The Best Female Directors Ever!by dziwnytenswiat | created - 01 Oct 2017 | updated - 5 days ago | Public
Points from my "The Best Films Ever Made"-Lists. Vol. 1 = 100%, Vol. 2 = 50%, Vol. 3 = 33%, Vol. 4 = 25%, Vol. 5 = 20 %, Vol. 6 = 17%
1. Agnès Varda
Director | Sans toit ni loi
Agnès Varda was born on May 30, 1928 in Brussels, Belgium as Arlette Varda. She was a director and writer, known for Vagabond (1985), Faces Places (2017) and Le Bonheur (1965). She was married to Jacques Demy. She died on March 29, 2019 in Paris, France.
Director | Hannah Arendt
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 ...
3. 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 | The Secret Life of Words
Isabel Coixet was born on April 9, 1960 in Sant Adrià de Besòs, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain as Isabel Coixet Castillo. She is a director and writer, known for The Secret Life of Words (2005), My Life Without Me (2003) and The Bookshop (2017).
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 ...
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 | Capharnaüm
Nadine Labaki was born on February 18, 1974 in Beirut, Lebanon. She is an actress and writer, known for Capernaum (2018), Where Do We Go Now? (2011) and Caramel (2007). She has been married to Khaled Mouzanar since October 2007.
9. Julie Taymor
Director | Frida
Julie Taymor is an Academy Award-nominated director, known for such films as Frida (2002) and Across the Universe (2007).
She was born on December 15, 1952, in Newton, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. Her father, Melvin Lester Taymor, was a gynecologist. Her mother, Elizabeth Bernstein, was a ...
10. 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...
11. 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.
12. Deepa Mehta
Director | Fire
Deepa Mehta is a transnational artist and a screenwriter, director, and producer whose work has been called "courageous", "provocative" and "breathtaking". Her visually lush and emotionally resonating films have played at every major international film festival; receiving numerous awards and ...
13. Céline Sciamma
Writer | Portrait de la jeune fille en feu
14. Caroline Link
Director | Nirgendwo in Afrika
16. Chantal Akerman
Director | Je tu il elle
Chantal Akerman was born on June 6, 1950 in Brussels, Belgium as Chantal Anne Akerman. She was a director and writer, known for Je Tu Il Elle (1974), The Meetings of Anna (1978) and A Couch in New York (1996). She was married to Sonia Wieder-Atherton. She died on October 5, 2015 in Paris, France.
17. Sarah Polley
Actress | Dawn of the Dead
Sarah Polley is an actress and director renowned in her native Canada for her political activism. Blessed with an extremely expressive face that enables directors to minimize dialog due to her uncanny ability to suggest a character's thoughts, Polley has become a favorite of critics for her ...
Director | Wadjda
Haifaa Al Mansour is the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia and is regarded as one of the most significant cinematic figures in the Kingdom. She finished her bachelor's degree in Literature at the American University in Cairo and completed a Master's degree in Directing and Film Studies from ...
19. Laura Poitras
Producer | Citizenfour
Director | Nic
21. Icíar Bollaín
Director | Te doy mis ojos
Born in Madrid, Iciar Bollain has worked as an actress in films such El Sur (1983), directed by Víctor Erice; Sublet (1991) directed by Chus Gutiérrez, Malaventura (1988) directed by Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón; El Mejor de los Tiempos (1990) and Un Paraguas para Tres (1992) directed by Felipe Vega, ...
22. Lone Scherfig
Director | An Education
Writer/director Lone Scherfig graduated from The National Film School of Denmark in 1984. Her first feature film, THE BIRTHDAY TRIP (1990), was selected for Panorama in Berlin, the New Directors section at MOMA in New York and won the Grand Jury Prix in Rouen. Her next film, ON OUR OWN (1998), ...
23. Mira Nair
Director | Monsoon Wedding
Accomplished Film Director/Writer/Producer Mira Nair was born in India and educated at Delhi University and at Harvard. She began her film career as an actor and then turned to directing award-winning documentaries, including So Far From India and India Cabaret. Her debut feature film, Salaam ...
24. 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.
25. Anna Muylaert
Writer | Que Horas Ela Volta?
26. 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 ...
27. 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...
28. Kátia Lund
Director | Cidade de Deus
29. Jordan Scott
Stunts | Legend
30. Sally George
Producer | Young @ Heart
Mother of actresses [nm=1935438] and Tiger lily Hutchinson.
