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For the first time the San Sebastian Festival publishes a report on the gender identity of professionals for films at its last edition

The percentage of participation in the direction, production, screenplay, editing, cinematography and music categories stands at 70% for the male genre compared to 30% for the female gender, referring both to films submitted and to those selected


A first conclusion of this report indicates that the difficulty doesn’t lie as much in access by female filmmakers to the film industry, but in them staying there

For the first time the San Sebastian Festival has published a report on the gender identity of the professionals involved in the films at its last edition. This first document on gender statistics analyses the data both for the 3,013 films submitted for the 2019 Festival and for the 150 films selected and screened in its Official Selection, New Directors, Horizontes Latinos, Zabaltegi-Tabakalera, Nest, Culinary Zinema, Made in Spain, Zinemira and the Velodrome at the 67th edition.

These data were explained in detail at a press conference given today by the San Sebastian Festival’s Director, José Luis Rebordinos, and the Chairman of its Board of Directors, Mayor Eneko Goia.

The figures for cinematographers are repeated in the films submitted and viewed by the selection committee and in those finally selected for the Festival’s official programme. On average, the percentage of participation of the gender identifying as male stands at 70% compared to 30% for the female gender. This situation repeats itself – with variations of between 10% and 40% in the implication of professionals of the female gender – in all six categories examined: direction, production, screenplay, editing, cinematography and music.

The analysis contains significant exceptions: in New Directors, a section for the first and second movies by their filmmakers, more works were programmed by female directors, screenwriters and editors, and in Nest, the section for short films by film school students worldwide, more works were selected by female directors, producers, editors and cinematographers. Female filmmakers were also in the majority in the Ikusmira Berriak residency programme for project development.

Thus, a first conclusion drawn from this report, depending on whether future research into the matter confirms the trend, would seem to indicate that the difficulty lies not as much in accessing the film industry, but in staying there. The San Sebastian Festival trusts that this portrait will serve as a starting point for observing and participating in a significant evolution in the coming years.

Figures for the 67th edition

Together with the gender report, one of the commitments acquired by the Festival on signing the Charter for the Parity and Inclusion of Women in Cinema, the Festival has also shared details of the report on its 67th edition.

The figures confirm sustained growth of the Festival, which is approaching its growth ceiling and which, for the second consecutive year, has beaten its record of public attendance (178,687 spectators), number of accreditations (4,319) and box office takings (950,344 euros).

Over and above the figures, the Festival’s strength is confirmed in the consistency of its most recent initiatives: the second generation at the Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola, a film school forming part of the Festival apparatus; the second edition of Zinemaldia & Technology, a benchmark space for reflecting on technology applied to the audiovisual field; and in its determination to become a festival running all year round, by means of the Ikusmira Berriak residencies programme, the aforementioned Zine Eskola and the archive project: Zinemaldia 70. All possible stories, its collaborations with other festivals and film industry organisations and the programming of films on the public screen shared with other city institutions in Tabakalera.

Download report (pdf)

Download report (pdf)

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