This topic is very close to my heart since I am a female director. Not to sound cliché, but it’s not always easy being a female director in the film industry because it sometimes seems like a boy’s club.

Even if a female does great work, I’ve found that a lot of men in this industry still won’t taker her seriously. Once, just minutes after I was introduced as the writer/director of a project, a man looked straight past me to my male partner to compliment him on how great it looked and continued talking to him about the project without even throwing a glance my way. Of course, the male who worked on the project with me is great about giving credit where it’s due, but it was still an odd experience for me.

Now, I’m not trying to sound like a feminist or anything like that. There are still men out there who absolutely support me and have been fantastic to talk to while writing and directing this project. I just realized first hand how much of a boy’s club film making can be, and I wanted to dedicate a blog to celebrate great work by women who should never be overlooked.

Julie Taymor

Across the Universe, The Tempest, Frida

I like Julie Taymor for her artistic direction in all of her films. They are all a bit trippy, enabling a person to experience her wild outlook on life. She’s won numerous awards in film and on Broadway, and her films are the most fascinating to watch from a female director, in my opinion. With a background in experimental theater and puppetry from Japan, she is definitely not afraid to take chances. Her unique imagery and cultured outlook on life will draw you into another world and make you never want to leave.

Sofia Coppola

The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette

In a completely different style, Sophia Coppola is another fantastic filmmaker. If she hadn’t been up against Peter Jackson the year Return of the King came out, I believe she would have been the first female director to win Best Director for Lost in Translation. Her films pull out dark truths in life, and if you watch closely her stories will stick with you days after watching them. Although her father is a famous director, I think she found her voice and stands strong on her own.

Shainee Gabel

A Love Song for Bobby Long

Some might wonder why this director made my top three since she has only directed one movie (at least to my knowledge). However, this film has worked its way into my heart and remains one of my favorite of all times. Shainee Gable worked hard to develop and know the characters in this film. She had very little to work with in terms of money, but I think she dug deep and uncovered something incredible in this story. I don’t think she has directed anything since this film, but she is someone who I would absolutely love to see directing again.

Other Notable Female Directors:

(Note: Only their best films are listed. These women have directed other films as well, but this just highlights some of their best work.)

Agnieszka Holland – The Secret Garden

Niki Caro – Whale Rider, North Country

Shona Auerbach – Dear Frankie

Lone Scherfig – An Education

Christine Jeffs – Sunshine Cleaning, Sylvia

Shana Feste – Country Strong

Sally Potter – The Man Who Cried

Who are some other female directors you like?

Rachel M Taylor

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Rachel is a writer/director. She loves character driven movies and really good cheese.

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