Female Directed Foreign Language Nominees

by penchofifteenpolls | created - 2 months ago | updated - 1 month ago | Public

In 2010 Kathryn Bigelow made history becoming the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Director, putting an end to a wait of 82 years since the first Academy Awards and 34 years since Lina Wertmüller was the first woman ever nominated for this to happen.

In 2021, Chloé Zhao and Emerald Fennell marked the first time there were two nominees in the category.

Making a place for themselves in the Best Director category has been a hard task, but it is not so well known that women have had more success in the International Film Award, where dozens of talented directors have gotten nominations and victories way before Bigelow's historic victory came to happen.

As of 2021, all continents except Oceania have had at least one female director in contention for the award.

This time, we look at this category and ask, which Oscar nominee for International Film directed by a woman is your favorite?

If you don't know them, which one would you like to watch the most?

Poll by Pencho15

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1. Boy of Two Worlds (1959)

G | 93 min | Family, Drama

Young boy whose father was from Denmark and mother from a tropical island must live with his paternal aunt in Denmark. His skin color becomes an issue right away and he decides to escape and live in the forest.

Director: Astrid Henning-Jensen | Stars: Edvin Adolphson, Jimmy Sterman, Asbjørn Andersen, Ninja Tholstrup

Votes: 117

Directed by Astrid Henning-Jensen (Denmark)

2. Seven Beauties (1975)

R | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, War

The defense of honor, a strong value in Neapolitan society, and its effects on the life of everyman Pasquale Frafuso.

Director: Lina Wertmüller | Stars: Giancarlo Giannini, Fernando Rey, Shirley Stoler, Elena Fiore

Votes: 5,282 | Gross: $0.01M

Directed by Lina Wertmüller (Italy)

3. Entre Nous (1983)

PG | 110 min | Biography, Drama, War

A Jewish refugee marries a soldier to escape deportation to Germany. Meanwhile a wealthy art student loses her first husband to a stray Resistance bullet; at the Liberation she meets an actor, gets pregnant, and marries him.

Director: Diane Kurys | Stars: Miou-Miou, Isabelle Huppert, Guy Marchand, Jean-Pierre Bacri

Votes: 1,717

Directed by Diane Kurys (France)

4. Camila (1984)

R | 105 min | Drama, Romance

In 1840's Buenos Aires, Argentina, a beautiful young socialite named Camila falls in love with Ladislao, a Jesuit priest. After several failed attempts at fighting his own feelings, he ... See full summary »

Director: María Luisa Bemberg | Stars: Susú Pecoraro, Imanol Arias, Héctor Alterio, Elena Tasisto

Votes: 1,145

Directed by María Luisa Bemberg (Argentina)

First from America

5. Angry Harvest (1985)

R | 105 min | Drama, Romance, War

In the winter of 1942-43, a Jewish family leaps from a train going through Silesia. They are separated in the woods, and Leon, a local peasant who's now a farmer of some wealth, discovers ... See full summary »

Director: Agnieszka Holland | Stars: Armin Mueller-Stahl, Elisabeth Trissenaar, Wojciech Pszoniak, Gerd Baltus

Votes: 731

Directed by Agnieszka Holland (West Germany)

6. Three Men and a Cradle (1985)

PG-13 | 106 min | Comedy

44 Metascore

Jacques, Pierre, and Michel are three adult friends who enjoy single life until they find themselves stuck - with a baby.

Director: Coline Serreau | Stars: Roland Giraud, Michel Boujenah, André Dussollier, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu

Votes: 3,399 | Gross: $2.05M

Directed by Coline Serreau (France)

7. Salaam Bombay! (1988)

Not Rated | 113 min | Crime, Drama

78 Metascore

Heartrending story of the life lived in the back alleys and gutters of India. It is there that young Krishna must struggle to survive among the drug dealers, pimps, and prostitutes. In HD.

Director: Mira Nair | Stars: Shafiq Syed, Anjaan, Amrit Patel, Murari Sharma

Votes: 8,756 | Gross: $2.08M

Directed by Mira Nair (India)

First from Asia

8. Antonia's Line (1995)

R | 102 min | Comedy, Drama

A Dutch matron establishes and, for several generations, oversees a close-knit, matriarchal community where feminism and liberalism thrive.

