Grrrl on Film: Women Directors


In Monday’s post I asked if you could name five women directors off the top of your head and encouraged you to share some favorite females behind the lens. And WOW, between us we came up with nearly 70!

Since there are few things I enjoy more than compiling research and sharing information (Heck, it’s one of the reasons why I’m a writer) I’ve put together a list of all the women directors you posted in the comments section, along with the title of one or two of their movies. I hope it will serve as a good reference resource for sister (and fellow) feminist film geeks. 

I also wanted to re-raise a question I asked in that post that wasn’t addressed: Do you think women directors (and by extension women screenwriters) reflect women’s lives and handle women’s issues more authentically than men? More responsibly?

Also, in a different post (concerning the replacement of a lead female character with a male one in the adaptation of Whiteout) I’d asked “As consumers, and feminist consumers of popular culture at that, what can we do to make sure we are better represented in movies?”

One would hope that getting behind the camera would help. In fact, Reel Grrls, a nonprofit organization in Seattle, WA, teaches teen girls how to make their own media, in the effort to get more women’s voices out there, especially in the film industry. You can watch some of their work here. (Thanks to Maile for alerting me to the organization!)

Commenter Alexis observed, that the majority of the women on our list are “indie/arthouse/experimental filmmakers, which is awesome, but may be a product of female filmmakers being denied access to major studio backing… . It seems to me that this question last surfaced in the early 1990s, when there seemed to be more women directors. I hope it doesn’t sound to despairing to say I fear we have gone backward in the past decade in terms of supporting women, the arts, and women in the arts.”

What do y’all think about this? Have we gone backwards? Why is it easier to find women directors making documentaries rather than studio pictures? What can we do to change this (if you think it’s something worth changing)?

It’s true that even if 70 is an impressive number, our list would be relatively small if we compared it to a list of male directors – and their names would be much more recognizable too because they are making more studio films. It also seems that many of the women on our list have found more directing work in television – perhaps another indicator that the medium is more friendly to women than film.

Check out our list  – it includes a few producers, one cinematographer, and one video artist – and be sure to mark your calendars for the releases of Mira Nair’s forthcoming Amelia (10/29/09).



Jane Campion’s Bright Star is coming soon too.


And Karyn Kusama and Diablo Cody’s, Jennifer’s Body, opens on September 18th.


Anymore releases we should know about?


1. Ahwesh, Peggy: The Scary Movie (1993)

2. Akerman, Chantal: Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975)

3. Anders, Allison: Gas, Food, Lodging (1992), Grace of My Heart (1996)

4. Arnold, Andrea: Fish Tank (2009)

5. Arzner, Dorothy: The Wild Party (1929), The Bride Wore Red (1937)

6. Babbit, Jamie: But I’m a Cheerleader (1999), The Quiet (2005)

7. Barrymore, Drew: Whip It (2009)

8. Barthes, Sophie: Cold Souls (2009)

9. Berinstein, Dori: Gotta Dance (2008)

10. Bigelow, Kathryn: Near Dark (1987), The Weight of Water (2000), The Hurt Locker (2009)

11. Biller, Anna: Viva (2007)

12. Borden, Lizzie: Working Girls (1986)

13. Bogert, Virginia: Tootie Pie (2006)

14. Breillat, Catherine: 36 Fillette (1988)

15. Brougher, Hilary: The Sticky Fingers of Time (1997)

16. Campion, Jane: An Angel at My Table (1990), The Piano (1993)

17. Caro, Niki: Whale Rider (2002), North Country (2005)

18. Chadha, Gurinder: Bhaji on the Beach (1993), Bend it Like Beckham (2002)

19. Cholodenko, Lisa: High Art (1998)

20. Cockburn, Leslie: American Casino (2009)

21. Coolidge, Martha: Valley Girl (1983), Real Genius (1985)

22. Coppola, Sofia: The Virgin Suicides (1999), Lost in Translation (2003)

23. Dash, Julie: Daughters of the Dust (1991)

24. Davis, Tamra: Billy Madison (1995)

25. Denis, Claire: Chocolat (1988)

26. de Marcken, Anne: Group (2002)

27. Deren, Maya: Witch’s Cradle (1944)

28. de Van, Marina: Dans ma peau (In my skin) (2002), Ne te retourne pas (Don’t look back) (2009)