31. Ildikó Enyedi
Director | Teströl és lélekröl
32. Marleen Gorris
Director | Antonia
Marleen Gorris was born on December 9, 1948 in Roermond, Limburg, Netherlands. She is a director and writer, known for Antonia's Line (1995), Gebroken spiegels (1984) and A Question of Silence (1982).
33. Penny Marshall
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 ...
34. Valerie Faris
Director | Little Miss Sunshine
Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris have built an impressive body of work by perpetually seeking innovative projects in a variety of mediums.
After introducing bands such as REM and The Red Hot Chili Peppers on their ground breaking MTV show The Cutting Edge, Jonathan and Valerie continued to work in ...
35. Ava DuVernay
Producer | Queen Sugar
A director, producer, writer, marketer and film distributor, Ava DuVernay made her feature film debut with the documentary This in the Life (2008), a history on hip hop movement that flourished in Los Angeles in the 1990's. This was followed by series of television music documentaries which ...
36. Susanne Rostock
Editor | Sing Your Song
Long esteemed as "an aural and visual poet", Susanne Rostock's filmmaking is a stunning 38 years of some of the most compelling documentaries of each decade. Her most recent film as director / editor, Sing Your Song, about Harry Belafonte's life as an artist and activist, was chosen to open the U.S...
37. Anne Fontaine
Writer | Coco avant Chanel
Anne Fontaine was born on July 15, 1959 in Luxembourg as Anne Sibertin-Blanc. She is an actress and writer, known for Coco Before Chanel (2009), The Innocents (2016) and Dry Cleaning (1997). She is married to Philippe Carcassonne. They have one child.
38. Sofia Coppola
Actress | The Godfather: Part III
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 ...
39. Jasmila Zbanic
Director | Grbavica
Jasmila Zbanic was born on December 19, 1974 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yugoslavia. She is a director and writer, known for Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams (2006), On the Path (2010) and For Those Who Can Tell No Tales (2013).
40. 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 ...
41. Barbra Streisand
Soundtrack | Funny Girl
Barbra Streisand is an American singer, actress, director and producer and one of the most successful personalities in show business. She is the only person ever to receive all of the following: Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe, Cable Ace, National Endowment for the Arts, and Peabody awards,...
Director | Panj é asr
Samira Makhmalbaf Filmmaker
Born on February 15,1980 in Tehran. At the age of eight, she played in "The Cyclist" directed by her father, Mohsen Makhmalbaf the celebrated Iranian filmmaker.
At the age of 17, she directed her first feature titled "The Apple" and She went on to become the youngest ...
43. Doris Dörrie
Writer | Kirschblüten - Hanami
Doris Dörrie was born on May 26, 1955 in Hannover, Lower Saxony, Germany. She is a writer and director, known for Cherry Blossoms (2008), Men... (1985) and Greetings from Fukushima (2016). She was previously married to Helge Weindler.
44. Andrea Arnold
Director | American Honey
Writer | Ptaki spiewaja w Kigali
Joanna Kos-Krauze was born on December 8, 1972 in Olsztyn, Warminsko-Mazurskie, Poland. She is a writer and assistant director, known for Birds Are Singing in Kigali (2017), Saviour Square (2006) and Doll (2013). She was previously married to Krzysztof Krauze.
46. Lucía Puenzo
Writer | XXY
47. 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.
48. Vera Chytilová
Director | Dedictví aneb Kurvahosigutntag
Vera Chytilová was born on February 2, 1929, in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic). She studied philosophy and architecture in Brno for two years, then worked as a technical draftsman, a designer, a fashion model, a photo re-toucher, then worked as a clapper girl for Barrandov Film ...
Director | En familie
Writer | The Dressmaker
Jocelyn Moorhouse was born on September 4, 1960 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia as Jocelyn Denise Moorhouse. She is a writer and director, known for The Dressmaker (2015), Proof (1991) and Muriel's Wedding (1994). She is married to P.J. Hogan.
51. Euzhan Palcy
Director | Rue Cases Nègres
52. Randa Haines
Producer | Antwone Fisher
Randa Haines was born on February 20, 1945 in Los Angeles, California, USA. She is a director and producer, known for Antwone Fisher (2002), Children of a Lesser God (1986) and Something About Amelia (1984).