Director: Marleen Gorris | Stars: Willeke van Ammelrooy, Jan Decleir, Veerle van Overloop, Els Dottermans

Votes: 8,360 | Gross: $4.82M

Directed by Marleen Gorris (Netherlands)

First winning film directed by a woman.

9. A Chef in Love (1996)

PG-13 | 100 min | Comedy, Romance

The story of Pascal Ichak, a larger-than-life French traveller, bon vivant, and chef, who falls in love with Georgia and a Georgian princess in the early 1920s. All is well until the ... See full summary »

Director: Nana Dzhordzhadze | Stars: Pierre Richard, Nino Kirtadze, Micheline Presle, Jean-Yves Gautier

Votes: 630 | Gross: $0.60M

Directed by Nana Dzhordzhadze (Georgia)

10. The Other Side of Sunday (1996)

PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy, Drama

The Other Side of Sunday criticizes the small, and often tight church community. We follow the Preachers Daughter; Maria, in her journey to liberate herself from the stiff church community and her strict religious father.

Director: Berit Nesheim | Stars: Marie Theisen, Hildegun Riise, Bjørn Sundquist, Sylvia Salvesen

Votes: 1,172

Directed by Berit Nesheim (Norway)

11. Beyond Silence (1996)

PG-13 | 109 min | Drama, Music

Since the earliest days in her childhood Lara has had a difficult but important task. Both her parents are deaf-mute and Lara has to translate from sign-language to the spoken word and vice... See full summary »

Director: Caroline Link | Stars: Sylvie Testud, Tatjana Trieb, Howie Seago, Emmanuelle Laborit

Votes: 4,142 | Gross: $0.17M

Directed by Caroline Link (Germany)

12. The Taste of Others (2000)

R | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

78 Metascore

The lives of 6 people over 35 in Rouen, France, and their relationship to each other.

Director: Agnès Jaoui | Stars: Anne Alvaro, Jean-Pierre Bacri, Alain Chabat, Agnès Jaoui

Votes: 9,331 | Gross: $0.64M

Directed by Agnès Jaoui (France)

13. Nowhere in Africa (2001)

R | 141 min | Biography, Drama, History

72 Metascore

A German Jewish refugee family moves to and adjusts to a farm life in 1930s Kenya.

Director: Caroline Link | Stars: Juliane Köhler, Merab Ninidze, Matthias Habich, Sidede Onyulo

Votes: 12,655 | Gross: $6.17M

Directed by Caroline Link (Germany)

Second Winner

14. Zus & Zo (2001)

Unrated | 106 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

50 Metascore

Zus & Zo shows what three sisters are willing to do to stop their would-be sister-in-law from coming into possession of Paraíso, their beloved family summer home on the Portuguese coast.

Director: Paula van der Oest | Stars: Sylvia Poorta, Anneke Blok, Monic Hendrickx, Jacob Derwig

Votes: 1,578 | Gross: $0.03M

Directed by Paula van der Oest (Netherlands)

15. Don't Tell (2005)

R | 120 min | Drama, Mystery

52 Metascore

Sabina has a regular life. She is satisfied with her job and her love for Franco. Lately nightmares start disturbing her, and almost in the same time she discovers to be pregnant. Step by ... See full summary »

Director: Cristina Comencini | Stars: Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Luigi Lo Cascio, Alessio Boni, Stefania Rocca

Votes: 2,383 | Gross: $0.03M

Directed by Cristina Comencini (Italy)

16. Water (I) (2005)

PG-13 | 117 min | Drama

77 Metascore

Set in colonial India against Gandhi's rise to power, it's the story of 8-year-old Chuyia, who is widowed and sent to a home to live in penitence; once there, Chuyia's feisty presence deeply affects the lives of the other residents.

Director: Deepa Mehta | Stars: Lisa Ray, John Abraham, Seema Biswas, Sarala Kariyawasam

Votes: 14,422 | Gross: $3.22M

Directed by Deepa Mehta (Canada)

17. After the Wedding (2006)

R | 120 min | Drama

78 Metascore

A manager of an orphanage in India is sent to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he discovers a life-altering family secret.