29. Dieckmann, Katherine: Motherhood (2009)

30. Dörrie, Doris: Men … (1985)

31. Dulac, Germaine: Je n’ai plus rien (1934)

32. Dunye, Cheryl: The Watermelon Woman (1996)

33. Ephron, Nora: Julie & Julia (2009), Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

34. Ewing, Heidi: The Boys of Baraka (2005)

35. Export, Valie: Die Praxis der Liebe (1985)

36. Fanta-Nacro, Regina: La nuit de la vérité (2004)

37. Faye, Safi: Fad’jal (1979)

38. Fletcher, Anne: Step Up (2006), 27 Dresses (2008), The Proposal (2009)

39. Fontaine, Anne: Coco Before Chanel (2009)

40. Foster, Jodi: Little Man Tate (1991)

41. Freeman, Marylin: Group (2002)

42. Gabbert, Laura: No Impact Man (2009)

43. Gorris, Marleen: Antonia’s Line (1995)

44. Grady, Rachel: Jesus Camp (2006)

45. Guevara-Flanagan, Kristy: Going on 13 (2008)

46. Guy-Blache, Alice: When You and I Were Young (1917)

47. Hadzihalilovic, Lucile: Innocence (2004)

48. Hardwicke, Catherine: Twilight (2008), Thirteen (2003), and Lords of Dogtown (2005)

49. Harron, Mary: American Pyscho (2000)

50. Heckerling, Amy: Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Clueless (1995)

51. Hines, Cheryl: Serious Moonlight (2009)

52. Hunt, Courtney: Frozen River (2008)

53. Hurd, Gale Anne: (Producer)

54. Jenkins, Patty: Monster (2003)

55. Jenson, Vicky: Post Grad (2009)

56. July, Miranda: Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005)

57. Kawase, Naomi: The Mourning Forest (2007)

58. Khan, Farah: Om Shanti Om (2007), Main Hoon Na (2004)

59. Kuras, Ellen: (Cinematographer)

60. Kusama, Karyn: Girlfight (2000), Jennifer’s Body (2009)

61. Labaki, Nadine: Caramel (2007)

62. Lemmons, Kasi: Eve’s Bayou (1997)

63. Loden, Barbara: Wanda (1970), The Frontier Experience (1975)

64. Lopez, Issa: Casi Divas (2008)

65. Lupino, Ida: The Hitch-Hiker (1953)

66. Lynch, Jennifer: Boxing Helena (1993), Surveillance (2008)

67. Maggenti, Maria: The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love

68. Makhmalbaf, Samira: 11’09”01 - September 11 (2002)

69. Marking, Havana: Cold Souls (2009)

70. Marshall, Penny: Big (1988), A League of Their Own (1992), Riding in Cars with Boys (2001)

71. Martel, Lucretia: The Headless Woman (2008)

72. Mehta, Deepa: Earth (1998), Water (2005)

73. Meyers, Nancy: Something’s Gotta Give (2003), The Holiday (2006)

74. Miller, Rebecca: The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (2009)

75. Minh-Ha, Trinh T.: Shoot for the Contents (1992)

76. Moffatt, Tracey: Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy (1989)

77. Nair, Mira: Salaam Bombay! (1988), Mississippi Masala (1991), Amelia (2009)

78. Neshat, Shirin: (Video Artist)

79. Obomsawin, Alanis: Is the Crown at War with Us? (2002)

80. Ottinger, Ulrike: Prater (2007)

81. Owens, Phoebe: Tammytown (2007)

82. Parmar, Pratibha: Warrior Marks (1993), Nina’s Heavenly Delights (2006)

83. Peters, Barbara: Bury Me an Angel (1972)

84. Polley, Sarah: Away From Her (2006)

85. Potter, Sally: Orlando (1992), The Tango Lesson (1997)

86. Prince-Bythewood, Gina: Love & Basketball (2000), The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

87. Ramsay, Lynne: Ratcatcher (1999)

88. Reichardt, Kelly: Wendy and Lucy (2008)

89. Riefenstahl, Leni: Triumph of the Will (1935)

90. Reiniger, Lotte: Sleeping Beauty (1922), Snow White and Rose Red (1954)

91. Rice, Amy: By the People: The Election of Barack Obama (2009)

92. Robinson, Angela: D.E.B.S (2004)

93. Rothman, Stephanie: The Student Nurses (1970), Terminal Island (1973), The Velvet Vampire (1971)

94. Rozema, Patricia: Mansfield Park (1999), Kitt Kittredge: An American Girl (2008)

95. Sams, Alicia: By the People: The Election of Barack Obama (2009)

96. Sander, Helke: Mitten im Malestream (2005)

