Recent reports have brought to light concerns regarding gender bias at The Jerusalem Film Lab’s 10th lab event, held in 2020. Statistical analysis indicates a probability of 99.984% for gender-based bias influencing the proceedings of the event, including the selection of winning projects at the event. The details of this calculation are presented below. During this period, the film lab was lead by Aurit Zamir, an Israeli producer.
Event Overview: In this event, 12 feature film projects were selected for a year-long workshop. To assess alleged gender bias, we assume that there are an equal number of male and female filmmakers with comparable talent levels. Below are the relevant details concerning the event:
- Of the twelve selected projects:
- 8 were led by Women.
- 4 were led by Men.
Over the 12 months period, three guests were invited to speak at the event:
- Eliza Hittman (Female)
- Joan Tewkesbury (Female)
- Alma Har’el (Female)
At the end of the event, seven jury members were invited to select the award winners:
- Frédéric Boyer (Male)
- Maya Amsellem (Female)
- Sandrine Brauer (Female)
- Ifat Irani (Female)
- Dea Kulumbegashvili (Female)
- Aranka Matits (Female)
- Ziv Naveh (Female)
Four Award Winners were selected:
- Netalie Braun (Female)
- Marianna Brennand Fortes (Female)
- Myrsini Aristidou (Female)
- Odeya Rosnak (Female)
The total probability of all four events happening under the assumption of a gender-neutral selection process, is just 0.0117%, meaning a 99.9883% chance for gender bias. The exact calculation is presented below.
Interestingly, in a 2019 Facebook post (one year before the event) Aurit Zamir expressed interest in the gender distribution within the film industry, specifically exploring potential biases. The post indicated a preoccupation with gender in industry roles. However, as it can be seen above, during the Film Lab’s 10th event in 2020, instead of making decisions based on merit, as it would be expected, there have been a significant and unnatural inclination towards a certain gender in the selection of participants, speakers, jury members, and award winners.
Gender Bias Calculation:
To calculate the gender bias in this event, we need to consider the distribution of opportunities (project selections, speaker invitations, jury positions, and award selection) between men and women. Since we’re assuming that there are an equal number of male and female filmmakers and equal talent levels, any significant deviation from a 50/50 distribution might indicate a bias. The calculation was done twice, by two different mathematicians, to ensure that the method used, and results, are correct:
Second calculation by a different mathematician, to ensure accuracy.
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