Women Directors – Everything You Need To Know

71. Mia Hansen-Løve 

Love’s Eden, based on her DJ brother Paul, gave electronic dance music its genesis narrative. (The film stars Felix de Givry and Greta Gerwig.) The 34-year-old French filmmaker made her Cannes debut with All Is Forgiven in 2007 and directed Goodbye First Love and The Father of My Children.

  • Nationality: French
  • Started her career in 2004
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 10
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Things To Come (2016)

Know About the Director

Mia Hansen-Løve

Mia Hansen-Løve on One Fine Morning, Eden and Ingmar Bergman | BFI LFF 2022 

72. Michelle MacLaren 

MacLaren rose to prominence as the director of high-octane television dramas such as Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones, and HBO’s James Franco comedy The Deuce. While MacLaren left Wonder Woman due to creative disputes, her eye would be well-suited to any cinematic thrill ride.

  • Nationality: Canadian
  • Started her career in 2002
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 28
  • Known for:  

Movie Trailer: Shining Girls (2022)

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Michelle MacLaren

‘Game of Thrones’ Director Michelle MacLaren On How the Show Changed TV Production

73. Mimi Leder 

Leder helmed the first DreamWorks film, The Peacemaker, and the excellent asteroid drama Deep Impact in 1998. She’s forged a new career directing The Leftovers for HBO after her feature Pay It Forward failed, and she told the New York Times this year, “Why are women begging to be filmmakers when there are male directors who have done two or three $200 million disasters and get to make another one?” That does not occur in the case of women. Never.”

  • Nationality: American
  • Started her career in 1987
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 43
  • Known for:  

Movie Trailer: On The Basis Of Sex (2018)

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Mimi Leder

Mimi Leder “Deep Impact” 1998 – Bobbie Wygant Archive

74. Miranda July 

July’s debut movie, Me and You and Everyone We Know was a quirky Cannes award winner; her second film, The Future, depicts the end of a romantic romance with such clarity. July is frequently chastised for having the same precious style as Wes Anderson. Still, she has a keen interest in delicate concerns of the heart that will always ground her magnificent flights of imagination. 

  • Nationality: American
  • Started her career in 1996
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 11
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: The Future (2011)

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Miranda July

Best Movies Directed by Miranda July

75. Nandita Das 

Nandita’s career as a performer and director in films such as Firaaq and Manto has distinguished her. 

  • Nationality: Indian
  • Started her career in 1993
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 9
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Firaaq (2008)

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Nandita Das

‘Zwigato’ takes on the gig economy | The Social

76. Nicole Holofcener 

To begin with, Holofcener appears to be the only person in Hollywood who has said, “Hmm, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is one of our time’s comedic geniuses. Why hasn’t she starred in a movie yet?” so you have to give her credit for that. She also keeps Catherine Keener working steadily, which is a plus. However, Holofcener’s films, such as Enough Said, Please Give, and Lovely and Amazing, are observant treasures in and of themselves, and her sensibility is always worth anticipating.

  • Nationality: American
  • Started her career in 1991
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 26
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Enough Said (2013)

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Nicole Holofcener

How To Get Your Project Greenlit | Nicole Holofcener on Filmmaking

77. Niki Caro 

Caro is one of just a few women to have directed a significant studio feature, helming Disney’s McFarland, USA. This New Zealander first gained prominence in Hollywood for the Oscar-nominated 2002 picture Whale Rider. We’re thrilled that she’s filming The Zookeeper’s Wife alongside actor Jessica Chastain, who has been vocal about hiring more female directors.

  • Nationality: New Zealand
  • Started her career in 1992
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 14
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: North Country (2005)

Know About the Director: 

Go Behind the Scenes of Mulan with Director Niki Caro | Dolby

Storyteller Series: Niki Caro (director, The Zookeeper’s Wife)

78. Pamela Fryman 

It’s unusual for a director to direct nearly every episode of a long-running series, but Fryman did just that with How I Met Your Mother, directing all but 12 of the show’s 208 episodes. She also directed 34 episodes of Frasier and 89 episodes of Just Shoot Me, so a comparatively great feature-film assignment might allow her to take a break.