97. Sanders-Brahms, Helma: Die Berührte (1981)

98. Sasaki, Megumi: Herb & Dorothy (2008)

56. Satrapi, Marjane: Persepolis (2007)

99. Scherfig, Lone: An Education (2009)

100. Schneeemann, Carolee: Fuses (1967)

101. Seidelman, Susan: Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), Making Mr. Right (1987)

102. Sen, Aparna: Mr. and Mrs. Iyer (2002)

103. Shelton, Lynn: Humpday (2009)

104. Sherr Klein, Bonnie: Not a Love Story: A Film About Pornography (1981)

105. Shum, Mina: Double Happiness (1994)

106. Skogland, Kari: 50 Dead Men Walking (2008)

107. Sperling, Andrea: (Producer)

108. Spheeris, Penelope: Wayne’s World (1992)

109. Streisand, Barbara: Yentl (1983), The Prince of Tides (1991)

110. Tandan, Loveleen: Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

111. Taymor, Julie: Titus (1999), Frida (2002)

112. Thomas, Betty: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009)

113. Timoner, Ondi: Dig! (2004), We Live in Public (2009)

114. Todd, Loretta: The Learning Path (1991)

115. Troche, Rose: Go Fish (1994), The Safety of Objects (2001)

116. Varda, Agnès: Vagabond (1985)

117. Vardalos, Nia: I Hate Valentine’s Day (2009)

118. Vasarhelyi, Elizabeth Chai: Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love (2008)

119. Von Trotta, Margarethe: Marianne & Julianne (1981)

120. Weiland, Joyce: Reason Over Passion (1969), Birds at Sunrise (1986)

121. Wheeler, Anne: A War Story (1981), Better Than Chocolate (1999)

122. Wishman, Doris: Hideout in the Sun (1960), Nude on the Moon (1961)

123. Yedaya, Keren: Or (My treasure) (2004)

124. Yu, Jessica: Ping Pong Playa (2007)


by Jennifer K. Stuller
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Jennifer K. Stuller is Co-Founder and Director Emeritus of Programming and Events for GeekGirlCon -- an organization dedicated to the recognition, encouragement and support of women in geek and pop culture and STEM. Stuller is a writer, scholar, media critic, and feminist pop culture historian. She is an author and contributor to multiple publications, including Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology, and the editor of Fan Phenomena: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She has spoken at national and international conferences and regularly appears at the Comic Arts Conference, the Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses, and San Diego Comic-Con International. She is a frequent presenter on the topics of media literacy, geek activism and community-building, ever endeavoring to use her powers only for good.

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22 Comments Have Been Posted

You left out Amy Heckerling,

You left out Amy Heckerling, director of "Clueless" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", among a few other things.

Another One

Oh, I forgot Mary Harron! I love the critique of masculinity and yuppiedom in AMERICAN PSYCHO. Ever since that movie, I can't hear Phil Collins or Huey Lewis without being skeeved out.

Women Directors

It's 100% true that we need more women directors working in Hollywood. There are really only three women now whose films get made by the studios - Nancy Meyers, Nora Ephron and now Anne Fletcher. The overarching problem is the disbelief that women can helm large mainstream pictures and also the belief that women are not a reliable opening weekend audience. But women do buy 50% of the tickets and we need to use our money and see and support films that reflect our interests.

On my site Women & Hollywood I list all the women's films (women centric and women directed) that are playing, coming soon, in production and in the future. I also send out a newsletter each Friday that highlights the women's films that are opening. you can sign up for the newsletter on my site.

Here are some of the women directors out now or coming soon that didn't make your list (sorry if I repeat any):

Post Grad, directed by Vicky Jenson- August 17
The Headless Woman, directed by Lucretia Martel- August 21
Casi Divas, directed by Issa Lopez- August 21
Coco Before Chanel, directed by Anne Fontaine- September 25
Whip It, directed by Drew Barrymore- October 9
An Education, directed by Lone Scherfig- October 9
Motherhood, directed by Katherine Dieckmann- October 16
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, directed by Rebecca Miller- October 23
Serious Monnlight, directed by Cheryl Hines- December

Playing now
* Cold Souls, Sophie Barthes
* Afghan Star, Havana Marking
* Surveillance, Jennifer Lynch
* Humpday, Lynn Shelton
* Gotta Dance, Dori Berinstein
* Youssou N'Dour: I Bring You What I Love, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
* Herb & Dorothy, Megumi Sasaki
* By the People: The Election of Barack Obama, Amy Rice and Alicia Sams

Women Directed Coming Soon

* 50 Dead Men Walking, Kari Skogland- August 21
* We Live in Public, Ondi Timoner- August 28 in NYC; September 24, LA
* American Casino, Leslie Cockburn- September 2
* Rage, Sally Potter- September
* No Impact Man, Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein- September 11
* Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squekquel, Betty Thomas- December 25

Thanks, Melissa!

I've bookmarked Women & Hollywood ( and joined your Facebook page. Thank you for the work you do!

Also - over at Bitch's Facebook page, a commenter alerted us to the
Women in Film and First Weekenders Group: "FWG emails their list of followers to let them know when a woman-directed film is showing in theaters and where, so we can go support them at their first weekend box office ("

I think signing up for both newsletters will definitely keep one in the loop!

I'm also wondering if it might be beneficial, or of interest, to organize local groups of women going to see women-produced films on opening weekends - for the very reasons you point out. I'm certainly up for it here in Seattle!

Jennifer K. Stuller

A few additions to your list! :-)

Great idea you had!

I'd like to add to your list:

- Naomi Kawase, from Japan, director of "The Mourning Forest", a movie that won the Grand Prix at Cannes Festival in 2007

- Lucile Hadzihalilovic, from France, director of the eerie "Innocence"

- Marina de Van, an actress and director from France, who filmed "Dans ma peau" ("In my skin") and "Ne te retourne pas" ("Don't look back").

- Andrea Arnold, from the UK, who won the Jury prize at Cannes Festival in 2009 for her movie "Fish tank"

- The Israeli filmmaker Keren Yedaya, who directed the gritty drama "Or" ("My treasure")

and another one...

Gina Prince-Bythewood, who did Love & Basketball and The Secret Life of Bees...

carolee schneeemann, valie

carolee schneeemann, valie export, peggy ahwesh, beth b.
and i'm shocked that no one has mentioned allison anders -- a bitch interview subject, no less!

Other ♀ Directors

Diane English: The Women (2008)
(She's best known as the Creator of TV Show, Murphy Brown but also, worked on TV Show, My Sister Sam & other movies)

Callie Khouri
(She wrote the screenplay for Thelma & Louise; Co-wrote & directed Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood & Mad Money)

Salma Hayek
(She started her own film production company & has produced a variety of films & TV shows, including Frida & Ugly Betty and directed an HBO TV Movie, The Maldonado Miracle & a music video for Prince, Te Amo Corazon)

Drew Barrymore
(Owns Flower Films, Production Company; is currently, directing her first film Whip It!)

NoteWorthy: Though, I don't think Queen Latifah has directed any films she has starred in and produced many.

Point Break?

Kathryn Bigelow's already on there, but you regretted to mention that she also directed Point Break (starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze).

Not just directors

Maybe off-topic, but can I just say that I'd never be as movie-obsessed as I am if I hadn't read Pauline Kael at a formative age. Maybe some people wouldn't consider her a feminist icon because she didn't always like the "right" movies, but read her review of <i>Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore</i> for some keen feminist insight. I would totally pick <i>I Lost It At The Movies</i> for "Rave On", since she taught me to call 'em as I see 'em. She totally terrified those guys in the movie boys' club. I mean, George Lucas named the villain in WILLOW after her!

Do not forget Liliana Cavani!

In 1974, Liliana Cavani directed the controversial movie Portier de Nuit (The Night Porter), that featured Charlotte Rampling.

Also for your list: Virginie Despentes and Coralie Trinh-Thi, who directed Baise-moi in 2000, based on Despentes' novel. That movie that caused quite a stir back then in France.

Two more

--Nicole Holofcener (Walking and Talking, Lovely & Amazing, Friends with Money)
--Nina Paley (Sita Sings the Blues)

Christine Jeffs directed

Christine Jeffs directed <i>Sunshine Cleaning</i> and a couple others.

Liliana Cavani - The Night

Liliana Cavani - The Night Porter (1974)

whip it!

I'm honestly a little surprised there hasn't been a blog or article about this awesome movie yet...I saw it twice in a row (well, two days in a row), and even after thoroughly searching for something off-putting or misogynistic, I really couldn't find anything. Plus the music was amazing...this deserves some attention!

Two excellent films by Karen Moncreif

BLUE CAR and THE DEAD GIRL. Sensitive, unaffected, very well-told. Hope she makes more movies.

Jessica Sanders, "After Innocence"

Jessica Sanders directed the critically-acclaimed documentary "After Innocence", which follows a group of people who were released from prison after being found innocent of the crimes that put them there.

Great list! Thanks so much

Great list! Thanks so much for posting this.

In honor of "Women's History Month" and Kathryn Bigelow becoming the first woman ever to win an Academy Award for “Best Director," I've been working on a similar list of Women Directors, and have received some wonderful suggestions and links to great resources (including this blog) from around the world. So far, this is what I've come up with. (Note, TV Directors are not included in this list.)

It seems like the next step is to add these names with appropriate links to the existing Wikipedia list of "female directors," which otherwise needs some corrections. Perhaps a group effort could make this happen sooner than later.


Best Regards,
Brad Wise


Gilda de Abreu
Perry Miller Adato
Anita W. Addison
Carine Adler
Arantxa Aguirre
Yasmin Ahmad
Marianne Ahrne
Eija-Liisa Ahtila
Peggy Ahwesh
Chantal Akerman
Barbara Albert
Karin Albou
Lexi Alexander
Stephanie Allain
Suzana Amaral
Tata Amaral
Alison Anders
Jane Anderson
Antouanneta Angelidi
Maya Angelou
Eileen Anipare
Annette Apon
Shamim Ara
Louise Archambault
Francesca Archibugi
Jane Arden
Asia Argento
Gillian Armstrong
Andrea Arnold
Karen Arthur
Natasha Arthy
Dorothy Arzner
Dinara Asanova
Martina Attile
Shona Auerbach
Jacqueline Audry
Shona Auerbach

Beth B.
Jamie Babbit
Paule Baillargeon
Josiane Balasko
Anne Bancroft
Rakhshan Bani-Etemaad
Laurence Ferreira Barbosa
Neema Barnette
Diana Barrie
Drew Barrymore
Sophie Barthes
Michal Bat Adam
Joy Batchelor
Kathy Bates
Jordan Bayne
Gabrielle Beaumont
Zoe Beloff
Maria Luisa Bemberg
Jessica Bendinger
Yamina Benguigui
Sadie Benning
Emmanuelle Bercot
Zaida Bergroth
Dori Berinstein
Juliet Berto
Troy Beyer
Susanne Bier
Kathryn Bigelow
Anna Biller
Patricia Birch
Antonia Bird
Jane Birkin
Simone Bitton
Maureen Blackwood
Laís Bodanzky
Virginia Bogert
Icíar Bollaín
Lizzie Borden
Shonali Bose
Muriel Box
Anja Breien
Catherine Breillat
Valerie Breiman
Zabou Breitman
Zana Briski
Tricia Brock
Katrina Holden Bronson
Katherine Brooks
Hilary Brougher
Jutta Bruckner
Mary Ellen Bute

Dominique Cabrera
Eliane Caffé
Sophie Calle
Jane Campion
Carla Camurati
Kat Candler
Saara Cantell
Corinne Cantrill
Dominique Cardona (aka Laurie Colbert)
Niki Caro
Ana Carolina
Ditsi Carolino
Alana Cash
Zoe Cassavetes
Liliana Cavani
Gurinder Chadha
Lina Chamie
Tanuja Chandra
Sylvia Chang
Joan Chen
Ayoka Chenzira
Mabel Cheung
Abigail Child
Lisa Cholodenko
Joyce Chopra
Zero Chou
Christine Choy
Věra Chytilová
Lisa Cholodenko
Michelle Citron
Shirley Clarke
Stacey Cochran
Leslie Cockburn
Essie Coffey
Isabel Coixet
Giada Colagrande
Kathleen Collins
Cristina Comencini
Martha Coolidge
Nicole Conn
Sopfa Coppola
Catherine Corsini
Michèle Cournoyer
Jill Craigie
Emma-Kate Croghan
Emmanuelle Cuau
Grace Cunard

