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Women are somewhat underrepresented in the film industry. While there are plenty of women working in the industry, a high proportion of movies are still written, directed by, and star men. The situation is changing, but in the meantime we have something called “the F-Rating”.
According to BBC News, the F-Rating is a new classification introduced by Bath Film Festival director Holly Tarquini in 2014. It has since been adopted by cinemas and festivals across the UK. However, it’s now set to be added to the Internet Movie Database, better known as IMDb.
F Is for Female
To qualify for an F-Rating, a movie has to be either written by a woman, directed by a woman, or “feature significant women on screen in their own right”. This is an extension of the Bechdel Test, which denotes films in which two female characters talk to each other about something other than a man.
According to Tarquini, over 21,000 movies on IMDb have been tagged with the F-Rating. Several, including Frozen, Bridget Jones’s Baby, and American Honey meet all three criteria — having been written, directed by, and starring women — earning themselves a Triple F-Rating.
For the uninitiated, IMDb is a website that boasts more than 250 million visitors every month. It recently caused controversy by killing its message boards. Its boss Col Needham told BBC News, “The F-Rating is a great way to highlight women on screen and behind the camera.”
Not Exactly Front and Center
There is indeed a list of F-Rated movies available on IMDb. And you can sort these by popularity, IMDb rating, and a number of other metrics. However, unless you know where to look, IMDb isn’t exactly putting this front and center. Which seems like a missed opportunity.
What do you think of the F-Rating? Are you pleased to see IMDb adopting it? Do you think it’s a positive move to help identify movies made by women? Will it help publicize the representation of women on and off screen? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Rodrigo Paredes via Flickr