FEMALE DIRECTORS/AUTHORSby LizzyBennet72 | created - 13 Jul 2017 | updated - 5 days ago | Public
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 ...
Actress | Laverne & Shirley
Penny Marshall was born Carole Penny Marshall on October 15, 1943 in the Bronx, New York. The Libra was 5' 6 1/2", with brown hair and green eyes. She was the daughter of Marjorie (Ward), a tap dance teacher, and Anthony "Tony" Marshall, an industrial film director. She was the younger sister of ...
Director | My Brilliant Career
Gillian Armstrong was born on December 18, 1950 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia as Gillian May Armstrong. She is a director and producer, known for My Brilliant Career (1979), Not Fourteen Again (1996) and Little Women (1994). She is married to John Pleffer. They have two children.
5. 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...
6. 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 ...
Director | Lost in Translation
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 ...
8. 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.
10. 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 ...
13. Nora Ephron
Writer | Julie & Julia
Nora Ephron was educated at Wellesley College, Massachusetts. She was an acclaimed essayist (Crazy Salad 1975), novelist (Heartburn 1983), and had written screenplays for several popular films, all featuring strong female characters, such as anti-nuclear activist Karen Silkwood (Silkwood (1983), ...
14. 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...
15. 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, ...
16. Mai Zetterling
Actress | The Witches
Mai Zetterling was born in Sweden in 1925, and lived briefly in Australia while still a child. She's known as a director and actor and trained on the Stockholm repertory stage, she began appearing in war-era films starting in her teens. Following her debut in Lasse Maja (1941), she made quite an ...
17. Leni Riefenstahl
Leni Riefenstahl's show-biz experience began with an experiment: she wanted to know what it felt like to dance on the stage. Success as a dancer gave way to film acting when she attracted the attention of film director Arnold Fanck, subsequently starring in some of his mountaineering pictures. With...
18. 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.
19. Sondra Locke
Actress | Bronco Billy
Sondra Locke was born May 28, 1944 as Sandra Louise Smith, probably in Madison, Alabama. She was the daughter of Raymond Smith, a military man stationed nearby, and Pauline Bayne. Smith departed the scene before Sondra's birth. In 1945, her mother wed William B. Elkins, and together they had a son,...
20. Ida Lupino
Actress | High Sierra
Ida was born in London to a show business family. In 1933, her mother brought Ida with her to an audition and Ida got the part her mother wanted. The picture was Her First Affaire (1932). Ida, a bleached blonde, came to Hollywood in 1934 and played small and insignificant parts. Peter Ibbetson (...
21. Elaine May
Actress | Small Time Crooks
Elaine May was born on April 21, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Elaine Iva Berlin. She is an actress and writer, known for Small Time Crooks (2000), A New Leaf (1971) and Primary Colors (1998). She was previously married to David L. Rubinfine, Sheldon Harnick and Marvin May.
22. Nancy Meyers
Writer | It's Complicated
Nancy Meyers was born on December 8, 1949 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Nancy Jane Meyers. She is a writer and producer, known for It's Complicated (2009), Something's Gotta Give (2003) and The Holiday (2006). She was previously married to Charles Shyer.
Director | Sheffey
In 36 years she directed 72 productions including sermon films, promotional films, multi-image presentations, and feature-length films. In 1950, Katherine Stenholm was directing a stage play of "Cyrano" when she was approached by Dr. Bob Jones Sr., founder of Bob Jones University, Greenville, SC, ...
25. Betty Thomas
Self | Howard Stern
Betty Thomas was born July 27, 1947 in St. Louis, Missouri, graduating from Ohio University with a BA in fine arts. Initially sidetracked, Betty first taught school in Chicago but found herself restricted and needing more of an open forum for self-expression than a classroom. She found herself drawn...
26. Doris Wishman
Director | Satan Was a Lady
Doris Wishman was born on June 1, 1912 in New York City, New York, USA. She was a director and producer, known for Satan Was a Lady (2001), Diary of a Nudist (1961) and Nude on the Moon (1961). She was married to Louis Silverman and Jack Abrahms. She died on August 10, 2002 in Miami, Florida, USA.
Director | Barnförbjudet
Marie-Louise Ekman was born on November 5, 1944 in Stockholm, Sweden. She is a director and writer, known for Barnförbjudet (1979), Powder (2001) and Nu är pappa trött igen (1996). She was previously married to Gösta Ekman, Johan Bergenstråhle and Carl Johan De Geer.
29. Thea von Harbou
Writer | Metropolis
Thea von Harbou was born on December 27, 1888 in Tauperlitz, Döhlau, Bavaria, Germany as Thea Gabriele von Harbou. She was a writer and director, known for Metropolis (1927), M (1931) and Elisabeth und der Narr (1934). She was married to Fritz Lang and Rudolf Klein-Rogge. She died on July 1, 1954 ...
Director | Die bleierne Zeit
Margarethe von Trotta was born in Berlin in 1942. In the 1960s she moved to Paris where she worked for film collectives, collaborating on scripts and co-directing short films. She also pursued an acclaimed acting career, starring in films by well known German directors such as Rainer Werner ...
