Studies show that half of all film school graduates are women, yet only 5% of them are working Hollywood directors. This is not only a problem in Hollywood, but everywhere in the world. There’s prejudice and difficulties akin to them, common stories of declined financing help and even production interruptions due to certain chosen themes and subjects in their work.
There are exceptions to the rule that are forgotten, and others that are now breaking through. Although many who are active today seek refuge in independent filmmaking, TV and online media, they are – increasingly so – receiving more attention. The current list gathers some of the most prominent female filmmakers in the history of film, and the movies that made them so inspiring.
The Film Fatales, a collective of women indie directors, put together a list of must-see movies made by women.
Founded in 2013 by "I Believe in Unicorns" director Leah Meyerhoff, Film Fatales is a bicoastal collective of women filmmakers who mentor and collaborate in an indie space that's far removed from the sexist world of Hollywood—and therefore all the more likely to make impact.
“At a time when audiences are hungry for a diversity of stories on screen, we’ve compiled a list of recent films directed by women that everyone should see, as well as a selection of older titles which continue to inspire us,” said Film Fatales founder Leah Meyerhoff, who shared the following list with Bitch Media.
Film Fatales in NY and LA include Meyerhoff, Eliza Hittman, Ry Russo Young, Stewart Thorndike, Marielle Heller, Leslye Headland, Sasha Gordon, Jess Weixler and Josephine Decker. Here are their picks for the best films made by women, including "Appropriate Behavior," "Diary of a Teenage Girl," "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night," "Pariah," "Selma," and classics from Agnes Varda, Claire Denis, Kathryn Bigelow and Lynne Ramsay.
- Recent Women-Directed Films That Everyone Should See (A-Z)
- Women-Directed Films That Inspired the Work of Film Fatales (A-Z)
52 Films by Women is a movement launched by Women in Film Los Angeles in 2015 to get more people watching films directed by women.
Followers—including many here on Letterboxd—pledge to watch (at least) a film a week directed by a woman.
WIF’s Executive Director Kirsten Schaffer made this primer list of 11 unforgettable films exclusively for Letterboxd.
Read her accompanying Q&A: