Women: They get the job done. They may not have the same opportunities as men in Hollywood, or the same pay scale, or the same amount of respect — all things the industry is still trying to remedy in *checks notes* 2018 — but the fact is, women rule. There are so many women filmmakers you should know about, and endless reasons to love them all. Some have been kicking butt and taking names for years, and so many more of them are still up and coming.
Here’s a list of 7 women filmmakers you should know, if you don’t already.
Dee Rees is a screenwriter and director, and she’s been making films (and racking up critical acclaim) for the last decade. She’s openly gay, immensely talented, and was the first ever black woman nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars. If you haven’t seen Mudbound yet, get on it — just be prepared for Mary J. Blige to change your life (again). Rees is also set to direct a Netflix movie that stars Anne Hathaway, and they can both take all of my money right bow. If you want to see themes of race, poverty, and sexuality explored by a deft hand and a woman of color, watch everything she’s ever made right now.
Incredible haircut? Check. Basically wore pajamas to the 2018 Academy Awards, where she picked up her first Oscar? You know it. Oh, and she’s an innovative, experimental, French new wave icon and 90 years old. Get to know her.
Kathryn Bigelow is like Hollywood’s badass older sister. She directed Point Break, which is just something I like to remind people about, but also became the first ever woman (and so far… only woman) to win an Oscar for Best Director for The Hurt Locker. She also directed Zero Dark Thirty and was married to filmmaker James Cameron, so like, can we get coffee with her please?
Karyn Kusama is honestly so cool, it’s weird we’re not talking about her all of the time. She’s directed movies like Girlfight, The Invitation, and Jennifer’s Body, and needs to be given every seductive action-horror movie ever until the end of time, which she should also direct. She does freaky, sexy, and psychological better than anyone.
It took some time, but Greta Gerwig broke out of her indie-hipster mold by taking on projects of her own. Instead of costarring in films made by mumblecore icons like Noah Baumbach, Gerwig helmed Frances Ha to some acclaim and obviously made everyone in the world, and their best friend, and their moms cry with 2017’s poignant Lady Bird. She’ll get the Oscar soon; I just know it. There’s something about the way she articulates young, awkward, determined people that’s so real, you have to shield your eyes.
If you’re already familiar with Julia Ducournau, then I’m guessing you’re a horror fanatic and my work here is done. The French filmmaker swept festivals and alarmed critics with Raw, which made headlines for its, er, graphic and realistic portrayal of cannibalism. If you like cool young people, brilliant cinematography, and being horrified, she’s the one for you.
Enter me, holding up a megaphone to a microphone: Cathy Yan is a young, virtually unknown, female director of Asian descent who will be directing Margot Robbie’s standalone Harley Quinn movie. She’s the third woman to direct a modern superhero flick, after Patty Jenkins and Ava DuVernay, and the first *ever* woman to direct a superhero blockbuster. We stan a groundbreaking icon.
If your favorites didn’t make it on here, know that this is by no means a comprehensive list. There are so many more out there — Ava DuVernay, Catherine Hardwicke, Patty Jenkins, Julie Delpy, etc. — I couldn’t possibly include them all here. And I love that! So by all means, go out of your way to watch and discover more films made by people who aren’t dudes. You might end up loving what you see, and better still, you could be inspired to create something yourself.