  • Nationality: American
  • Started her career in 1990
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 90
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: How I Met Your Mother (2005)

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Pamela Fryman

Director Pamela Fryman on advice to aspiring directors and producers

79. Patricia Rozema 

Rozema’s I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing was a smashing Canadian debut, though you might recognize her from her Jane Austen adaptation Mansfield Park. The filmmaker’s apocalyptic thriller, Into the Forest, starring Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood, depicts the survival of two sisters in their deserted woodland home after a power outage.

  • Nationality: Canadian
  • Started her career in 1985
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 22
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Into The Forest (2015)

Know About the Director: 

Patricia Rozema

Patricia Rozema A Video Essay | Canada’s Top Ten

80. Penelope Spheeris 

Spheeris is no stranger to head-banging: she not only created the iconic punk series The Decline of Western Civilization, but she also famously directed Mike Myers and Dana Carvey to shake their heads to Queen in their popular comedy Wayne’s World. The dominating Myers had a falling out with Carvey and he vetoed Spheeris’ participation in the sequel, but it was his loss: the Spheeris-less Wayne’s World 2 grossed only a third of the original film’s gross.

  • Nationality: American
  • Started her career in 1969
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 38
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: The Little Rascals (1994)

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Penelope Spheeris

Penelope Spheeris, Film Director – Movies, a Global Passion

81. Penny Marshall 

Big. Awakenings. They’re in a League of Their Own. Penny Marshall was once one of Hollywood’s hottest directors, and the success of Big made her the first woman to direct a film that grossed more than $100 million. Marshall says she has yet to retire but hasn’t made a film since 2001’s Riding in Cars With Boys. Marshall had plans to direct a biopic on Effa Manley, but it never materialized. Though we lost Marshall to lung cancer, she will be remembered for her classic depiction of pictures and coinage of character names.

  • Nationality: American
  • Started her career in 1979
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 16
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Awakenings (1990)

Know About the Director: 

Penny Marshall

Penny Marshall Talks Directing ‘Big’ In 1988 On TODAY | Today Show

82. Phyllida Lloyd 

Lloyd directed the highest-grossing film musical of all time (Mamma Mia!, which grossed a remarkable $609 million worldwide). In addition, she found in The Iron Lady a vehicle that finally garnered Meryl Streep her elusive third Oscar. Neither feat is insignificant, especially given that Lloyd’s Mamma Mia! grosses make her the highest-grossing female director of a live-action film.

  • Nationality: British
  • Started her career in 1997
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 8
  • Known for:  

Movie Trailer: Herself (2020)

Know About the Director: 

Phyllida Lloyd

Phyllida Lloyd Interview – Herself | Sucharita Tyagi | Amazon Prime Video

83. Rebecca Miller 

Miller, a novelist, and director, has a lot to live up to as the daughter of Arthur Miller and Inge Morath, but fortunately, Miller has the talent to back it up. She’s directed seven films, including Personal Velocity, The Ballad of Jack and Rose, and The Private Lives of Pippa Lee. Her comedy Maggie’s Plan starred Greta Gerwig and Ethan Hawke and allowed Julianne Moore to let loose.

  • Nationality: American
  • Started her career in 1995
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 7
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Maggie’s Plan (2015)

Know About the Director: 

Rebecca Miller

The Ballad of Jack and Rose – Interview with Rebecca Miller & Daniel Day-Lewis 

84. Reed Morano 

Morano, one of the best cinematographers in a male-dominated business, contributed her unique vision to films such as The Skeleton Twins and Kill Your Darlings, and shot the whole first season of Looking an Instagram-infused fantasy. Morano is no longer merely operating the camera, but also controlling it: she has moved into directing, with her first film, Meadowland, starring Olivia Wilde.