31. Patricia Cardoso
Director | Real Women Have Curves
Patricia Cardoso is an award-winning director, writer, and producer. She was the first Latinx woman to receive a Sundance Audience Award and a Student Academy Award®. Cardoso's feature film, "Real Women Have Curves," was a box office and critical success and has become a landmark of Latinx cinema. ...
32. Kelly Reichardt
Director | Wendy and Lucy
Kelly Reichardt was born and raised in Miami-Dade Country, Florida, to a family of police officers. She had an interest in photography from a very young age. She started by using her father's camera, which he used for photographing crime scenes. She went to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in ...
33. Katie Aselton
Actress | The Freebie
Katie Aselton was born on October 1, 1978 in Milbridge, Maine, USA as Kathryn Anne Aselton. She is an actress, known for The Freebie (2010), The Gift (2015) and Black Rock (2012). She has been married to Mark Duplass since August 26, 2006. They have two children.
36. Rose Bosch
Writer | Animal
Roselyne-Rose Bosch was born in Avignon to a Catalan father and an Italian/French mother. Her father, who fled the franquist regime, transmits his passion for History - every Sunday, the main square of the Provençal city fills up with book traders. Every summer, the city of Avignon houses the ...
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 ...
Writer | Pearl in Paradise
Originally from Lincoln, Nebraska, Christine Conradt is an L.A.-based screenwriter, producer, director, and script consultant. After earning a BFA in screenwriting from the University of Southern California's Cinematic Arts program, she worked briefly in development before launching her ...
41. Andrea Canning
Writer | Gone
Andrea Canning was born on December 10, 1972 in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada as Andrea Mead Canning. She is a writer and actress, known for Gone (2019), A Model Kidnapping (2019) and Til Ex Do Us Part (2018). She has been married to Tony Bancroft since June 7, 2008. They have six children.
42. Anna Boden
Writer | Half Nelson
Anna Boden is an American film director, cinematographer, editor, and screenwriter best known as the co-writer of the 2006 film Half Nelson. She is known for her collaborations with fellow filmmaker Ryan Fleck. While studying film at NYU, Boden met Ryan Fleck on the set of a student film. Soon they...
47. 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.
48. Liv Ullmann
Actress | Viskningar och rop
Liv Ullmann's father was a Norwegian engineer who used to work abroad, so as a child she lived in Tokyo, Canada, New York and Oslo. In the mid-'50s she made her stage debut and in 1957 made her film debut. She really became successful, however, when she began to work for Swedish director Ingmar ...
50. Lina Wertmüller
Writer | Pasqualino Settebellezze
Lina Wertmüller was born on August 14, 1928 in Rome, Lazio, Italy as Arcangela Felice Assunta Wertmüller von Elgg Spañol von Braueich. She is a writer and director, known for Seven Beauties (1975), The Basilisks (1963) and Swept Away (1974). She was previously married to Enrico Job.
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 ...
53. Leah McKendrick
Actress | Bad Moms
Leah McKendrick is an actress/singer/filmmaker that got her start in musical theatre in San Francisco. She was raised by a Nicaraguan mother and Irish/Scottish father. She began writing and producing in her teen years and performed live throughout the Bay Area before moving south to study Theatre ...
55. 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.
57. 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 ...
58. Dorota Kobiela
Director | Loving Vincent
A graduate from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Dorota Kobiela was awarded the "Minister of Culture scholarship" for special achievements in painting and graphics for four consecutive years. Through friends Dorota discovered animation and film, and immediately threw herself into learning these ...
61. 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, ...
64. Tamra Davis
Director | Crossroads
Began her career directing music videos for acts like Tone Loc, Depeche Mode, NWA and Sonic Youth and made her first feature in 92 with Guncrazy starring Drew Barrymore. Ms Barrymore received a Golden Globe Nomination. She then went on to direct feature films starring Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Dave...
65. Claire McCarthy
Director | Ophelia
Director, writer, producer and visual artist, Claire has a diverse slate of feature film projects at various stages of development.
As a directing graduate of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (2001), she also holds a Bachelor of Design / Communications (Hons) from the University of ...
67. Sara Colangelo
Director | Little Accidents
Sara Colangelo is an award-winning writer and director. Her first film, the short documentary Halal Vivero, was a National Finalist at the 2006 Student Academy Awards, and her narrative short, Un Attimo di Respiro, screened at over fifteen national and international film festivals including Tribeca...
68. 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 ...
69. Christina Choe
Director | Nancy
Christina Choe is an American filmmaker whose 2011 short film, I am John Wayne, won the Grand Jury Prize at the Slamdance Film Festival and screened at dozens of festivals around the world. Choe's documentary series Welcome to the DPRK, a personal portrait of North Korea, was recently acquired and ...
70. 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.
71. Angela Workman
Writer | The Zookeeper's Wife
Angela Workman began her professional career as a stage actress, until film consulting led in a different direction. She has written epic historical films for Dreamworks, Warner Bros, Fox Searchlight, The Weinstein Company, Centropolis, StudioCanal, Focus Features, Showtime, and many other ...