Director | Little Women
Gillian Armstrong was born on December 18, 1950 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia as Gillian May Armstrong. She is a director and producer, known for Little Women (1994), My Brilliant Career (1979) and Not Fourteen Again (1996). She is married to John Pleffer. They have two children.
54. Jodie Foster
Actress | The Silence of the Lambs
Jodie Foster started her career at the age of two. For four years she made commercials and finally gave her debut as an actress in the TV series Mayberry R.F.D. (1968). In 1975 Jodie was offered the role of prostitute Iris Steensma in the movie Taxi Driver (1976). This role, for which she received ...
Director | Mustang
In 2011 Ergüven was invited to attend the Cannes Film Festivals Atelier to help develop her project, The Kings. While there she met fellow director Alice Winocour who was there to develop her first feature film Augustine. After Ergüven was unable to find financing for her film Winocour suggested ...
56. Leontine Sagan
Director | Mädchen in Uniform
Leontine Sagan was born on February 13, 1889 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary as Leontine Schlesinger. She was a director and actress, known for Mädchen in Uniform (1931), Men of Tomorrow (1932) and Showtime (1946). She was married to Dr. Victor Fleischer (dramatist). She died on May 20, 1974 in ...
57. Marina Zenovich
Director | Lance
Marina Zenovich is an American filmmaker known for her biographical documentaries. Her films include Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic and Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, which won two Emmy awards. Zenovich was born in Fresno, California. She is the daughter of George N. Zenovich, a former ...
58. Wanda Jakubowska
Director | Ostatni etap
Wanda Jakubowska was born on October 10, 1907 in Warsaw, Poland, Russian Empire. She is known for her work on The Last Stage (1948), Król Macius I (1958) and Pozegnanie z diablem (1957). She died on February 24, 1998 in Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland.
Director | Molière
Ariane Mnouchkine was born on March 3, 1939 in Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine, France as Ariane Svetlana Mnouchkine. She is a director and writer, known for Molière (1978), That Man from Rio (1964) and 1789 (1974).
61. Kimberly Peirce
Director | Boys Don't Cry
62. Naoko Ogigami
Writer | Karera ga honki de amu toki wa
After graduation from Chiba University's Image Science program, Naoko Ogigami went to the United States in 1994 to study film at the University of Southern California. During this period, she worked as an assistant for TV commercials, promotional videos, and films, and also created short films of ...
Editor | Chuck Norris vs. Communism
Ilinca Calugareanu was born on August 19, 1981 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania as Oltea-Ilinca Calugareanu. She is an editor and director, known for Chuck Norris vs. Communism (2015), Independent Lens (1999) and Cold Kill.
64. Amy Berg
Producer | Deliver Us from Evil
Writer | Roozi ke zan shodam
Marziyeh Meshkini Born in 1969 in Tehran. She is the wife of celebrated Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf. She studied Cinema in Makhmalbaf Film school for 8 years. Her first film 'The Day I Became a Woman", (a 3-episode story) attended the Critics Week category in Venice International Film ...
66. Kirsten Sheridan
Writer | In America
67. Feo Aladag
Writer | Die Fremde
Feo Aladag was born on January 13, 1972 in Vienna, Austria as Feodora Schenk. She is an actress and writer, known for When We Leave (2010), Inbetween Worlds (2014) and The Inconvenient Truth. She was previously married to Züli Aladag.
68. Maren Ade
Producer | Toni Erdmann
Maren Ade was born in Karlsruhe on 12 December 1976 to a couple of teachers.She studied cinema at Munich's Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film. As of 2001 she co-founded, together with Janine Jackowski, a fellow graduate from HFF, the "Komplizen" film company. It is through Komplizen that Maren would...
69. Valérie Donzelli
Actress | La guerre est déclarée
A tall, slim brunette with deep red puckered lips, Valérie Donzelli plays wonderfully clumsy, gawky, goofy girls, failed seductresses and successful charm freaks. She is also a noted film director, whose works explore very different registers, which she does not hesitate to mix whether comic, ...
70. Naomi Kawase
Director | An
Naomi Kawase was born on May 30, 1969 in Nara, Japan. She is a director and writer, known for Sweet Bean (2015), Suzaku (1997) and Still the Water (2014). She was previously married to Takenori Sentô.
Writer | Grzeli nateli dgeebi
72. Carla Simón
Writer | Estiu 1993
Director | W imie...
