Who counts? The presence of women directors in Spanish independent cinema through a data analysis of film circulation (2013-2018) Articles uri icon

publication date

  • June 2020

start page

  • 101

end page

  • 118


  • 3


  • 33

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0214-0039

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2174-0895


  • This article examines the presence of women filmmakers in Spanish independent cinema by assessing the national circulation of their works in the alternative distribution and exhibition circuit where gender studies are almost inexistent. Along with other neighboring countries, independent filmmaking enjoys a growing cultural weight within a national cinema conditioned by digitalization and the domination of multinational corporations in the aftershock of the economic crisis. The study, based on a representative sample to quantify female directors, carries out a cross-sectional examination in three areas within independent film circulation that, in turn, endow them with such status: festivals, specialized VOD platforms and independent film distribution companies with catalogs for release in traditional movie theaters or the cultural sector. The chosen timeframe is 2013-2018, from the moment independent cinema, branded as other cinema, achieves increased visibility, and establishes itself as an alternative to the commercial cinema in Spain up to the most recent year with available data. The research shows that, although there is a more significant proportion of female filmmakers than in commercial production, it continues to be a minority in the 20% range. Such underrepresentation does not only affect the cultural value of women's work but also raises questions on the nature of a type of independent film practices that lay claim to cultural diversity


  • Art
  • Information Science


  • gender gap; spanish independent cinema; film circulation; alternative circuits; female filmmakers