5 Directors You Should Know (Who Aren’t Old White Men)

by Intern Kelsie

Moviefone published an article celebrating the fact that old men are getting to direct films still! Apparently there’s some sort of privilege attached to being an old white guy… who knew?! The site claims it’s remarkable that these old farts are still being allowed to make films since Hollywood is so “fixated on the young.” I would argue that old white guys in positions of power is nothing new, in fact, especially in an industry where only one woman has received the highest possible honor (see: Kathryn Bigelow, below). What would be more remarkable would be equal representation and support for female directors and other women in the film industry, Moviefone. That’s what we think about that. 

To be fair, their list included one female director (one out of twenty-two) but to truly celebrate females in the biz, here are five of our favorite lady directors. May you, too, work until you die, ladies.


1. Kathryn Bigelow

Bigelow made history when she became the first women to win the Best Director Oscar in 2010 for her film The Hurt Locker. To make it even more scandalous, she competed against (and soundly beat) her ex-husband James Cameron, who was nominated for Avatar. Talk about the one that got away.


2. Dee Rees

Fresh out of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts’ graduate film program, Rees made a poignant film about a young black lesbian in Brooklyn. Pariah was personal but still epic in scope, accounting for a story that doesn’t often get told in mainstream media. It was a Sundance hit and won 25 awards at 40 festivals worldwide. P.S. We interviewed Rees back in January, and you can read it here.


3. Nancy Meyers

The highest-grossing female director, Meyers is responsible for movies like What Women Want, Something’s Gotta Give, and the Holiday. Meyers is probably the only director on this list that could entertain my mother and me simultaneously, which is talented writing, if you ask me.


4. Sofia Coppola

The daughter of famed Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia kickstarted her career at an early age. She produces airy, beautiful films that are like cupcakes on acid. Director of the Virgin Suicides and Marie Antoinette among others, Coppola is currently working on a new project, The Bling Ring starring Emma Watson, Kirsten Dunst, and Leslie Mann.


5. Lynne Ramsay 

Last year’s We Need to Talk About Kevin elicited some of the most extreme responses I’ve seen to a film in a while. Ramsay was responsible for the haunting film, a continuation of her earlier work that is never simple but always interesting. She is not afraid to make challenging films and has been garnering respect since one of her undergraduate films was screened at Sundance.


Image source IMDb

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