark Lawson that women working in cinema struggle because the profession is “difficult to combine with a family life.” She also asserted that executives “don’t believe women have the capacity to make blockbusters,” and as a result face more pressure to succeed than male directors. When male-directed films flop, Holland noted, the industry is quick to forgive them; women, on the other hand, can spend “five years in [industry] hell after just one failure.”

Holland’s 1990 film Europa was nominated for the best adapted screenplay Oscar and took home the 1991 Golden Globe for best foreign language film. She received a second Oscar nomination for her 2011 WWII drama In Darkness. Despite these successes, Holland said that she feels more comfortable working in the television industry because it is friendlier to women. Holland has directed episodes of Netflix’s House of Cards and HBO’s The Wire. She was also chosen over Spike Lee to direct the pilot episode of HBO’s Treme.

Holland’s grievances with the film industry are reflected in a recent study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, which found that women directed just seven percent of Hollywood’s top 250 films in 2014.

Read the full story at The Guardian.