Holly Dale
Joan Darling
Julie Dash
Byambasuren Davaa
Tamra Davis
Zeinabu Irene Davis
Gilda de Abreu
Camille de Casabianca
Régine Deforges
Storm de Hirsch
Donna Deitch
Julie Delpy
Paule Delsol
Anne de Marcken
Maria de Medeiros
Claire Denis
Betse De Paula
Maya Deren
Virginie Despentes
Catharina Deus
Marina de Van
Claire Devers
Katherine Dieckmann
Sr. Dominic Dipio
Assia Djebar
Nana Djordjadze
Sara Driver
Harriet Dodge
Dörris Dörrie
Isabelle Doval
Elissa Down
Martin Doyen
Germaine Dulac
Cheryl Dunye
Marguerite Duras

Tracey Edmonds
Christine Edzard
Judit Elek
Ingemo Engstrom
Ildikó Enyedi
Nora Ephron
Marie Epstein
Kim Evans
Heidi Ewing
Valie Export

Safi Faye
Regina Fanta-Nacro
Michele Farinola
Valerie Faris
Eléonore Faucher
Alicia Felberbaum
Marcela Fernandez Violante
Forugh Farrokhzad
Pascale Ferran
Mary Field
Sally Field
Martha Fiennes
Sophie Fiennes
Sophie Fillières
Roberta Findlay
Holly Fisher
Jane Fleming
Anne Fletcher
Anne Fontaine
Sadaf Foroughi
Jodie Foster
Hollis Frampton
Andrea Fraser
Mimi Freedman
Marylin Freeman
Su Friedrich
Sonia Fritz

Laura Gabbert
Eva Le Gallienne
Nisha Ganatra
Nicole Garcia
Gene Gauntier
Julie Gavras
Sarah Gavron
Dyana Gaye
Leah Gilliam
Lillian Gish
Lesli Linka Glatter
Delphine Gleize
Elinor Glyn
Jill Godmilow
Lana Gogoberidze
Sara Gomez
Bette Gordon
Dennie Gordon
Marleen Gorris
Rachel Grady
Lee Grant
Amy Greenfield
Maggie Greenwald
Marion Grierson
Kristy Guevara-Flanagan
Valérie Guignabodet
Sonali Gulati
Iris Gusner
Alice Guy-Blaché

Lucile Hadzihalilovic
Randa Haines
Mira Hamermesh
Lisa Gay Hamilton
Barbara Hammer
Sanaa Hamri
Marion Hänsel
Leslie Harris
Mary Harron
Catherine Hardwicke
Salma Hayek
Anne Heche
Amy Heckerling
Chris Hegedus
Birgit Hein
Hanna Henning
Astrid Henning-Jensen
Sachiko Hidari
Cheryl Hines
Ivy Ho
Anna Hofman-Uddgren
Agnieszka Holland
Nicole Holofcener
Solveig Hoogenstein
Dianne Houston
Bronwen Hughes
Faith Hubley
Ann Hui
Danièle Huillet
Bonnie Hunt
Claire Hunt (aka Kim Longinotto)
Courtney Hunt
Helen Hunt
Gale Anne Hurd
Anjelica Huston

Diana Lee Inosanto
Bodil Ipsen
Debbie Isitt
Julia Crawford Ivers

Mehreen Jabbar
Sarah Jacobson
Jeong Jae-eun
Wonda Jakubowska
Agnès Jaoui
Christine Jeffs
Patty Jenkins
Tamara Jenkins
Vicky Jenson
Liu Jiayin
Xiao Jiang
Xu Jinglei
Scarlett Johannson
Lana Jokel
G. B. Jones
Hella Joof
Suma Josson
Miranda July

