Sundance 2013 was a banner year for the festival in terms of gender equality: women directed eight of the 16 features programmed in the narrative competition. But these numbers are rare outside of Park City, and the Sundance Institute even commissioned a study that revealed a gender gap even persists in the indie world. It’s plainly obvious that Hollywood itself has a hiring problem when it comes to hiring women directors, and recently, the industry and the DGA were put in a headlock by "Punisher: War Zone" director Lexi Alexander in a searing blog post on the issue of diversity hiring. She decried both "the huge lack of people willing to give female directors opportunities," and the poor efforts on the part of the studios and DGA to organize on this front.
The problem is not the lack of women directors, as Alexander lays out in her post, but the good old boys' club mentality that permeates Hollywood agencies and studios, where the people making the decisions are hiring the people who look like them. Even Cate Blanchett took the opportunity for a light scolding on Hollywood's most self-congratulatory night. In light of this environment, it's no surprise that women filmmakers turn to the indie world.