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#DearHollywood: You Can't Win Without Women

Photo: Ken Hively/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images; Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images; Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.

Let's talk numbers for a minute.

Of the 100 top grossing films in 2014, only 12% had a female protagonist. Those 100 films featured 4,610 speaking characters — only 30% of them were female. And, if you consider every single film released in 2014, a mere 7% were directed by a woman.

And remember, 50.8% of the U.S. population in 2014 was female.

That's not representation by any measure.

That's particularly sad when you consider that in 2013, female-led movies made 20% more money on average than those with male leads. Or the fact that movies that passed the Bechdel Test (the admittedly flawed representation check that logs whether or not two women speak to each other about something other than men) earned 6 cents more per dollar than films with less than two women.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is finally starting to take note, recently pledging to double its number of female and minority members by 2020. But that's not enough.

We need more women working on and starring in films, starting at the top. When women are hired as directors and producers, women get hired as cinematographers, writers, and actors as well. And, that's where R29's ShatterBox Anthology comes in.

We're collaborating with young female filmmakers to program twelve short films — four documentaries, four comedies, two animated films, and two dramas — all with women and girls in the spotlight. Why? Short films are the gateway for first-time directors and a launching pad for major talent — and we want to help young visionaries get there. It's time to take up the charge to change the industry.

#DearHollywood: Let's get leading ladies seen and heard.