Takeshi Kaneshiro
Betty Kaplan
Deborah Kaplan
Nelly Kaplan
Prema Karanth
Niki Karimi
Anna Karina
Nicole Kassell
Naomi Kawase
Diane Keaton
Dorota Kędzierzawska
Marjorie Keller
Sarah Kernochan
Joanna Kerns
Farah Khan
Shaan Khattau
Callie Khouri
Beeban Kidron
So Yong Kim
Karen Kluge
Indu Krishnan
Sandra Kogut
Ana Kokkinos
Barbara Kopple
Cristina Kotz Cornejo
Ellen Kuras
Diane Kurys
Karyn Kusama
Julia Kwan

Nadine Labaki
Jeanne Labrune
Christine Lahti
Mary Lambert
Micheline Lanctôt
Matilde Landeta
Samantha Lang
Yelena Lanskaya
Alile Sharon Larkin
Clara Law
Arantxa Lazcano
Kalpana Lazmi
Caroline Leaf
Mimi Leder
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Suzanne Lemaître
Valérie Lemercier
Kasi Lemmons
Nanouk Leopold
Frieda Liappa
Nnegest Likké
Caroline Link
Claudia Llosa
Phyllida Lloyd
Sondra Locke
Barbara Loden
Julia Loktev
Joan Long
Kim Longinotto
Julie Lopes-Curval
Issa Lopez
Nnegest Likké
Caroline Link
Marion Lipschutz
Lynne Littman
Jennie Livingston
Ma Liwen
Emma Luchini
Kátia Lund
Ida Lupino
Noémie Lvovsky
Lottie Lyell
Jennifer Lynch

Angelina Maccarone
Hettie MacDonald
Alison Maclean
Cleo Madison
Evelyn Cindy Magara
Maria Maggenti
Sharon Maguire
Maïwenn (aka Maïwenn Le Besco)
Hana Makhmalbaf
Marzieh Makhmalbaf
Samira Makhmalbaf
Sarah Maldoror
Marilu Mallet
Laura Mañá
Babette Mangolte
Suhasini Maniratnam
Sophie Marceau
Frances Marion
Eisha Marjara
Tonia Marketaki
Havana Marking
Penny Marshall
Tonie Marshall
Lucrecia Martel
Darnell Martin
Laetitia Masson
Elaine May
Melanie Mayron
Patricia Mazuy
Barbara McCullough
Paulette McDonagh
Sheila McLaughlin
Carolyn McMaster
Lucille McVey Drew
Nancy Meckler
Jeanine Meerapfel
Deepa Mehta
Vijaya Mehta
Hu Mei
Ursula Meier
Susan Meiselas
Kay Mellor
Marie Menken
Agnès Merlet
Nancy Meyers
Márta Mészáros
Agnès Merlet
Leah Meyerhoff
Liu Miaomiao
Joan Micklin Silver
Anne-Marie Miéville
Elfi Mikesch
Laila Mikkelsen
Tahmineh Milani
Rebecca Miller
Sharron Miller
Trinh T. Min-ha
Pilar Miró
Merata Mita
Helke Misselwitz
Ariane Mnouchkine
Tracey Moffatt
Kaori Momoi
Florence Moncorgé-Gabin
Karen Moncrieff
Adriana Monti
Jocelyn Moorehouse
Jeanne Moreau
Yolande Moreau
Sarah Morris
Samantha Morton
Lúcia Murat
Kira Muratova
Pat Murphy
Anne Mungai
Anna Muylaert

Fanta Régina Nacro
Phyllis Nagy
Mira Nair
Terre Nash
Gunvor Nelson
Laura Neri
Shirin Neshat
Kika Nicolela
Vijaya Nirmala
Tuija-Maija Niskanen
Elvira Notari
Maria Novaro

Alanis Obomsawin
Alice O’Fredericks
Jenni Olson
Gulshat Omarova
Yoko Ono
Ngozi Onwurah
Ulrike Ottinger
Phoebe Owens

Reneta Padovan
Euzhan Palcy
Marianna Palka
Sai Paranjpye
Ida May Park
Claire Parker
Pratibha Parmar
Christine Pascal
Barbara Peeters
Kimberly Peirce
Alexandra Pelosi
Claire Peploe
Cristina Perincioli
Rachel Perkins
Barbara Peters
Mary Pickford
Vanessa Place
Gaylene Preston
Gina Prince-Bythewood
Natalie Portman
Sarah Polley
Léa Pool
Leanne Pooley
Sally Potter
Olga Preobrazhenskaya
Carrie Preston
Gaylene Preston
Gina Prince-Bythewood