  • Nationality: American
  • Started her career in 2015
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 8
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Meadowland (2015)

Know About the Director: 

Reed Morano

‘The Rhythm Section’ Director & Cinematographer Reed Morano on Women in Film

85. Reema Kagti 

After working as an assistant director on films such as Dil Chahta Hai, Lakshya, and Lagaan, she is currently known for her work on Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd., Talaash, and Gold

  • Nationality: Indian
  • Started her career in 2007
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 4
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Talaash (2012)

Know About the Director: 

Reema Kagti

Reema Kagti: “Zoya Akhtar would have SHELVED Gully Boy, had Ranveer Singh said NO”| Rapid Fire

*The videos are in Hindi, the Director’s native language.

86. Rima Das

Village Rockstars, her critically acclaimed Assamese language film, earned multiple national and international accolades. It was India’s accredited entry for the 90th Academy Awards under the category “Best Foreign Language Film.” She wrote, directed, edited, and produced it.  

  • Nationality: Indian
  • Started her career in 2016
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 6
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Village Rockstars (2017)

Know About the Director: 

Rima Das

From Assam to the Oscars | Rima Das 

87. Sai Paranjpye 

Paranjpye directed the award-winning films Sparsh, Katha, Chashme Buddoor, and Disha. She was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2006 for her contributions to Indian cinema.

  • Nationality: Indian
  • Started her career in 1972
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 21
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Chashme Buddoor re-release trailer

Know About the Director: 

Sai Paranjpye

Sai Paranjpye | Cinemaazi Studio | Gautam Chintamani

88. Sally Potter 

Tilda Swinton’s current renaissance has been aided in large part by Potter’s lavish 1993 picture Orlando, in which Swinton played an eternal gender-switching nobleman. Potter’s work has been as daring at times, but her most recent film, Ginger & Rosa, an adroit coming-of-age story starring Ellen Fanning, was her most mainstream movie to date.

  • Nationality: British
  • Started her career in 1969
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 17
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: The Party (2017)

Know About the Director: 

Sally Potter

Sally Potter’s Closet Picks

89. Sam Taylor-Johnson 

Taylor-Johnson isn’t afraid of a challenge. She is best known as a fine artist and photographer. Still, she tackled John Lennon in her first film, Nowhere Boy. Then she managed to wrest the ridiculous source material of Fifty Shades of Grey into shape, delivering a film that not only worked (credit Taylor-stealth Johnson’s sense of self-aware humor) but set box-office records.

  • Nationality: British
  • Started her career in 1996
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 16
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Love You More (2009)

Know About the Director: 

Sam Taylor-Johnson

Director Sam Taylor-Johnson Interview – Fifty Shades of Grey

90. Sanaa Hamri 

In Something New, Hamri had a sexual romance with Sanaa Lathan and Simon Baker. In Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, Hamri persuaded Jesse Williams to strip naked. Finally, Hamri cast Common as the romantic lead in Just Wright. In case you didn’t notice, this is a filmmaker who understands what ladies desire.

  • Nationality: MoroccanAmerican
  • Started her career in 1999
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 58
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Just Wright (2010)

Know About the Director: 

Sanaa Hamri

Sanaa Hamri CNN Interview, the Moroccan American film director

91. Sarah Gavron 

Gavron made her directorial debut with Brick Lane in 2007. However, it took her six years to acquire funding for her film, Suffragette, which follows the British suffrage campaign through the perspective of a lower-class working woman (Carey Mulligan). “This tale had never been told before,” Gavron explained, and “the reason it has never been told before is that women continue to be marginalized.”

  • Nationality: British
  • Started her career in 2000
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 8
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Rocks (2019)

Know About the Director: 

Sarah Gavron

In Conversation with Sarah Gavron

92. Sarah Polley 

Dawn of the Dead and Go, starring Polley, rarely appears in front of the camera these days, preferring to focus on her flourishing directing career. She’s directed two narrative films: Away From Her, for which Polley received an Oscar nomination for scripting, and Take This Waltz, starring Michelle Williams. Stories We Tell, her compelling documentary on her obscure family history, was also a hit.

