I got encouraged to do this visualization after seeing the documentary “Half the picture” of Amy Adrion… Watching that movie I got to know the challenges that women face to get the director role, and how the number of female directors has remained pretty much stable in the last decades.
It seemed to me that the area chart served to make that point. In the main graph, we see a barely visible yellow area, which has not managed to increase significantly over the years. In the small multiples, we can see some nuances in the different film genres, although the opportunity barriers are present in pretty much every genre… showing that the opportunities to portray diverse experiences from the director’s chair are not equal.
The data comes from databases released by IMDb for personal, non-commercial use. And for the design I was inspired by the work of Jess Walker’s area charts about beverage preferences in different countries and the tips of Judit Bekker on how to combine Illustrator and Tableau.