One of the most prominent Polish directors of today, Malgorzata Szumowska was born in Kraków in 1973. She's been directing, writing and producing feature and documentary films and has received numerous awards at international and Polish film festivals. After two noticed shorts, her first feature ...
74. 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.
75. Lisa Cholodenko
Director | The Kids Are All Right
Lisa Cholodenko earned an MFA at Columbia University Film School where she made an award-winning short film Dinner Party (1997) Her feature High Art (1998) won the National Society of Film Critics award for Ally Sheedy's performance and The Waldo Salt Screenwriting award at Sundance. Both "High Art...
76. Tatyana Lioznova
Director | Tri topolya na Plyushchikhe
Tatyana Lioznova was born on July 20, 1924 in Moscow, RSFSR, USSR as Tatyana Moiseevna Lioznova. She was a director and writer, known for Three Poplars at Plyuschikha Street (1968), Karnaval (1982) and Konets sveta s posleduyushchim simpoziumom (1987). She died on September 29, 2011 in Moscow, ...
Writer | Forbrydelser
78. Debra Granik
Director | Leave No Trace
Debra Granik (born February 6, 1963) is an American New York City-based independent film and documentary film director and screenwriter. She is most known for 2004's Down to the Bone, which starred Vera Farmiga, 2010's Winter's Bone, which starred Jennifer Lawrence in her breakout performance and ...
79. Lucy Walker
Director | The Crash Reel
80. Emily Atef
Director | 3 Tage in Quiberon
81. Ruth Orkin
Director | Little Fugitive
Ruth Orkin was born on September 3, 1921 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. She was a director and actress, known for Little Fugitive (1953), Lovers and Lollipops (1956) and The Dog Lover (1962). She was married to Morris Engel. She died on January 16, 1985 in New York City, New York, USA.
82. Zabou Breitman
Actress | Se souvenir des belles choses
Zabou Breitman was born on October 30, 1959 in Paris, France as Isabelle Breitman. She is an actress and director, known for Beautiful Memories (2001), The Swallows of Kabul (2019) and 24 Days (2014). She was previously married to Fabien Chalon.
Animation_department | Les hirondelles de Kaboul
Director | À mon âge je me cache encore pour fumer
85. Kira Muratova
Director | Nastroyshchik
Kira Muratova was born on November 5, 1934 in Soroca, Romania as Kira Georgiyevna Korotkova. She was a director and writer, known for The Tuner (2004), Second Class Citizens (2001) and The Asthenic Syndrome (1989). She was married to Yevgeni Golubenko and Aleksandr Muratov. She died on June 6, 2018...
86. Alice Rohrwacher
Director | Lazzaro felice
89. Márta Mészáros
Director | Örökbefogadás
Márta Mészáros was born on September 19, 1931 in Budapest, Hungary. She is a director and writer, known for Adoption (1975), Diary for My Children (1984) and Aurora Borealis: Északi fény (2017). She was previously married to Miklós Jancsó and Laszlo Karda.
90. Karen Moncrieff
Director | 13 Reasons Why
After receiving a B.S. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, Moncrieff moved to California to pursue a career as an actress. She appeared in numerous TV shows and B-movies and was a series regular on Santa Barbara (as Cassandra Lockridge) and Days of Our Lives (as Gabrielle Pascal.)
Director | 24 Wochen
92. Ruth Beckermann
Director | Die Geträumten
93. 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), ...
94. Léa Pool
Director | Emporte-moi
Director | Almanya - Willkommen in Deutschland
Yasemin Samdereli was born on July 15, 1973 in Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. She is a director and writer, known for Almanya: Welcome to Germany (2011), Who Am I? (1998) and Together Forever - Secrets of 50+ Years of Marriage (2018).
Writer | Bella Martha
Director | Gospod postoi, imeto i' e Petrunija
Director | The Kingmaker
99. Patty Jenkins
Director | Wonder Woman
Patty Jenkins is a writer/director best known for directing Wonder Woman, the Warner Bros./DC Comics blockbuster of 2017, and her debut feature Monster. Patty also works in television where she is best known for the pilot and finale episode of AMC's hit show The Killing.
Patty began her career as a ...
100. Sally Potter
Director | Orlando
Sally Potter made her first 8mm film aged fourteen. She has since written and directed seven feature films, as well as many short films (including THRILLER and PLAY) and a television series, and has directed opera (Carmen for the ENO in 2007) and other live work. Her background is in choreography, ...