  • Nationality: Canadian
  • Started her career in 1999
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 10
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Away From Her (2006)

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Sarah Polley

Sarah Polley Shares The True Story Behind Her Film, “Women Talking”

93. Shana Feste 

Scherfig’s An Education is widely credited with igniting the Carey Mulligan craze. Still, Shana Feste was the first director to expose Mulligan to American viewers with her film The Greatest, which premiered in competition at Sundance. She’s also directed Gwyneth Paltrow’s Country Strong, featuring the Oscar-winning actress in a full-throttle performance.

  • Nationality: American
  • Started her career in 2009
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 8
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: The Greatest (2009)

Know About the Director: 

Shana Feste

Made in Hollywood – 1 on 1 – Shana Feste

94. Shari Springer Berman 

Berman and her husband, Robert Pulcini, began by filming documentaries on Hollywood hot spots (such as Chasen’s and the Hollywood Forever cemetery) before storming Hollywood with the acclaimed American Splendor, which earned them both Oscar nods for Best Adapted Screenplay. They then cast Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans as future Captain America in The Nanny Diaries, and their picture Ten Thousand Saints, officially selected by Sundance in 2015, stars Ethan Hawke and Asa Butterfield.

  • Nationality: American
  • Started her career in 1997
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 18
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: American Splendor (2003)

Know About the Director: 

Shari Springer Berman

The Extra Man with Director Shari Springer Berman

95. Sharon Maguire 

Maguire was an obvious choice to direct Bridget Jones’ Diary: not only is she a close friend of author Helen Fielding, but one of Bridget’s friends is based on her. That was Maguire’s debut film, a huge success; she’s since been enticed to return for Bridget Jones’s Baby, which starred Renee Zellweger.

  • Nationality: British
  • Started her career in 1990
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 13
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Incendiary (2008)

Know About the Director: 

Sharon Maguire

Sharon Maguire: Director Award | Glamour UK

96. Shonali Bose 

Shonali Bose’s film Amu was nominated for a National Film Award for Best Feature Film in English, and she followed it up with notable works such as Margarita with a Straw and The Sky Is Pink

  • Nationality: Indian
  • Started her career in 2005
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 4
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: The Sky Is Pink (2019)

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Shonali Bose

Shonali Bose

97. So Yong Kim 

Kim’s In Between Days about a Korean child navigating immigrant life in Canada, won a Special Jury Prize at Sundance. Kim, a writer-director, has since made the dramas Treeless Mountain and For Ellen, the latter of which starred Paul Dano as a lonely rocker dealing with the disintegration of his family.

  • Nationality: South Korean
  • Started her career in 2006
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 26
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Treeless Mountains (2008)

Know About the Director: 

So Yong Kim

In Between Days Q&A: So Yong Kim with Miguel Arteta

*The trailer is in Korean, the Director’s native language.

98. Stacie Passon 

Passon’s Concussion begins with a shocking scene in which Robin Wiegert’s comfortably suburban mother rushes to the hospital, her head bleeding from an accident caused by her children. But that wound rips up her coasting lesbian marriage, and Wiegert, reinvigorated, seeks sex and spontaneity as a high-class call girl. The movie Concussion is hilarious, thoughtful, and attractive, so let’s get Passon in front of the camera again soon.

  • Nationality: American
  • Started her career in 2013
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 18
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Concussion Trailer 

Know About the Director: 

Stacie Passon

It’s Who You Know: Stacie Passon

 99. Sudha Kongara

Sudha Kongara is a director and screenwriter well-known for Soorarai Pottru, Irudhi Suttru, and Guru. She makes her presence in Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi, remaking films in different languages and giving hit after hit. Kongara’s Soorarai Pottru was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the 78th Golden Globe Awards and featured at Shanghai International Film Festival. In addition, she holds awards from Filmfare for Best Director- Tamil for Irudhi Suttru, 2 National Awards, and 2 SIIMA awards. 

