women directorsby tijanas93 | created - 17 Jan 2017 | updated - 03 Jul 2017 | Public
1. Ava DuVernay
Producer | Queen Sugar
A director, producer, writer, marketer and film distributor, Ava DuVernay made her feature film debut with the documentary This in the Life (2008), a history on hip hop movement that flourished in Los Angeles in the 1990's. This was followed by series of television music documentaries which ...
Writer | Shots Fired
Gina Prince-Bythewood wrote and directed the widely acclaimed feature film Love & Basketball (2000) which premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival. She won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature and a Humanitas Prize for her work on the film. Her other directing credits include ...
Director | Mustang
In 2011 Ergüven was invited to attend the Cannes Film Festivals Atelier to help develop her project, The Kings. While there she met fellow director Alice Winocour who was there to develop her first feature film Augustine. After Ergüven was unable to find financing for her film Winocour suggested ...
6. Amma Asante
Director | Belle
Amma Asante is a British BAFTA award winning screenwriter and director, known for Belle (2013), and A Way of Life (2004). She is a former child actress, who began her writing career at the age of 23 with a script deals from both Channel 4 in the UK and BBC. Her first movie, A Way of Life, which she...
14. Jamie Babbit
Director | But I'm a Cheerleader
Jamie Babbit was born on November 16, 1970 in Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA as Jamie Merrill Babbit. She is a director and producer, known for But I'm a Cheerleader (1999), Silicon Valley (2014) and Girls (2012). She has been married to Karey Dornetto since 2014.
15. Marielle Heller
Director | The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Marielle Heller is a writer, director and actor. She was selected as a 2012 Sundance Screenwriting Fellow and 2012 Sundance Directing Fellow, and was honored with the Lynn Auerbach Screenwriting Fellowship, and The Maryland Film Festival Fellowship. Her writing credits include pilots for ABC and ...
16. Sally Potter
Director | Orlando
Sally Potter made her first 8mm film aged fourteen. She has since written and directed seven feature films, as well as many short films (including THRILLER and PLAY) and a television series, and has directed opera (Carmen for the ENO in 2007) and other live work. Her background is in choreography, ...
17. Leslye Headland
Writer | Bachelorette
Leslye Headland was born on November 26, 1980 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Leslye Ann Headland. She is a writer and director, known for Bachelorette (2012), Sleeping with Other People (2015) and Russian Doll (2019). She has been married to Rebecca Henderson since September 18, 2016.
Director | Suburbia
Spheeris is often referred to as a 'rock 'n roll anthropologist'.
In 1974 she formed the first Los Angeles music video production company, ROCK 'N REEL. She concluded her music video work with the Grammy-nominated, "Bohemian Rhapsody" video for "Wayne's World". Spheeris' feature film debut was the ...
20. Lucrecia Martel
Director | La mujer sin cabeza
Born in 1966 in Salta in the North of Argentina,Lucrecia Martel settled down in Buenos Aires where she attended the ENERC (National Film School). She started by directing a few shorts among which Dead King (1995), which garnered several awards in the international film festival circuit. From 1995 to...
21. Julie Taymor
Director | Frida
Julie Taymor is an Academy Award-nominated director, known for such films as Frida (2002) and Across the Universe (2007).
She was born on December 15, 1952, in Newton, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. Her father, Melvin Lester Taymor, was a gynecologist. Her mother, Elizabeth Bernstein, was a ...
24. Adrienne Shelly
Actress | Waitress
The late Adrienne Shelley was born in Queens, New York, to Sheldon Levine and Elaine Langbaum. After graduating Jericho High School, located in Jericho, New York, she enrolled at Boston University, and majored in film production. After her junior year, she dropped out and moved to Manhattan where ...
26. Miranda July
Writer | Me and You and Everyone We Know
Filmmaker Magazine rated her #1 in their "25 New Faces of Indie Film" in 2004!
She is a performance artist and published short story writer. Since becoming a filmmaker, her debut feature, Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005) has won several film awards.
Daughter of Lindy Hough and Richard ...
27. Dee Rees
Director | Mudbound
Writer/Director Dee Rees is an alumna of New York University's graduate film program and a Sundance Screenwriting & Directing Lab Fellow.
