Film directors: mostly white men

April 30, 1992|By Knight-Ridder Newspapers

Despite inroads made by Barbra Streisand, Martha Coolidge, Penelope Spheeris, John Singleton, Ernest Dickerson and Edward James Olmos, a new study by the Directors Guild of America confirms what many women and minority filmmakers have been saying for years: Movie-directing is a white man's game.

The report finds that while the total days female directors were employed increased from 3 percent of all the work done by guild members in 1983 to 8 percent in 1991, employment of DGA minority directors fell from 5 percent in 1983 to 3 percent last year.

It's a "discouraging" trend, acknowledged Warren Adler, the group's Western executive secretary and affirmative-action officer.

Of the guild's 9,759 members, 1,875 are women, 260 are African American and 167 are Latino.

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More on the "Son of the Pink Panther" front: Yes, Blake Edwards has been given the go-ahead for a sequel to the popular Peter Sellers series. And he's signed Italian actor Roberto Benigni, who played the hapless, non-English-speaking convict in Jim Jarmusch's "Down by Law," to star in the role of Inspector Clouseau's illegitimate offspring.

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"Rising Sun," Michael Crichton's best-selling mystery-thriller, which pits Los Angeles cops against Southern California's Japanese business community, is heading for the screen with Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes on board and Philip Kaufman ("Henry & June") set to direct. Shooting is slated for June or early July.

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