Tuesday, April 26, 2011

100 Women Directors Worth Watching



AA = Academy Award (for the film)
doc. = Documentary, ss = Short Subject
Personal favorites highlighted in blue
[Updated 4.30.11]

Those with the most awards

Aparna Sen (Mr and Mrs Iyer-02, House of Memories-00) India, 12 awards

Caroline Link (Nowhere in Africa-01, AA; Beyond Silence-96) Germany, 25 awards

Debra Granik (Winter's Bone-10, 26 awards) 17 awards


Deepa Mehta (Earth-96, Fire-98, Water-05)  India, 13 awards

Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham-02, Bride and Prejudice-04) India, 15 awards

Isabel Coixet (My Life Without Me-03, The Secret Life of Words-05), Spain 32 awards


Jane Campion (An Angel at My Table-90, The Piano-93) Australia, 39 awards

Kathryn Bigelow (Near Dark, The Hurt Locker-09, AA) 38 awards

Kátia Lund (City of God-2002, as co.dir. w Fernando Meirelles, Golden Gate-2000, as co.dir w Joao Salles) 17 awards (all but one shared with male directors)

Léa Pool (Set Me Free-99, Lost and Delirious-01, Mommy Is at the Hairdresser-08) Switz. 13 awards


Lone Scherfig (An Education-09, Italian For Beginners-02) Denmark, 25 awards

Lynne Ramsay (Morvern Callar-02, 9 awards, Ratcatcher-99, 11 awards) 20 awards

Margarethe Von Trotta (Rosenstrasse-03, Sheer Madness-83, Das Versprechen-95) Germany, 22 awards


Mira Nair (Salaam Bombay!-88, Monsoon Wedding-01, The Namesake-06) India  22 awards [The Namesake is a nearly perfect film, I gave it 10/10 - one of only 39 to get a 10 so far]






Miranda July (Me and You and Everyone We Know-05, The Future-11) 22 awards



Niki Caro (Whale Rider-03) New Zealand, 16 awards

Sofia Coppola (The Virgin Suicides-99, Lost in Translation-03, 37 awards) 44 awards


Susanne Bier (In a Better World-10, AA; After the Wedding-06) Denmark, 24 awards [photo at bottom with Oscar winners]


The rest, in alphabetical order by first name

Agnès Jaoui (Look at Me-05, The Taste of Others) France
Agnès Varda (Cleo From 5 to 7-62, The Beaches of Agnès-08) Belgium

Agnieszka Holland (Europa Europa-90, Three Colors: Blue-93) Poland
Alanis Obomsawin (Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance-93) doc.
Allison Anders (Gas Food Lodging-99, Things Behind the Sun-01)
Amy Heckerling (Clueless-95, Fast Times at Ridgmont High-82, Look Who's Talking-89)
Andrea Arnold (Fish Tank-10)
Anna Biller (Viva-07)
Anne Fletcher (The Proposal-09, 27 Dresses-08)
Anne Fontaine (How I Killed My Father-02, Nathalie, Coco Before Chanel-09)
Anne Wheeler (Better Than Chocolate-99, Suddenly Naked-01)
Astrid Henning-Jensen (Paws-59, Denmark- foreign film Oscar® nominee, first in that category by a woman)
Barbra Streisand (The Prince of Tides-91)
Barbara Kopple (American Dream-90-AA, Harlan County USA-76-AA) doc.


