As the lagging representation of women in Hollywood continues to become an increasingly crucial topic of discussion, IMDB has added an F-rating to help support feminist films. The feature ranks movies by three criteria — whether the work was directed by a woman, written by a woman, or features significant women onscreen — which means you now have a handy new guide for finding projects with less mansplaining and more complex female characters. But exactly where can you find IMDB's F-rated movies list?
As of now, the F-rating doesn't seem to have a prominent place on individual movie pages, but it's new, so let's give them some time to update the system. Fortunately, there's a way to get around that while you wait. All you need to do is head to the search bar on IMDB's page, type in "F-rated," click on the same phrase under "keywords," and voila. You've got a fresh list of fem-powered titles to marathon during your next ladies' night in.
According to the BBC, the F-rating was originally introduced by Bath Film Festival director Holly Tarquini in 2014, and has since been adopted by more than 40 UK cinemas and festivals. Tarquini told the BBC that she's thrilled about the progress the rating has made, but that she hopes someday it will be obsolete because female representation won't be such a rarity. She said,
"It's exciting when new organisations [sic] decide to join us in shining a light both on the brilliant work women are doing in film and on how far the film industry lags behind most other industries, when it comes to providing equal opportunities to women. But our real goal is to reach the stage when the F-Rating is redundant because 50 percent of the stories we see on screen are told by and about film's unfairly under-represented half of the population — women."
Now, IMDB has tagged 21,800 films with the F-rating, while titles like Bridget Jones’s Baby, Frozen, and American Honey have been given a Triple F rating for being written, directed, and starred in by a woman. Talk about a triple threat.
While this may seem like a simple change to some, it highlights a much broader problem. Women are not represented in film nearly enough as they should be — on screen or off. In an ideal world, women would have a fair enough stake in film that the F-rating wouldn't even be necessary, but sadly, that's not the case.
In fact, a recent report from the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film at San Diego State University suggests we've actually regressed, rather than moved forward. It showed that, in 2016, only 7 percent of the 250 films considered were directed by women — a 2 percent drop from last year's list, which tied the 1998 record as the highest percentage of female directors on the top grossing list. So, basically, we haven't made much progress in the last decade, let alone the last few years.
Hopefully, IMDB's new ranking will encourage more filmmakers to aim for that coveted F-rating, and someday, just maybe, we won't need it anymore.