Adobe, USC Annenberg Unveil List of 100 Most Inclusive Films

The Woman King poster
`The Woman King' topped The Inclusion List of films released between 2019 and 2022. (Image credit: Sony Pictures Releasing )

LOS ANGELES—The Adobe Foundation, USC Annenberg and Dr. Stacy Smith have unveiled a new website, The Inclusion List, that ranks the 100 most inclusive theatrically-released films from 2019 to 2022. It also highlights the top distributors associated with the movies on the list, names eight individuals as the top producers and showcases two top directors for inclusion during the 2019-2022 period studied. 

Adobe commissioned the study from USC Annenberg and Dr. Stacy Smith as part of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative in collaboration with the Adobe Foundation.

Top honors go to distributors Universal Pictures and A24; producers Will Packer, James Lopez, and Kevin Feige; films “The Woman King” and “The Farewell”; and directors Gina Prince-Bythewood and Lulu Wang, according to The Inclusion List.  

The other films in the top 5 were “Zola”, “Harriet”, and “Laal Singh Chaddha”

The effort is part of a larger effort to foster inclusion in the creative industries by Adobe. In a blog post Stacy Martinet, vice president of marketing at Adobe and an Adobe Foundation Board member noted that “The more facts we know, the more we can spotlight, learn and create change. That is a driving motivation behind the first-of-its-kind The Inclusion List.”

The data-driven study “is what’s needed to analyze and pinpoint the bright spots, and where a greater focus on inclusivity is needed,” she explained, adding that “We’re releasing our study in parallel to the Festival de Cannes, the iconic celebration of films and filmmakers driving the art form forward. We hope that our findings can fuel conversations and plans of action that seek to ensure the film industry is as inclusive as the world it reflects.”

To bring together the list, 376 theatrically-released films were scored across 20 inclusion indicators, with the highest-scoring films receiving top honors, she reported. The indicators ranked gender, race/ethnicity, LGBTQ+, disability, and age representation for cast in leading and all speaking roles. Key findings include: 

  • The 100 most inclusive films made between 2019-2022 include Oscar winners and crowd pleasers, proving that inclusive storytelling resonates in major ways, including "Everything Everywhere All at Once", "Devotion", "Emily the Criminal", "Birds of Prey", and "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever".
  • Seven of the top 10 films on the Inclusion List were directed by women of color, including Gina Prince-Bythewood and Lulu Wang.
  • Among large distributors, Universal Pictures took top honors with 22 films on the list, followed by Sony Pictures Entertainment (14 films) and Warner Bros. Pictures (11 films). For independent distributors, A24 led its peers with 9 movies, with Neon in second place (6 films). The top distributors reflect the companies responsible for bringing the films on The Inclusion List to audiences.  
  • A total of eight producers received a nod for their work in film over the past four years. Will Packer, James Lopez, Kevin Feige, Dede Garner, Jeremy Kleiner, Jordan Peele, Ian Cooper and Jason Blum were named the most inclusive producers for landing 3 or more films on The Inclusion List. 
George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.