Film Forward

This New Movie Rating System Is Trying To 'ReFrame' The Way You See Diversity In Film

Did your favorite get the stamp of approval?

The ways we watch TV and movies have evolved, and it's time for the talent in front of and behind the camera to do the same. Film Forward speaks on the initiatives to diversify the film industry and the stories it tells. New articles premiere every second Thursday of — and throughout — the month.

There's a new rating system in Hollywood trying to change the way we think about inclusion in movies. With the ReFrame Stamp, we now have a means of recognizing projects that hire women in at least half of key roles in front of and behind the camera. If you're looking for where to spend your money, we now know the first batch of films that attained this distinction.


The key roles taken into consideration range from behind-the-scenes gigs — such as writer, director, producer, department heads, and crews — as well as those more in the spotlight, like leads, co-leads, and speaking roles. Extra points are given for hiring women of color. Using data from IMDbPro, ReFrame determined which of the 100 top-grossing films in the U.S. of 2017 made the cut, with plans to announce TV shows later this year.

In the end, a dozen movies — ranging from Oscar nominees to family films — qualify:

Everything, Everything
Girls Trip
Home Again
Lady Bird
My Little Pony: The Movie
Pitch Perfect 3

The Post
The Shape of Water
Smurfs: The Lost Village
Wonder Woman

"Through this collaboration we are committed to cultivating a more inclusive media landscape that illuminates the cultural and economic benefits of diversity in storytelling," ReFrame co-founder Cathy Schulman — who won the Academy Award for Best Picture for producing Crash — said in a statement. "It is our hope that the stamp will continue to expand opportunities for women in all positions, in front of and behind the camera, throughout the screen industries each year."

One of the biggest areas Schulman pointed out that needs improvement is when it comes to female directors. While the numbers may have improved ever so slightly in 2017, the representation has remained stagnant over the past decade, meaning there has been no real progress on that front. One way that will hopefully be rectified is by Marvel announcing that it will make strides to put more women behind the camera for its blockbuster cinematic universe.

In the past few years, we've seen new means of which to rate films, moving beyond just a simple Rotten Tomatoes score. There's the F-Rating, which will make your inner feminist jump for joy, and CherryPicks, the review site that lifts up the voices of female critics and gender non-conforming voices in movie criticism.

"We've turned to a radical means of recognition because this is a hidden bias we've been unable to crack," Schulman told NPR. "It's cronyism, a lack of pipeline investment, and all sorts of other factors."

(H/T: The Hollywood Reporter | Deadline | Variety)

Cover image credit: A24


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