In 2018, Dee became the first Black woman nominated for an Oscar in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for her highly-acclaimed film Mudbound (2017). The film, ...
29. Sarah Polley
Actress | Dawn of the Dead
Sarah Polley is an actress and director renowned in her native Canada for her political activism. Blessed with an extremely expressive face that enables directors to minimize dialog due to her uncanny ability to suggest a character's thoughts, Polley has become a favorite of critics for her ...
30. Kathryn Bigelow
Director | The Hurt Locker
A very talented painter, Kathryn spent two years at the San Francisco Art Institute. At 20, she won a scholarship to the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program. She was given a studio in a former Offtrack Betting building, literally in an old bank vault, where she made art and waited to be ...
31. Mia Hansen-Løve
Director | L'avenir
Cinema came into Mia Hansen-Løve's life when she was eighteen, as Olivier Assayas made her start as an actress in Late August, Early September (1998). Two years later, he gave her the part of "Aline" in his Les Destinees (2000). Their artistic collaboration was coupled by a union in real life, Mia ...
34. Marya Cohn
Director | The Girl in the Book
Marya Cohn was born as Marya Ruth Cohn. She is a director and actress, known for The Girl in the Book (2015), Developing (1994) and Vermont Is for Lovers (1992). She has been married to Tjebbo Penning since August 5, 2001. They have two children. She was previously married to Fraser Bresnahan.
36. Asia Argento
Actress | Land of the Dead
Asia Argento was born in Rome, Italy, into a family of actors and filmmakers, both occupations which she has herself pursued. She made her debut when she was only nine years old in Sergio Citti's Sogni e bisogni (1985). In 1988 she had the leading role in Cristina Comencini's first film, Zoo (1988)...
Director | The Governess
Has directed many major commercials for Absolute Vodka, The Observer, Philips, Evian, Wella, Johnny Walker and Baileys. She also directed various arts documentaries for the BBC series 'Building Sights' and two documentaries on the world of boxing for Channel Four. She wrote and directed her first ...
Director | Panj é asr
Samira Makhmalbaf Filmmaker
Born on February 15,1980 in Tehran. At the age of eight, she played in "The Cyclist" directed by her father, Mohsen Makhmalbaf the celebrated Iranian filmmaker.
At the age of 17, she directed her first feature titled "The Apple" and She went on to become the youngest ...
48. Beeban Kidron
Director | Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
She came to prominence with the much lauded adaptation of Jeanette Winterson's autobiographical novel 'Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit'. Since then she's directed feature films, television dramas and documentaries. In 2008, she founded the charity called Filmclub with Lindsay Mackie. It has since ...
49. Agnès Varda
Director | Sans toit ni loi
Agnès Varda was born on May 30, 1928 in Brussels, Belgium as Arlette Varda. She was a director and writer, known for Vagabond (1985), Faces Places (2017) and Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962). She was married to Jacques Demy. She died on March 29, 2019 in Paris, France.
50. Brea Grant
Writer | 12 Hour Shift
Brea Grant was born in Marshall, Texas and attended high school at Marshall Public High School. She earned an MA at the University of Texas in Austin. Her first television acting job was on Friday Night Lights. She went on to play characters on Dexter and Heroes. She now resides in Los Angeles.
51. Allison Anders
Director | Gas Food Lodging
Anders weathered a rough childhood and young adult life which not only encouraged an escapist penchant for making up characters but also an insider's sympathy for the strong but put-upon women who people her films. Growing up in rural Kentucky, Anders would always remember hanging onto her father's...
52. Lynne Ramsay
Director | You Were Never Really Here
Lynne Ramsay was born on December 5, 1969 in Glasgow, Strathclyde, Scotland. She is a director and writer, known for You Were Never Really Here (2017), We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) and Ratcatcher (1999). She was previously married to Rory Stewart Kinnear.
53. Sophia Takal
Actress | Green
Sophia is a filmmaker and actress. Her work is seen through a variety of lens, including all kinds of genre work. In her early days, In the beginning, she worked on several short films, some of which were weighed upon by viewers since their release. She's worked with friends Adam Wingard, Joe ...
55. Amy Heckerling
Writer | Clueless
Amy Heckerling studied Film and TV at New York University and got a Masters Degree in Film from The American Film Institute. Despite this education she couldn't get a break in Hollywood. However, in 1982, she made Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), and people started to take notice. In 1985, ...
