We live in a world of ratings, whether you’re selecting stars for your favorite app, making your way through the latest listicle, or scanning Yelp for a second (or 50th) opinion—everything has a rating.

In some ways it’s a good thing. It can make research online simpler. In other ways it’s not so great. It can give trolls another place to ply their trade. Then there are the times when ratings really aren’t ratings at all, which brings me to today’s “rating system”—the F-Rating.

It sounds bad, right? It’s not. I’ll let the founders of the system, the Bath Film Festival explain:

“The F-Rating is applied to all films which are directed by women and/or written by women and/or have significant women on screen. If a film has all three, it receives a TRIPLE F-Rating, our gold standard. The rating allows audiences to “vote with your seat” and proactively choose to go and see F-Rated films.”

Spoiler Alert: There aren’t a whole lot of F-Rated films out there.

The system has actually been around for several years, but has renewed interest as IMDB (the Internet Move Database) has started adding the rating to its entries. And just to give you an idea of how few female-driven films there are out there, here are the numbers:

  • Films on IMDB: 1.1 Million
  • Films worthy of an F-Rating: 22,000

I’ll do the math for you, that’s 2%…and good luck finding it on the site. It’s not actually listed on any movie landing pages, but it is a keyword option when you use the advanced search option. Take that, obscure search option glass ceiling! We’ll conquer you yet!

I appreciate the sentiment, IMDB, really I do, but the lack of integration makes it seem a little half-hearted. But I sort of get it, you don’t want the rest of your audience to feel left out or overwhelmed by that 2% of movies, so I’ve taken it upon myself to build on the f-rating to help the rest of your audience adjust:

  • D-Rating = It stands for dudes, definitely dudes, nothing else, just dudes. Strictly reserved for the dude-iest movies out there.
  • MF-Rating = More females. Don’t worry dudes, they’re not behind the camera, but out in front for your viewing pleasure.

It’s a work in progress, but with a little bit of brain power, I bet we can find a way to get the rest of your audience on board. If nothing else, featuring the F-rating more prominently will make it easier for your core demographic to share their low opinions of all of those completely random movies and TV shows out there (definitely not just the ones about women) that they’ve totally seen. But for now, we’ll take our tiny (tiny, tiny, tiny) victory and dream of a day where labeling movies based on the number of women involved in a production is a thing of the past.


NPR: IMDb Adopts F-Rating Of Women’s Contributions To Movies

One Comment Add yours

  1. originalomc says:

    not sure how I feel about this (full disclosure, I’m a dude) – seems to create a bit of an arbitrary division. If they’re going to do FFF, why not DDD, or FDD (female producer, male director, male cast), or … in the grand scheme of things, if it raises some awareness that causes some action, that’s a good thing.


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