  • Nationality: Indian
  • Started her career in 2010
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 7
  • Known for:  

Movie Trailer: Soorarai Pottru

Know about the director:

Sudha Kongara Interview With Baradwaj Rangan

100. Susanne Bier 

Susannne Bier excels at intimate dramas like After the Wedding, Brothers, and In a Better World (which won the Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film). She’s also directed English-language films such as Things We Lost in the Fire and Serena. Her miniseries The Night Manager stars Tom Hiddleston.

  • Nationality: Danish
  • Started her career in 1989
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 23
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: BirdBox (2018)

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Susanne Bier

Directing Masterclass with Suzanne Bier

101. Tamara Jenkins 

Jenkins has only made three movies over the last 20 years, on what she’s jokingly referred to as a “Terrence Malick timetable without the masterpieces.” But she’s being modest: her two films, the Natasha Lyonne comedy Slums of Beverly Hills and the Laura Linney/Philip Seymour Hoffman drama Savages are modest and genuine little miracles.

  • Nationality: American
  • Started her career in 1992
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 7
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Private Life (2018)

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Tamara Jenkins

Indie filmmakers Tamara Jenkins & Wash Westmoreland

102. Tamra Davis 

 

You’ve watched a Tamra Davis film if you’re between the ages of 20 and 40. Whether you’re a man or a woman doesn’t matter: you must have undoubtedly seen her comic cult favorites Billy Madison and Half-Baked, while Britney Spears’ Crossroads delighted the distaff demographic. 

  • Nationality: American
  • Started her career in 1986
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 81
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Crossroads (2002)

Know About the Director: 

Tamra Davis

GFS MasterClass 5: Tamra Davis, Storytelling & Music

103. Tanuja Chandra 

A writer and director, Chandra are well-known for co-writing Dil To Pagal Hai and directing Sangharsh, Sur – The Melody of Life, and Qarib Qarib Single

  • Nationality: Indian
  • Started her career in 1995
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 17
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Qarib Qarib Single (2017)

Know About the Director: 

Tanuja Chandra

Filmmaker Tanuja on the gap between idealism and reality in filmmaking

*The videos are in Hindi, the Director’s native language.

104. Tanya Hamilton 

Hamilton combined the two for her atmospheric period film Night Catches Us, about a former Black Panther’s return to his old neighborhood, well before Scandal made Kerry Washington a megastar and Marvel handed Anthony Mackie his widest exposure. 

  • Nationality: American
  • Started her career in 1995
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 23
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Night Catches Us (2010)

Know About the Director: 

Tanya Hamilton

Meet the Artists: Tanya Hamilton

105. Valerie Faris 

Here’s an unappealing fact: Women have directed 12 Best Picture masterpieces, but just three have also been nominated for Best Director. Faris, who co-directed the award-winning Little Miss Sunshine with Jonathan Dayton and re-teamed with him for Ruby Sparks, was one of those unfairly overlooked female directors.

  • Nationality: American
  • Started her career in 1982
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 56
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Know About the Director: 

Valerie Faris

Directors Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris | Battle of the Sexes Exclusive Interview

106. Vicky Jenson 

Jenson co-directed Shrek, revolutionizing the animation business and earning the Academy’s first Best Animated Feature Oscar. She also co-directed the famous Shark Tale, but while her male colleagues on those projects went on to make blockbuster live-action pictures like Chronicles of Narnia and Goosebumps, Hollywood just had Post-Grad to offer Jenson.

  • Nationality: American
  • Started her career in 1995
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 11
  • Known for:

Movie Trailer: Post Grad (2009)

Know About the Director: 

Vicky Jenson

Interview With Shrek Director Vicky Jenson

107. Zoya Akhtar 

Zoya has directed and written numerous popular films, including Dil Dhadakne Do, Gully Boy, Luck by Chance, and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

  • Nationality: Indian
  • Started her career in 2009
  • Films/TV series directed as of 2023: 10
  • Known for:  

Movie Trailer: Gully Boy (2019)

The video is in Hindi, the Director’s native language.

Know About the Director: 

Zoya Akhtar

Zoya Akhtar Tells Us Everything About Her Filmmaking Process | The Quint 

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