Director: Susanne Bier | Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Rolf Lassgård, Neeral Mulchandani

Votes: 32,736 | Gross: $0.41M

Directed by Susanne Bier (Denmark)

18. The Milk of Sorrow (2009)

94 min | Drama, Music

68 Metascore

Fausta is suffering from a rare disease called the Milk of Sorrow, which is transmitted through the breast milk of pregnant women who were abused or raped during or soon after pregnancy. ... See full summary »

Director: Claudia Llosa | Stars: Magaly Solier, Susi Sánchez, Efraín Solís, Bárbara Lazón

Votes: 6,691 | Gross: $0.01M

Directed by Claudia Llosa (Peru)

19. In a Better World (2010)

R | 118 min | Drama, Romance

65 Metascore

The lives of two Danish families cross each other, and an extraordinary but risky friendship comes into bud. But loneliness, frailty and sorrow lie in wait.

Director: Susanne Bier | Stars: Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, Markus Rygaard, Wil Johnson

Votes: 38,828 | Gross: $1.01M

Directed by Susanne Bier (Denmark)

Third winner

20. In Darkness (2011)

R | 145 min | Drama, War

74 Metascore

A dramatization of one man's rescue of Jewish refugees in the German-occupied Polish city of Lvov.

Director: Agnieszka Holland | Stars: Robert Wieckiewicz, Benno Fürmann, Agnieszka Grochowska, Maria Schrader

Votes: 10,177 | Gross: $1.04M

Directed by Agnieszka Holland (Poland)

21. Toni Erdmann (2016)

R | 162 min | Comedy, Drama

93 Metascore

A practical joking father tries to reconnect with his hard working daughter by creating an outrageous alter ego and posing as her CEO's life coach.

Director: Maren Ade | Stars: Sandra Hüller, Peter Simonischek, Michael Wittenborn, Thomas Loibl

Votes: 45,208 | Gross: $1.48M

Directed by Maren Ade (Germany)

22. On Body and Soul (2017)

Not Rated | 116 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

77 Metascore

When slaughterhouse workers Endre and Mária discover they share the same dreams, where they meet in a forest as deer and fall in love, they decide to make their dreams come true, but it's difficult in real life.

Director: Ildikó Enyedi | Stars: Alexandra Borbély, Géza Morcsányi, Réka Tenki, Zoltán Schneider

Votes: 24,906

Directed by Ildikó Enyedi (Hungary)

23. Capernaum (2018)

R | 126 min | Drama

75 Metascore

While serving a five-year sentence for a violent crime, a 12-year-old boy sues his parents for neglect.

Director: Nadine Labaki | Stars: Zain Al Rafeea, Yordanos Shiferaw, Boluwatife Treasure Bankole, Kawsar Al Haddad

Votes: 68,472 | Gross: $1.66M

Directed by Nadine Labaki (Lebanon)

24. Honeyland (2019)

Unrated | 89 min | Documentary, Drama

86 Metascore

The last female bee-hunter in Europe must save the bees and return the natural balance in Honeyland, when a family of nomadic beekeepers invade her land and threaten her livelihood.

Directors: Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov | Stars: Hatidze Muratova, Nazife Muratova, Hussein Sam, Ljutvie Sam

Votes: 15,367 | Gross: $0.82M

Directed by Tamara Kotevska (North Macedonia)

25. Quo vadis, Aida? (2020)

101 min | Drama, History, War

97 Metascore

Aida is a translator for the UN in the small town of Srebrenica. When the Serbian army takes over the town, her family is among the thousands of citizens looking for shelter in the UN camp.

Director: Jasmila Zbanic | Stars: Jasna Djuricic, Izudin Bajrovic, Boris Ler, Dino Bajrovic

Votes: 15,009

Directed by Jasmila Zbanic (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

26. The Man Who Sold His Skin (2020)

104 min | Drama

67 Metascore

His own body turned into a living work of art and promptly exhibited in a museum, Sam, a Syrian refugee, will soon realize to have sold away more than just his skin.

Director: Kaouther Ben Hania | Stars: Yahya Mahayni, Dea Liane, Koen De Bouw, Monica Bellucci

Votes: 2,294

Directed by Kaouther Ben Hania (Tunisia)

First from Africa.



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