HERE IS A LIST OF FEMALE DIRECTORSby maeve5 | created - 05 Dec 2017 | updated - 5 days ago | 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 ...
2. Greta Gerwig
Writer | Lady Bird
Greta Gerwig is an American actress, playwright, screenwriter, and director. She has collaborated with Noah Baumbach on several films, including Greenberg (2010), Frances Ha (2012), for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination, and Mistress America (2015). Gerwig made her solo directorial debut ...
Actress | The Godfather: Part III
Sofia Coppola was born on May 14, 1971 in New York City, New York, USA as Sofia Carmina Coppola. She is a director, known for Somewhere (2010), Lost in Translation (2003) and Marie Antoinette (2006). She has been married to Thomas Mars since August 27, 2011. They have two children. She was ...
4. 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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
10. 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 ...
Director | The Runaways
Floria Sigismondi is a photographer and director. Apart from her art exhibitions she is best known for directing music videos. Her trademark dilating, jittery camerawork, noticeable as early as her video for Marilyn Manson's "The Beautiful People", has been replicated by a great number of directors...
12. 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 ...
Director | Homeland
Lesli Linka Glatter is a director of film, network, cable and premium cable television drama, with both pilots and episodes to her credit. Lesli's TV work includes Homeland (2011), The Newsroom (2012), The Walking Dead (2010), Justified (2010), Ray Donovan (2013), Masters of Sex (2013), Nashville (...
14. 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...
15. 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 (...
17. 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 Morvern Callar (2002). She was previously married to Rory Stewart Kinnear.
18. 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, ...
19. Patty Jenkins
Director | Wonder Woman
Patty Jenkins is a writer/director best known for directing Wonder Woman, the Warner Bros./DC Comics blockbuster of 2017, and her debut feature Monster. Patty also works in television where she is best known for the pilot and finale episode of AMC's hit show The Killing.
Patty began her career as a ...
21. Reed Morano
Director | The Handmaid's Tale
Reed Morano was born on April 15, 1977 in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. She is known for directing and executive producing the pilot as well as episodes 2 & 3 of 'The Handmaid's Tale' (2017) and directing the feature film, 'Meadowland' (2015), which she also served as her own DP on. She also did double ...
Producer | Oh Lucy!
Atsuko Hirayanagi was born on 2-8-2015 in Nagano (Japan) and was raised in Chiba (Japan). She later studied fine arts at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Asia, where she eventually passed an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in Film Production. A resident of San Francisco, she is also a member of the ...
30. Chloé Zhao
Director | The Rider
Chloé Zhao or Zhao Ting (born March 31, 1982) is a Chinese film director, screenwriter, and producer. Her debut feature film, Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015), premiered at Sundance Film Festival. Her second feature film, The Rider (2017), was critically acclaimed and received several accolades ...
Director | The Light of the Moon
Jessica M. Thompson is an Emmy-nominated Australian writer, director, and producer who resides in Los Angeles. She made her feature directorial debut with "The Light of the Moon", which had its world premiere at the SXSW film festival in March 2017, where it won the Audience Award for Best ...
34. Lake Bell
Actress | In a World...
Lake Bell was born on March 24, 1979 in New York City, New York, USA as Lake Caroline Siegel Bell. She is an actress and writer, known for In a World... (2013), No Strings Attached (2011) and It's Complicated (2009). She has been married to Scott Campbell since June 1, 2013. They have two children.
36. 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 ...
37. Jane Campion
Writer | The Piano
Jane Campion was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and now lives in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Having graduated with a BA in Anthropology from Victoria University of Wellington in 1975, and a BA, with a painting major, at Sydney College of the Arts in 1979, she began filmmaking in the early...
38. 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 ...
39. Julia Ducournau
Writer | Grave
Julia Ducournau is a French film director and screenwriter. She attended film school at La Fémis in Paris, where she studied screenwriting. In 2011, her short film JUNIOR won the Petit Rail d'Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. Her first feature, the horror movie RAW, won the coveted FIPRESCI ...
40. Neema Barnette
Director | Civil Brand
Director and producer Neema Barnette has engaged audiences with a body of socially compelling and politically charged work that defies the narrow stereotypes of African-Americans usually depicted in entertainment. Working in both television and film, Barnette has earned the respect of peers and ...
41. Victoria Mahoney
Actress | Legally Blonde
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 ...
Actress | Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid
Classy, graceful, & intelligent, Salli Elise Richardson was born November 23, 1967, in Chicago, Illinois. Salli's acting career was first nurtured in the theater and, ever since, she has been on a non-stop journey to success. Her first feature performance was in 1991 as "Denise" in Up Against the ...
45. Tina Mabry
Director | Mississippi Damned
A native of Tupelo, Mississippi, Tina Mabry graduated from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts with an MFA in Film Production in 2005. A true hyphenate, Tina is a writer, director, and producer for television and film. She is a writer and producer for Fox's upcoming ...
56. Debra Granik
Director | Winter's Bone
Debra Granik (born February 6, 1963) is an American New York City-based independent film and documentary film director and screenwriter. She is most known for 2004's Down to the Bone, which starred Vera Farmiga, 2010's Winter's Bone, which starred Jennifer Lawrence in her breakout performance and ...
57. 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.
58. 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 ...
62. Mimi Leder
Director | On the Basis of Sex
Mimi Leder was born on January 26, 1952 in New York City, New York, USA as Miriam Leder. She is a producer and director, known for On the Basis of Sex (2018), The Leftovers (2014) and Deep Impact (1998). She is married to Gary Werntz. They have one child.
