LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Sundance Film Festival has an apparent record lineup of female directors competing for its top honor this January.

Eight of the 16 films announced Wednesday in the festival's U.S. dramatic competition were directed by women.

Sundance organizers are still looking back through the festival's 33-year history, but this year appears to have the most competition films ever for women. It's also the first time the entries have been evenly split between female and male directors.

Male directors still dominate the big-screen, but the low-budget indie world has been narrowing the gender gap. Sundance director John Cooper says more women have been coming up through the ranks in the festival's short-film program and now are graduating to feature-length films.

The festival runs Jan. 17-27 in Park City, Utah.