With award season currently going on, we’re doing a lot of thinking about our favorite movies and directors of the past year. But, as you may have noticed, these nomination lists are predominantly filled by men. The film industry is yet another field in which women are overshadowed. Yet, the current cultural and political moment would suggest these archaic patterns are on their way out (we certainly hope!) To help celebrate and bring women in film to the forefront, here’s a list of some of our favorite women filmmakers.
Karena Evans is a director and actress, and at 23 years old, she is killing the game. She has directed Drake’s music videos for “God’s Plan”, “Nice for What”, and “In My Feelings”, has directed commercials for Nike, and already has a collection of awards for her accolades in directing. We’re excited to see what Karena does next.
You may recognize Greta Gerwig for her work onscreen, but lately she’s been devoting her energy to her work offscreen. Her directorial debut, Lady Bird, was more than a success. Not only did Greta direct the groundbreaking film, she also wrote it. And lucky for us, we’ll be getting Greta’s second feature this year with her adaptation of Little Women.
Powerhouse Ava DuVernay has been making waves the past few years, and rightfully so. Between Selma, 13th, and A Wrinkle in Time, it’s no wonder she’s becoming a household name. Along with her success in film, Ava has directed television, commercials, and music videos. Recently it was announced that she will direct a film a part of the DC Extended Universe. There’s no doubt she’ll bring some of her own super powers to set.
Karyn Kusama is a lauded director whose films, sans one, all feature female protagonists. Films about women by women, sign us up. She’s known for her independent film Girlfight, which she also wrote, and the 2009 thriller Jennifer’s Body. On top of her work in features, Karyn also has a long television directorial CV.
American Honey, Transparent, Big Little Lies, just some of our favorite works of film and television. What else do they have in common? They’re directed by the incomparable Andrea Arnold. Andrea got her start in TV as a television actress and presenter. It wasn’t until after her retirement from onscreen gigs that she studied at the AFI Conservatory for screenwriting (and we’re so glad she did).
Lucia Aniello got her start at the well known Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City. There she honed her skills in writing and began working on web series’. It was also there where she met Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson of the now beloved television series Broad City, of which Lucia directed for and produced. Lucia has remained in the world of comedy with her feature film Rough Night which she directed and co-wrote with her partner Paul W. Downs.