64. 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 ...
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 ...
67. Lone Scherfig
Director | An Education
Writer/director Lone Scherfig graduated from The National Film School of Denmark in 1984. Her first feature film, THE BIRTHDAY TRIP (1990), was selected for Panorama in Berlin, the New Directors section at MOMA in New York and won the Grand Jury Prix in Rouen. Her next film, ON OUR OWN (1998), ...
68. Amy Seimetz
Actress | Upstream Color
Amy Seimetz first came to prominence producing and directing shorts and independent films. Most notably associate producing Barry Jenkins' Medicine For Melancholy which was nominated for Gotham and Independent Spirit Awards, after playing at South By Southwest and the Toronto International Film ...
70. Jodie Foster
Actress | The Silence of the Lambs
Jodie Foster was born Alicia Christian Foster on November 19, 1962 in Los Angeles. She is the daughter of Evelyn Ella "Brandy" (Almond), a producer, and Lucius Fisher Foster III, an Air Force lieutenant colonel and real estate broker. Brandy had filed for divorce in 1959 after having three children...
71. 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.
72. Elizabeth Banks
Actress | The Hunger Games
Elizabeth Banks was born Elizabeth Mitchell in Pittsfield, a small city in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts near the New York border, on February 10, 1974. She is the daughter of Ann (Wallace), who worked in a bank, and Mark P. Mitchell, a factory worker. Elizabeth describes herself as ...
73. 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...
75. Lisa Cholodenko
Director | The Kids Are All Right
Lisa Cholodenko earned an MFA at Columbia University Film School where she made an award-winning short film Dinner Party (1997) Her feature High Art (1998) won the National Society of Film Critics award for Ally Sheedy's performance and The Waldo Salt Screenwriting award at Sundance. Both "High Art...
76. Isabel Coixet
Director | The Secret Life of Words
Isabel Coixet was born on April 9, 1960 in Sant Adrià de Besòs, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain as Isabel Coixet Castillo. She is a director and writer, known for The Secret Life of Words (2005), My Life Without Me (2003) and Things I Never Told You (1996).
77. Martha Coolidge
Director | Valley Girl
Martha Patterson Coolidge was born on August 17, 1946 in New Haven Connecticut. She studied illustration at Rhode Island School of Design, but changed majors, becoming the first film major at the school. She attended and graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she ...
81. Hannah Fidell
Writer | A Teacher
Hannah Fidell was born on October 7, 1985 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA as Hannah Margalit Fidell. She is a writer and producer, known for A Teacher (2013), 6 Years (2015) and The Long Dumb Road (2018). She has been married to Jake Longstreth since September 23, 2017.
82. Valerie Faris
Director | Little Miss Sunshine
Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris have built an impressive body of work by perpetually seeking innovative projects in a variety of mediums.
After introducing bands such as REM and The Red Hot Chili Peppers on their ground breaking MTV show The Cutting Edge, Jonathan and Valerie continued to work in ...
85. Anne Fontaine
Writer | Coco avant Chanel
Anne Fontaine was born on July 15, 1959 in Luxembourg as Anne Sibertin-Blanc. She is an actress and writer, known for Coco Before Chanel (2009), The Innocents (2016) and Reinventing Marvin (2017). She is married to Philippe Carcassonne. They have one child.
88. Sanaa Hamri
Producer | Empire
Sanaa Hamri is a renowned film director from Tangier, Morocco. Her feature directorial debut was the romantic comedy Something New for Focus Features in 2006, followed by her second directorial effort, the sequel to the Warner Bros.' hit The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, then onto the Fox ...
89. 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 destinées (2000). Their artistic collaboration was coupled by a union in real ...
90. Mary Harron
Director | American Psycho
Mary Harron (born January 12, 1953) is a Canadian filmmaker and screenwriter. She gained recognition for her role in writing and directing several independent films, including I Shot Andy Warhol (1996), American Psycho (2000), and The Notorious Bettie Page (2005). She co-wrote American Psycho and ...
Director | Pokot
Agnieszka Holland was born 28 of November 1948 in Warsaw but went to Czechoslovakia to study film directing at FAMU in Prague. She began her film career working in Poland with Krzysztof Zanussi as assistant director, and Andrzej Wajda as her mentor. She wrote several scripts with Wajda before ...
94. Vicky Jenson
Director | Shrek
Vicky Jenson's career spans more than two decades in both animation and live action, and crosses the spectrum from TV to feature films to shorts including a commercial campaign for Old Navy of more than 40 spots with Anonymous Content and was at that time the only female feature film director they ...
95. 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 ...
96. 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 ...
97. 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 Eve's Bayou (1997). She has been married to Vondie Curtis-Hall since 1995. They have two children.
99. Gail Mancuso
Director | Modern Family
Noted TV series director Gail Mancuso grew up in suburban Cook County, Illinois. Mancuso began her career as an usher of the set of several television talk shows. Later, became a script supervisor for the Showtime Cable Network comedy "Brothers". In 1989, she began serving as associate director for...
100. Kristen Stewart
Actress | The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Though most famous for her role as Isabella "Bella" Swan in The Twilight (2008) Saga, Kristen Stewart has been a working actor since her early years in Los Angeles, California, where she was born. Her parents, John Stewart and Jules Stewart, both work in film and television. Her mother is ...