Female Movie Directors

It’s only in the year 2010 that for the first time in the film history did a woman win and took home the prestigious accolade of the best director in that years Academy Awards, the female filmmakers still are not getting the same opportunities or recognition that they deserve as compared to their male counterparts (male directors).

When the female director, Kathryn Bigelow went to the dais to collect her Oscar earlier that year, she did so having been the only fourth woman to ever be nominated in the prestigious Academy Awards in the director category. Well we can’t say that the Academy panel certainly overlooks the female directors; however it is also a bad coincidence that only Kathryn Bigelow as a female director has ever won the prominent DGA and BAFTA awards as the top director, while Barbra Streisand happens to be the only female director to have ever won the outstanding Golden Globe as a winning director. Also the Cannes Film Festival has very poor records in recognizing the achievements of the women directors in the film world, and every year the film festival always comes under fire when very few or no films directed by the female gets selected for the main honors of the competition accolades.

Lack of female recognition doesn’t stem from the lack of quality movies. While the “Inception” by Christopher Nolan was getting the entire buzz, the two of the most celebrated American films with the best reviews that summer was directed by female: Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik) and The Kids Are All Right (Lisa Cholodenko), only Toy Story 3 had a higher Meta score. As we shall see in a while, these are far from being the only critically acclaimed film titles from the female movie directors.

For decades, the women have always been directing in different genres ranging from the comic (Real Genius by Martha Coolidge, Wayne’s World by Penelope Spheeris, Big by Penny Marshall) and horrific films (Pet Sematary by Mary Lambert) to animation (Shrek by Vicky Jenson) and sports (Bend It Like Beckham by Gurinder Chadha). The female directors have also made a mark in the box office-flop category (Ishtar by Elaine May). However, not all genres have always been open to the female directors; for instance, few women other than Mimi Leder of Deep Impact or Kathryn Bigelow have ever had the occasion to direct an all action film.

The opportunities for the women directors in all genres are as always relatively rare. The San Diego State University’s Center for the Women Study in Film and Television regularly reports the trends in this industry, and the findings always confirm a very major disparity: only an average of 7% to 9% of the 250 top grossing films are directed by the women for the last 25 years. The gender disparity is always extending, though not quite severe, to the film goers and the film critics.

Right now we are not exploring the main possible reasons as to why such a huge gap of disparity exists; instead, we are cerebrating the female movie directors and also put our focus on the good work that they have done for the past 30 years in our film industry.

The women directors are awarded and recognised are various festivals like Cannes or Oscars. Celebrities across the world look forward to this award and they plan for their travel ahead. The flight tickets, visitor insurance, hotels, travel agencies, cabs are generally flooded with business during these festivals. When groups or family travel risks can be covered by travelers insurance; student travelers can avail rates and plans for students.

Woman Directors in History

Almost all the well known directors are male. Just name it: Hitchcock, Welles, Spielberg, Kubrick. It’s no great mystery that the contribution of women to film directing is often overlooked by fans. Although small in number, their contributions of female directors to the industry is huge. One of the contemporary acclaimed female directors is Sofia Coppola, of the Coppola family fame (his father, Francis, directed the Godfather trilogy). She has had an illustrious career despite her young age: the 2003 film Lost in Translation remains one of her crowning achievement. Her film Somewhere (2010) won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

Claire Denis directed Chocolat (1998), a French film which was nominated for the Academy Award best picture. Jane Campion directed the poignant film The Piano (1993), which won the top award at the Cannes and three Academy Awards. Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker (2008) won the Oscar for Best Picture and bagged her the Best Director award. Women have been known as great filmmaker in the past too: the great German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl was the favorite choice of Hitler to do his propaganda work. She directed Triumph des Willens (Triumph of the Will), a Nazi propaganda piece that have been critically praised for its cinematic brilliance.