72. Bettina Gilois
Writer | McFarland, USA
Bettina Gilois is an award-winning screenwriter and author, whose nominations and awards include an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Writing of a Television Movie, the HBO film "Bessie," as well as two NAACP Image Award nominations, a Humanitas Prize nomination, two Black Reel Award nominations, and...
Director | Nowhere Boy
Sam Taylor-Johnson was born on March 4, 1967 in London, England as Samantha Louise Taylor-Wood. She is a director and producer, known for Nowhere Boy (2009), Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) and Love You More (2008). She has been married to Aaron Taylor-Johnson since June 21, 2012. They have two ...
76. Angelina Jolie
Actress | Maleficent
Angelina Jolie is an Academy Award-winning actress who rose to fame after her role in Girl, Interrupted (1999), playing the title role in the "Lara Croft" blockbuster movies, as well as Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Wanted (2008), Salt (2010) and Maleficent (2014). Off-screen, Jolie has become ...
77. Lana Wachowski
Writer | The Matrix
Lana Wachowski and her sister Lilly Wachowski, (also known as 'The Wachowskis') are the duo behind ground-breaking movies such as The Matrix (1999) and Cloud Atlas (2012). Born to mother Lynne, a nurse, and father Ron, a businessman of Polish descent, Wachowski grew up in Chicago and formed a tight...
78. Lilly Wachowski
Writer | The Matrix
Director, writer and producer Lilly Wachowski was born in 1967 in Chicago as Andrew Wachowski, the son of Lynne, a nurse and painter and Ron, a businessman. Lilly was educated at Kellogg Elementary School in Chicago, before moving on to Whitney Young High School. After graduating from high school, ...
79. Rebecca Miller
Writer | Maggie's Plan
Rebecca Miller was born on September 15, 1962 in Roxbury, Connecticut, USA as Rebecca Augusta Miller. She is an actress and writer, known for Maggie's Plan (2015), Personal Velocity (2002) and Angela (1995). She has been married to Daniel Day-Lewis since November 13, 1996. They have two children.
83. Kay Cannon
Producer | 30 Rock
Kay Cannon is a screenwriter, actress and producer, best known for Pitch Perfect (2012), Pitch Perfect 2 (2015), and Pitch Perfect 3 (2017). She is also known for her work on NBC's 30 Rock (2006) and the Netflix Original Series Girlboss (2017).
Cannon has won three Writers Guild of America Awards ...
Writer | The Edge of Seventeen
Kelly Fremon Craig is a writer and director from Whittier, California. She made her directorial debut with The Edge of Seventeen. James L. Brooks' Gracie Films acquired the project in 2012, and developed the screenplay with Fremon Craig. She graduated from UC Irvine with an English degree. Fremon ...
87. Jessica Sharzer
Producer | Speak
Jessica Sharzer is writer, producer, and director best known for her work on Speak (2004), Nerve (2016), American Horror Story (2011-2015), and the new mystery thriller A Simple Favor (2018). Sharzer has been nominated for 3 Primetime Emmy's for her work on American Horror Story. Sharzer is working...
89. Deborah Kaplan
Writer | Can't Hardly Wait
Writer/director Deborah Kaplan met partner, writer/director Harry Elfont, at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts' prestigious film school. In a strange coincidence, they discovered that their parents were friends and that they both attended neighboring high schools in Philadelphia. Kaplan had spent time...
90. Diablo Cody
Writer | Juno
Diablo Cody is originally from Chicago, Illinois, and moved to Minnesota to live with her Internet boyfriend, Jonny who later became her husband. While there, she decided on a whim to take up stripping as a hobby of sorts.
She was working at an ad agency and got a promotion. The job wore her ragged ...
94. Dorothy Arzner
Director | Christopher Strong
Dorothy Arzner, the only woman director during the "Golden Age" of Hollywood's studio system--from the 1920s to the early 1940s and the woman director with the largest oeuvre in Hollywood to this day--was born January 3, 1897 (some sources put the year as 1900), in San Francisco, California, to a ...
95. Larisa Shepitko
Director | Voskhozhdenie
Larisa Shepitko was born on January 6, 1938 in Artyomovsk, Ukrainian SSR, USSR as Larisa Yefimovna Shepitko. She was a director and writer, known for The Ascent (1977), Heat (1963) and You and Me (1971). She was married to Elem Klimov. She died on July 2, 1979.
Director | Level 16
Esterhazy is a director know for her female-driven stories. She began her film studies at the Winnipeg Film Group - the quirky cooperative which also produced filmmakers Guy Maddin and John Paizs. Esterhazy is a graduate of the Director's Lab at the Canadian Film Centre - the renowned film school ...
100. Olivia Wilde
Actress | Tron
Actress and activist Olivia Wilde is a modern day renaissance woman, starring in many acclaimed film productions, while simultaneously giving back to the community.
She was born on March 10, 1984 in New York City. Her parents are Leslie Cockburn (née Leslie Corkill Redlich) and Andrew Cockburn. Her ...