Almost all the well known directors are male. Just name it: Hitchcock, Welles, Spielberg, Kubrick. It’s no great mystery that the contribution of women to film directing is often overlooked by fans. Although small in number, their contributions of female directors to the industry is huge. One of the contemporary acclaimed female directors is Sofia Coppola, of the Coppola family fame (his father, Francis, directed the Godfather trilogy). She has had an illustrious career despite her young age: the 2003 film Lost in Translation remains one of her crowning achievement. Her film Somewhere (2010) won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
Claire Denis directed Chocolat (1998), a French film which was nominated for the Academy Award best picture. Jane Campion directed the poignant film The Piano (1993), which won the top award at the Cannes and three Academy Awards. Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker (2008) won the Oscar for Best Picture and bagged her the Best Director award. Women have been known as great filmmaker in the past too: the great German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl was the favorite choice of Hitler to do his propaganda work. She directed Triumph des Willens (Triumph of the Will), a Nazi propaganda piece that have been critically praised for its cinematic brilliance.
Doing research? Need Statistics on women in the entertainment industry? This section contains much of the information that might be helpful to those of you doing research, but please also check our Statistics section for amazing information and also our Databank.
Hey YOU! We’re seeking any students writing thesis or term papers on women in Hollywood. We’d like to publish your work on our site. We believe that your work can help many others doing the same research. Let’s help each other out and learn more about this topic. Send us an email to let us know more.
The Women Behind the Camera in Early Hollywood :: by Cari Beauchamp. This article is our flagship piece about historical women filmmakers. This is a don’t miss article. Also, listen to the companion audio podcast of Cari Beauchamp speaking in more detail on this topic.
- Julie Delpy: Interview about 2 Days in Paris (August 2007) :: by Heidi Martinuzzi
- Katja von Garnier: Interview about Blood and Chocolate (October 2006):: by Heidi Martinuzzi.
- Anya Camilleri: Interview about Incubus (October 2006):: by Heidi Martinuzzi.
- Directing Gender Buzz (Los Angeles Times, Feb 19th 2007) :: by Josh Friedman.
- In Hollywood, Perception of Equality Doesn’t Make It Real :: by Melissa Silverstein.
- Nothing Like Hollywood :: by Erin Trahan.
- Close Encounters with Laurel Chiten :: by Erin Trahan.
Growing Up – Filmmaker Lorna Lowe Streeter reflects on how “Shelter” her first documentary came to be and how asking and answering tough questions about a fractured mother-daughter relationship helped her transition into adulthood :: by Erin Trahan