Barbara Loden (Wanda-70)
Betty Thomas (Private Parts-97)
Bronwen Hughes (Stander-03)
Catherine Breillat (The Last Mistress-08, Fat Girl-01) France
Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen-03, Lords of Dogtown-05, Twilight-08)
Chantal Akerman (Jean Dielman, 23 Quai de Commerce.., Un Divan a New York-96) Belgium [her 3-hr plus Jean Dielman is almost painful to watch, all actions are in real time, like a taking a bath or preparing a meat loaf]

Cherien Dabis (Amreeka-09, 4 awards)
Christine Choy (Who Killed Vincent Chin?-87, )
Claire Denis (35 Shots of Rum-09, Chocolat-2000) France
Coline Serreau (Chaos-03) France
Courtney Hunt (Frozen River-08)
Darnell Martin (Cadillac Records-08, I Like It Like That-94)

Deborah Warner (The Last September-99)
Donna Deitch (Desert Hearts-85, Angel on My Shoulder-98, doc)
Dorothy Arzner (Dance Girl Dance-40, Christopher Strong-33)
Elaine May (A New Leaf-71, The Heartbreak Kid-72)
Gillian Armstrong (My Brilliant Career-79, High Tide-87, Little Women-94, Oscar and Lucinda-97) Australia
Greta Schiller (No Dinosaurs in Heaven-10, doc, Paris Was a Woman-86, doc)
Heidi Ewing (Jesus Camp-06, Boys of Baraka-05, Freakonomics-10) all doc.
Hilary Brougher (Stephanie Daley-06)
Ida Lupino (The Hitch-Hiker-53, The Bigamist-53)
Jessica Yu (Breathing Lessons, ss/AA-96, In the Realms of the Unreal-04, doc)
Joan Chen (Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl-98, Autumn in New York-2000) China
Jodie Foster (Home for the Holidays-95, Little Man Tate-91)
Julie Dash (Rosa Parks Story-02)
Julie Taymor (Frida-02, Across the Universe-07)
Karyn Kusama (Girlfight-00, Aeon Flux-05)
Kasi Lemmons (Eve's Bayou-97)
Katherine Brooks (Loving Annabelle-06, 10 awards)
Katherine Dieckmann (Diggers-06)
Kelly Reichardt (Old Joy-06, Wendy and Lucy-08, River of Glass-94, Meek’s Cutoff-10)
Kimberly Peirce (Boy's Don't Cry-99)
Kirsten Sheridan (August Rush-07) 31 awards, most for short films
Larisa Shepitko (The Ascent-77) Russia, died at 41 in a car crash

Leni Reifenstahl (Triumph of the Will-34, Olympia-36)
Liliana Cavani (The Night Porter-74, The Berlin Affair-85, Ripley's Game-02) Italy
Lina Wertmüller  (Seven Beauties-75, Swept Away-74) Italy - first woman dir. nominated for best director Oscar®)
Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right-10, High Art-98, Laurel Canyon-02)
Lizzie Borden (Born in Flames-83, Working Girls-86, Erotique-94)
Lucile Hadzihalilovic (Innocence-05, 8 awards)
Lucrecia Martel (La Cienaga-01, The Headless Woman-09) Argentina
Lynn Shelton (Humpday-09, My Effortless Brilliance-08, We Go Way Back-06)

Maggie Greenwald (The Ballad of Little Jo-93, Songcatcher-00)
Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis-07)
Marleen Gorris (Antonia's Line-96, AA, Mrs Dalloway-97) Netherlands
Martha Coolidge (Real Genius-85, Rambing Rose-91)
Mary Harron (I Shot Andy Warhol-96, American Psycho-2000)
Maya Deren (Meshes of the Afternoon-43) US via Russia (name: Eleanora Derenkowsky)
Mimi Leder (Deep Impact-98, Pay It Forward-2000)
Mina Shum (Double Happiness-94)
Monika Treut (Warrior of Light-91, doc; Ghosted) Germany
Nadine Labaki (Caramel-07) Lebanon
Nancy Myers (It's Complicated-09, The Holiday-06, Something's Gotta Give-03)