59. Maya Vitkova
Director | Viktoria
Maya Vitkova was born in Sofia. She graduated from the National Academy for Theater and Film Arts. Maya worked as an assistant director, casting director and executive producer for over twenty national and international productions, such as the BBC's "Eastern Delight" by Michael Palin (member of ...
60. Fina Torres
Writer | Oriana
FINA TORRES is currently a director/producer who brings experience from all areas of filmmaking to the role. After studying design, photography and journalism in Venezuela, Torres moved to Paris, where she earned a Bachelor's degree in cinematography from the Institute de Hautes Etudes ...
61. Susanne Bier
Director | Hævnen
Though Academy Award®, Golden Globe Award and Emmy Award winning writer and director Susanne Bier's films often play out against a wide-reaching global backdrop, their focus is intimate, carefully exploring the explosive emotions and complexities of familial bonds. This unique combination is part ...
62. Gurinder Chadha
Writer | Bend It Like Beckham
Gurinder Chadha was born in Kenya, and grew up in Southall, London, England. She began her career as a news reporter with BBC Radio, directed several award winning documentaries for the BBC, and began an alliance with the British Film Institute (BFI) and Channel Four. In 2001, Chadha set up her own...
63. Mira Nair
Director | Monsoon Wedding
Accomplished Film Director/Writer/Producer Mira Nair was born in India and educated at Delhi University and at Harvard. She began her film career as an actor and then turned to directing award-winning documentaries, including So Far From India and India Cabaret. Her debut feature film, Salaam ...
64. Ruba Nadda
Director | Cairo Time
Ruba Nadda is an internationally and critically acclaimed writer, director and producer living in Toronto. She has written and directed 17 films which include: Cairo Time (2009); Sabah (2005); Aadan (2004); Unsettled (2001); and I always come to you (2000); Blue turning Grey over you (1999), Black ...
65. Nancy Meyers
Writer | It's Complicated
Nancy Meyers was born on December 8, 1949 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Nancy Jane Meyers. She is a writer and producer, known for It's Complicated (2009), Something's Gotta Give (2003) and The Holiday (2006). She was previously married to Charles Shyer.
66. Alice Wu
Director | The Half of It
Studied computer science at MIT and Stanford University, where she received her bachelors and masters degrees. Left a job designing software at Microsoft to write and direct her first film, Saving Face, which premiered at the Toronto and Sundance Film Festivals, where it was acquired and released ...
67. Jennifer Phang
Director | Advantageous
A Berkeley-born daughter of Chinese-Malaysian and Vietnamese heritage, Jennifer Phang is a graduate of the MFA Directing program at the American Film Institute.
Her sophomore feature Advantageous won a Jury Prize at Sundance 2015 and was based on her award winning Futurestates short Advantageous (...
Director | The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel
Multiple award-winning filmmaker Christine Swanson earned her MFA in Film from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, one of the nation's top-ranked graduate film programs. Recognized early as a talented filmmaker, Christine was selected by NYU faculty as the Willard T.C. Johnson Fellow, ...
71. Maya Angelou
Actress | Madea's Family Reunion
Maya Angelou was born on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA as Marguerite Annie Johnson. She was an actress and writer, known for Madea's Family Reunion (2006), Poetic Justice (1993) and How to Make an American Quilt (1995). She was married to Paul Du Feu and Thomas J. (Tosh) Angelos. She ...
77. Niki Caro
Director | Whale Rider
Niki Caro is a New Zealand film director and screenwriter, born in 1967. Caro was born in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. She was educated first at the Kadimah College in Auckland, and then the Diocesan School for Girls in Auckland. The School is a private girls' school, and ranks ...
Director | Wadjda
Haifaa Al Mansour is the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia and is regarded as one of the most significant cinematic figures in the Kingdom. She finished her bachelor's degree in Literature at the American University in Cairo and completed a Master's degree in Directing and Film Studies from ...
79. Joan Chen
Actress | Judge Dredd
Born into a family of doctors and educated in China at the Shanghai Film Academy and the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Languages, Joan Chen was discovered by veteran Chinese director Jin Xie while observing a filming with a school group. Her performance in Xiao hua (1979) (A.K.A. "The Little Flower...
