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Female director numbers reached an all-time high in Hollywood in 2020.

The Celluloid Ceiling, which has tracked employment trends in the film industry for the last 23 years, reports that for the second consecutive year, there are more women directing top-grossing movies than ever before.

Women filmmakers accounted for 16 percent of directors working on the top 100 grossing films in 2020, according to the report, which confirmed a rise from 12 percent in 2019 and just four percent in 2018.

Dr. Martha Lauzen, the executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, told Deadline: “Even without the release of some of this year’s most anticipated big-budget films by women – including Chloe Zhao’s ‘Eternals’ and Cate Shortland’s ‘Black Widow’ – the percentage of women working as directors inched upward in 2020.

“The good news is that we’ve now seen two consecutive years of growth for women who direct. This breaks a recent historical pattern in which the numbers trend up one year and down the next. The bad news is that fully 80 percent of top films still do not have a woman at the helm.”

The study also found that women accounted for 18 percent of directors on the top 250 films, up from 13 percent in 2019.

Despite the recent progress, Lauzen insisted that more needs to be done in order to resolve the “imbalance” that still exists within the film industry.

She said: “This imbalance is stunning. The majority of films employ fewer than five women and 10 or more men.”



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Anne-Marie | Anne-Marie and KSI to work on new track together

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Anne-Marie and KSI are working on a second track together.

The pair’s collaboration with Digital Farm Animals, ‘Don’t Play’, went to number two in the UK singles charts and they are already working on a follow up.

Anne-Marie told The Sun’s Bizarre column: “Number two is basically a number one for us! It feels amazing to be starting 2021 with a banger and the music video is popping off and it’s streaming loads so it’s great.

“I am very open and honest and I try to be as down to earth as I can be all the time but meeting JJ opened my eyes even more.

“He is so real, it was very inspiring. He taught me to be myself and not to change myself for anyone. And his laugh is as crazy as mine. I was so happy about that.”

The video sees them boxing together in a ring and KSI admitted Anne-Marie has great talent.

He said: “Legit, she can kick. She can get her leg quite high up and give a few people a few roundhouse kicks left, right and centre. She could kick people through walls.

“She has power. I had my hands out to take her punches and I was like, ‘Damn! I see you, Anne-Marie.'”



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Ben Affleck | Ben Affleck says he is a better actor now than when he was younger

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Ben Affleck believes his acting has improved as he has gotten older.

The 48-year-old actor – who shot to fame with ‘Good Will Hunting’ in 1997 – believes getting older and having different life experiences has improved his acting abilities.

Speaking to Sacha Baron Cohen for Variety about his movie ‘The Way Back’, Ben said: “I feel like my own acting, at least by my own standards, has gotten better as I’ve gotten older, and had more life experiences and had more stuff to access. And with a role like that, I am an alcoholic, so I understood to a certain extent the alcoholism, but I haven’t lost a child. This guy’s had a very different life from mine, but what was interesting about the story was I hoped people would find some catharsis in watching him go through something very difficult. I was concerned that I have to find ways to make this as realistic as possible.”

Ben also revealed that directing ‘The Town’ and ‘Argo’ has made him a better actor.

He said: “This was a bit atypical for me. I’ve kind of changed as an actor, my approach, particularly from before and after I started directing, because it was really instructive. I learned more about acting from directing than I did from acting classes. There’s something really valuable about being on the other side, and seeing what works and what doesn’t. And what you can do editorially, and just getting used to the sound of your own stupid voice.”



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Keisha Buchanan | Keisha Buchanan: I’m focusing on work in 2021!

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Keisha Buchanan says 2021 is her year for “work”.

The former Sugababes star has revealed she’s set herself “work goals” for the next 12 months, which include putting herself out there and taking some career risks that she’s always wanted to try.

She said: “A lot of the time, I make goals for personal growth. Like if I want to be more disciplined, more patient, whatever it is, I set those types of goals more so than anything else. But I think this year I really want to try and achieve some work goals.

“For me, I think that life is precious. I need to stop all this pussyfooting around and just not be in my head so much and just try. And do things that I enjoy.”

Keisha, 36, spoke as part of a YouTube video that outlined her plan for 2021, and said that speaking to her fans in her vlogs is something she wants to continue doing throughout the year.

She added: “I want to do things that I really enjoy doing, and this is one of them, speaking to you guys on camera. For some reason I feel like I’m able to just be myself and it feels great just being able to express myself. I talk to myself in my head all the time so this is great for me.”

The ‘Push the Button’ hitmaker also revealed she wants to prioritise exercise and healthy eating this year, as she’s keen to lose weight.

But Keisha can’t go running, as the exercise leaves her in pain.

She said in her video: “I’m at the point where when I’m walking, my knees are hurting. I can’t run because that’s just crazy. I can’t … even walking down the stairs really hurts.

“My last doctor’s appointment, they said my cholesterol is a bit high, so that’s how I know that I’m just like [I need to make changes]. I feel like my main thing is just making sure that I feel really good in my own body, and that I’m healthy.”



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