Nancy Savoca (True Love-89, Sundance; Household Saints-93)
Nicole Holofcener (Please Give-10)
Nina Paley (Sita Sings the Blues-08, 3 awards)
Nora Ephron (Sleepless in Seattle-93, You've Got Mail-98)
Ondi Timoner (Sundance Jury Prize twice: Dig-04, We Live in Public-09)
Patricia Rozema (Mansfield Park-99, Kit Kittredge-08, I've Heard the Mermaids Singing-87)
Patty Jenkins (Monster-03)
Penelope Spheeris (Wayne's World-92, Decline of American Civilization III-98, doc.)
Penny Marshall (Big-88, Awakenings-90, A League of Their Own-92)
Phyllida Lloyd (Mama Mia-08, The Iron Lady-11)
Rachel Grady (Boys of Baraka-05, Jesus Camp-06) doc.
Rebecca Miller (Pvt Lives of Pippa Lee-09, Personal Velocity-02, Ballad of Jack and Rose-05) - the wife of actor Daniel-Day Lewis
Rose Troche (Go Fish-94, Safety of Objects-01)
Sally Potter (Orlando-92, Yes-04)
Sarah Polley (Away From Her-07) Canada
Shamim Sarif (I Can't Think Straight-08)

Shari Cookson (The Memory Loss Tapes, for HBO's The Alzheimer's Project-09, as co.dir, Emmy winner; All Aboard! Rosie's Family Cruise-06; Living Dolls-The Making of a Child Beauty Queen-01; Skinheads USA-Soldiers of the Race War-93)


Shari Springer Berman (American Splendor-03)
Shirley Clarke (The Cool World-64)
Stacey Cochran (My New Gun-92)
Susan Seidelman (Smithereens-82, Desperately Seeking Susan-85)
Tamara Jenkins (The Savages-07, Slums of Beverly Hills-98)
Tanya Hamilton (Night Catches Us-10)
Vicky Jenson (Shrek-01, Shark Tale-04)







Foreign Language Film Oscars® for women directors
[The awards started in 1947, and of the 62 given, 47 have gone to Europeans, and none to India, only one for China. The award goes to the film's director, while the best picture Oscars go to the producers.]

Marleen Gorris, Netherlands, for Antonia's Line (1995) - the first woman to win this Oscar®
Caroline Link, Germany, for Nowhere in Africa (2001) (no pictures available)
Susanne Bier, Denmark, for In a Better World (2010) - previously nominated for After the Wedding; she's my favorite female director of all time (Brothers is also excellent, Connie Nielsen won 5 acting awards for her role of a mother whose husband is missing in Afghanistan)










Lina Wertmüller, the first woman nominated for best director

My favorite films on this list

After the Wedding (Susanne Bier, Denmark)
American Splendor (Shari Springer Berman)
An Education (Lone Scherfig)
Big (Penny Marshall)
Chaos (Coline Serreau, France)
City of God (Kátia Lund & Fernando Meirelles)
Clueless (Amy Heckerling)
The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow)
Innocence (Lucile Hadzihalilovic, France)
Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola)
Me and You and Everyone We Know (Miranda July)
The Memory Loss Tapes (Shari Cookson) Documentary
Mr. and Mrs. Iyer (Aparna Sen, India)
The Namesake (Mira Nair, India-US)
Nowhere in Africa (Caroline Link, Germany)
Orlando (Sally Potter)
Salaam Bombay! (Mira Nair, India)
Seven Beauties (Lina Wertmüller, Italy)
Songcatcher (Maggie Greenwald)
Thirteen (Catherine Hardwicke)
Water (Deepa Mehta, India-Canada)
Whale Rider (Niki Caro, New Zealand)
Winter's Bone (Debra Granik)

Your results may vary; no wagering; void where prohibited

Kátia Lund, a still photographer employed by
Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles as co-director
of his classic slum crime film City of God 

Do not take while pregnant; do not use while driving; may cause dizziness, stroke, death, or even worse

1 comment:

Jose Sinclair said...

Just saw Lucile Hadzihalilovic's INNOCENCE (France, 2004), and was blown away.. it's beautiful and mesmerizing.. winner of 8 awards