Screenwriting remains a predominantly white male pursuit, suggests a UK report.

Writing British Films - Who Writes British Films', commissioned by the UK Film Council and conducted by Royal Holloway, University of London, talked to 63 screenwriters credited on a sample of 40 British films in 2004.

Among its findings were:
  • 98% of the writers were white
  • 82.5% were men
  • 66% were aged over 46 and most earned relatively high incomes.
  • 61%, of the writers questioned were not British.
  • 57%, whether of British or overseas nationality, were contactable only via a Hollywood agent.
  • 77% of the respondents had worked previously in television.
The study will be discussed on Friday at the International Screenwriters Festival.

Diana Ossana (Brokeback Mountain), Abi Morgan (Sex Traffic), Rachel Holroyd from the Casarotto Ramsay agency, producer Robert Jones from Material Entertainment and Susan Rogers, author of the report will consider improving the diversity of writing talent.

Marcia Williams, Head of Diversity at the UK Film Council says, 'This relatively small but vital workforce are the people whose imaginations, creativity and experiences help to tell the stories that our society consumes so readily, and who are reaching millions of people globally, often shaping what they know and understand about the world around them.

'Viewed from this perspective, industry diversity is vitally important, and this piece of research gives us, for the first time, a clearer picture of who is writing British films and of how those writers get hired. Having established the facts, and highlighted the issue, we are hoping to collaborate with the industry to find ways to address it, starting with this interactive event.'