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IMDb introduces “F” rating for female-focused movies

SELMA actress/producer Oprah Winfrey and director Ava DuVernay. (Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images)

An idea that started on the British film festival circuit will now reach a much wider audience, as online film database IMDb (motto: “message boards are for nerds”) has added a new rating, “F” for “female,” to its site. The idea originated with Bath Film Festival director Holly Tarquini, who began using the “F” symbol to highlight films that were written and/or directed by a woman, or which showed “significant women [characters] on screen in their own right,” in 2014. Since then, the idea has caught on among strident feminist harpies across the U.K., presumably as part of a master plan to eliminate the male sex by only catering to them some of the time.

And now the threat has gone international, as IMDb founder and CEO Col Needham has turned against his fellow men by adding the “F” rating to IMDb as well. Where it will be added, and how, are currently unclear; a BBC News story announcing the move says that 21,800 films, including “triple F” certified titles like Frozen, American Honey, and Bridget Jones’ Baby—all of which were written and directed by and star women—“had been tagged with the F-Rating on IMDb.” But the rating is not immediately obvious on each film’s landing page, and even a deep dive into American Honey’s 299 tags, which include such specifics as “putting body lotion on someone” and “dog urination,” failed to pull up an exact match. (There was a tag for “the F word,” but that’s something else entirely.)


For now, we’ll give IMDb the benefit of the doubt and assume that the big black “F” that has appeared in British cinemas and on film festival programs is still in the process of being rolled out on the site. For his part, Needham seems positively bullish on the idea; as he tells the BBC, “The F-Rating is a great way to highlight women on screen and behind the camera.”

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