Pixar Hires First Female Director

Via The Hollywood Reporter:

Pixar has named its first female director, Brenda Chapman, who will also write the animated film, Brave.

This is a major deal, though it may not seem like it at first.  According to the nonprofit organization, Women in Film, women directors accounted for only seven percent of the directors who made films in 2009, down two percent from 2008.

In 2009, women comprised 16% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films.  This represents a decline of 3 percentage points from 2001 and is even with 2008 figures.

Given the central importance of art and entertainment in American life — not to mention a long history of narrow, offensive and stereotypical images of women and minorities — it is critical that everyone have the opportunity to participate in the production of art and entertainment (if only because then the images might diversify as well).

Pixar is one of the biggest studios in the film industry that is considered to be the most consistently excellent producer of animated films in the United States.  It’ll be interesting to see what Chapman will do for the studio.