80. Meera Menon
Director | Farah Goes Bang
Meera Menon is an Indian-American director, writer, and editor. Her feature directorial debut, Farah Goes Bang, screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2013 and was awarded the inaugural Nora Ephron Prize by Tribeca and Vogue. She resides in Los Angeles.
Menon cited her father as her earliest ...
81. Leah Meyerhoff
Director | I Believe in Unicorns
Leah Meyerhoff wrote and directed the magical realist feature film I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS starring Natalia Dyer and Peter Vack, which was released theatrically after premiering at the SXSW Film Festival, winning the Grand Jury Prize at the Atlanta Film Festival and additional awards from the Tribeca...
82. Mélanie Laurent
Actress | Inglourious Basterds
Mélanie Laurent was born in Paris, France. She is the daughter of Annick, a ballet teacher, and Pierre, a voice actor, who is most recognized for the French version of The Simpsons (1989). She has a younger brother, Mathieu, and has both Sephardi Jewish (from Tunisia) and Ashkenazi Jewish (from ...
85. Victoria Mahoney
Director | Yelling to the Sky
Born and raised in New York, Mahoney developed her debut feature film "Yelling to the Sky" through the Directors and Screenwriters Sundance Institute Labs and was named an Auerbach Fellow, Annenberg Fellow, Cinereach Fellow, Maryland Fellow, Tribeca Fellow and IFP Narrative Lab fellow. She was ...
86. Deepa Mehta
Producer | Fire
Deepa Mehta is a transnational artist and a screenwriter, director, and producer whose work has been called "courageous", "provocative" and "breathtaking". Her visually lush and emotionally resonating films have played at every major international film festival; receiving numerous awards and ...
89. Vera Chytilová
Director | Dedictví aneb Kurvahosigutntag
Vera Chytilová was born on February 2, 1929, in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic). She studied philosophy and architecture in Brno for two years, then worked as a technical draftsman, a designer, a fashion model, a photo re-toucher, then worked as a clapper girl for Barrandov Film ...
90. Kasi Lemmons
Actress | The Silence of the Lambs
Kasi Lemmons was born on February 24, 1961 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA as Karen Lemmons. She is an actress, known for The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Candyman (1992) and Harriet (2019). She has been married to Vondie Curtis-Hall since August 19, 1995. They have two children.
91. Lexi Alexander
Director | Hooligans
Born in Germany, to a Palestinian father and German mother, Lexi Alexander, a former World Kickboxing Champion and USMC close-quarter-combat instructor, worked her way up from stunt woman to Oscar-nominated director with her first short film Johnny Flynton, a drama about a boxer. Eager to learn a ...
92. Ronit Elkabetz
Actress | Gett
Born in Beershaba in 1964, Ronit was an awkward child who felt she was different from others, but when she became an actress (more or less by chance at the age of 26) with a star role in Daniel Wachsmann's 'Hameyu'ad' ['The Appointed (1990)'], this complex became an asset. This beautiful brunette ...
93. Sonejuhi Sinha
Director | Stray Dolls
Sonejuhi's narrative short film, Love Comes Later, premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Sonejuhi then completed Cannes's development program Next Step in Paris with her feature script. She is the recipient of the Tribeca All Access development grant and was selected for Shoot New Director's ...
97. Deborah Kaplan
Writer | Liza on Demand
Writer/director Deborah Kaplan met partner, writer/director Harry Elfont, at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts' prestigious film school. In a strange coincidence, they discovered that their parents were friends and that they both attended neighboring high schools in Philadelphia. Kaplan had spent time...
98. Maren Ade
Producer | Toni Erdmann
Maren Ade was born in Karlsruhe on 12 December 1976 to a couple of teachers.She studied cinema at Munich's Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film. As of 2001 she co-founded, together with Janine Jackowski, a fellow graduate from HFF, the "Komplizen" film company. It is through Komplizen that Maren would...
100. Ann Hui
Director | Nu ren si shi
Born in China in 1947, Ann Hui moved to Hong Kong when she was still in her youth. After graduating in English and Comparative Literature from Hong Kong University, she spent two years at the London Film School. Returning to Hong Kong, she worked as an assistant to director King Hu before joining ...