Joanna Quinn

Yvonne Rainer
Lynne Ramsay
Cathy Randall
Mari Rantasila
Jackie Raynal
Carol Reed
Kelly Reichardt
Lotte Reiniger
Anja-Kristin Remmert
Amy Rice
Leni Riefenstahl
Pipilotti Rist
Dorothy Davenport Reid
Angela Robinson
Marta Rodriguez
Françoise Romand
Martha Rosier
Michèle Rosier
Stephanie Rothman
Brigitte Roüan
Mireia Roz
Patricia Rozema
Barbara Rubin
Pila Rusjan

Saara Saarela
Leontine Sagan
Djamila Sahraoui
Sherine Salama
Alicia Sams
Helke Sander
Helma Sanders-Brahms
Arlene Sanford
Valeria Sarmiento
Megumi Sasaki
Shimako Sato
Marjane Satrapi
Nancy Savoca
Jasmila Sbanic
Angela Schanelec
Lone Scherfig
Suzanne Schiffman
Carolee Schneemann
Céline Sciamma
Cynthia Scott
Beverly Sebastion
Susan Seidelman
Aparna Sen
Coline Serreau
Adrienne Shelley
Lynn Shelton
Millicent Shelton
Larissa Shepitko
Cindy Sherman
Bonnie Sherr Klein
Nell Shipman
Cate Shortland
Esther Shub
Tong Shu Shuen
Mina Shum
Nandini Sikand
Claire Simon
Kari Skogland
Alison Snowden
Helena Solberg
Iuliia Solntseva
Frances-Anne Solomon
Susan Sontag
Lim Soon-rye
Penelope Spheeris
Jill Sprecher
Stella Stevens
Ruth Stonehouse
Lynne Stopkewich
Chick Strand
Barbara Streisand
Susan Streitfeld
Susan Stroman
Caroline Strubbe
Susanna Styron
Elisabeth Subrin
Sara Sugarman
Lee Suk-Gyung
Sabiha Sumar
Elizaveta Svilova

Rea Tajiri
Rachel Talalay
Shashwati Talukdar
Kinuyo Tanaka
Loveleen Tandan
Nadia Tass
Sam Taylor-Wood
Julie Taymor
Conny Templemen
Suzie Templeton
Joan Tewkesbury
Stella Theodoraki
Virginie Thevenet
Betty Thomas
Caroline Thompson
Daniele Thompson
Ingrid Thulin
Ondi Timoner
Loretta Todd
Fina Torres
Pimpaka Towira
Patrice Toye
Wendy Toye
Marie-Claude Treilhou
Monika Treut
Nadine Trintignant
Minh-ha Trinh T.
Fien Troch
Rose Troche

Liv Ullman

Sonia Valentín
Agnès Varda
Nia Vardalos
Dororthee Vandenberge
Paula van der Oest
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Jennifer Venditti
Sylvie Verheyde
Marion Vernoux
Sandrine Veysset
Teresa Villaverde
Claudia von Alemann
Katja von Garnier
Rosa von Praunheim
Margarethe von Trotta
Jürgen Vsych

Nancy Walker
Susan F. Walker
Sarah Watt
Lois Weber
Joyce Weiland
Claudia Weill
Lina Wertmüller
Anne Wheeler
Susanna White
Joyce Wieland
Margery Wilson
Alice Winocour
Doris Wishman
Katie Woods

Tizuka Yamazaki
Pamela Yates
Ruby Yang
Keren Yedaya
Ning Ying
So Yong Kim
Jessica Yu
Li Yu

Mai Zetterling
Nuanxin Zhang

Kathryn Bigelow will always

Kathryn Bigelow will always have my heart for directing the best vampire movie ever, Near Dark. She is a great director, I always enjoy her stuff, even the flawed stuff such as Strange Days (which had a much darker ending until stupid test audiences complained).
I appreciate mentioning the gender of the director, if only to note how rare the breed and thus raise awareness of sexism in the industry. But, yeah, clearly unnecessary to discuss her body otherwise.

Grrrl on Film: Women Directors – A Group Effort Resource List!

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