11 Best Female Film Directors In The World 2019

Contrary to the popular notion that the movie industry is a man’s world where they just hire pretty looking maidens to enact the damsel in distress, today, the movie industry has come far away from that belief and we have some great minds in a female body who have directed some awesome films.

Breaking the traditional barrier and identity, the female directors are creating waves around the world by making good films. It is not gender but passion and determination which is the driving force. They have created excellent movies by making films in the different genre like comedy, drama, thriller, and romance. When it comes to getting recognition, some of them have been applauded for their work and are awarded Oscar and Academy awards. Presenting below a list of 11 best and most popular female film directors in the world in 2019.

11. Lynne Ramsay

Most Popular Female Film Directors 2019

She had been the part of the jury in major film festivals in the world like Cannes Film Festival and Venice Film Festival. She was born in Glasgow in 1969. Lynne brings out the grief of the people on screen and has been able to capture the young people and children as its valued audiences. Apart from being a Scottish Director, she is good at writing and as a producer. Sometimes she can also work behind the camera. Ramsay is well-known for the films You Were Never Really Here, Ratcatcher, We Need to Talk about Kevin and Morvern Callar.

10. Kathryn Bigelow

Most Popular Female Film Directors

This famous woman director shot to fame with her film, ‘The Hurt Locker’. The film won her the Academy Award for the Best Director. It had incredible visuals and action sequences which got the adrenaline pumping. She is a very talented painter too. The American director has also directed the horror flick, ‘Near Dark’, action crime film, ‘ Point Break’, science fiction, ‘Strange Days’ and much more. She also has been crowned at the top 100 most influential women in the year 2010 by Time magazine.

9. Jane Campion

Most Popular Female Film Directors

Jane Campion is a famous film director from New Zealand who also happens to be second of the only four women ever nominated for best director category in the Academy Awards. She won the nominee for her acclaimed film, ‘The Piano’ in the year 1993. She is also a screen writer and a producer. Her film ‘Sweetie’ in 1989 was her debut film which won many international awards.

8. Gina Prince-Bythewood

Most Popular Female Film Directors

The widely acclaimed feature film, ‘Love and Basketball’ were written and directed by this famous director in the year 2000. The film got her an Independent Spirit Award and a Humanitas Prize for the Best feature film. In 2008, she came up with her next movie called the ‘The Secret Life of Bees’. The American director and writer have also directed acclaimed movies like, ‘Disappearing Acts’ and ‘Beyond the lights’. The entire crew of the movie, ‘Beyond the Lights’ consisted of women. Her upcoming movie is the ‘Silver and Black’, rumored to release in the year 2017.

7. Claire Denis

Most Popular Female Film Directors

Claire Denis has been honored with the title of ‘France’s greatest living female film director’. She has an impressive body of work to her credit. Her directorial debut film, ‘Chocolat’ in the year 1998 won her critical acclaim. She went ahead to explore and showcase the French colonial themes in movies like ‘Beau Travail’ in the year 1999, ‘35 Shots of Rum’ in the year 2008 and the ‘White Material’ in the year 2009. She is also considered as one of the strongest voices of the contemporary cinema today. She uses more of location work in her scripts.

6. Catherine Hardwicke

Most Popular Female Film Directors

Her film ‘Twilight’ had launched the film franchise based on novels which were best sellers. This film also earned her $69.6 million USD in its initial opening weekend which also is the highest any female film director ever earned. The American film director, screenwriter, and production designer has also given Academy award winning films like the ‘Thirteen’, ‘The Nativity Story’, ‘Red Riding Hood’ and ‘Lords of Dogtown’.

5. Mira Nair

Most Popular Female Film Directors 2019

This India film director has been educated from the Harvard University. She dwells in New York and has directed many award-winning films like, ‘Salaam Bombay’ which was nominated for the best Academy Award film in the foreign language category. Her other famous documentaries include the ‘So Far from India’ and ‘India Cabaret’. Her production company, Mirabai Films specialises in films made for the international audiences. Her other films include, ‘The Mississippi Masala’, ‘The Namesake’ and ‘Monsoon Wedding’.Mahmood Mamdani is her second husband and they have a son named ‘Zohran’. They both teach at the Columbia University.

4. Amy Heckerling

Most Popular Female Film Directors

This woman director has multiple box office hits to her credit in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Her movies, ‘Fast times at Ridgemont High’, ‘Clueless’ and ‘European Vacation’have appealed to the masses and critics alike. She received the Franklin J. Schaffner medal from the American Film Fraternity. In the year 1999, she was also honored with the Crystal Award. Married twice and divorced, Heckerling has a daughter named Mollie who is a singer. Heckerling’s continues to make inspiring films even today.

3. Sofia Coppola

Most Popular Female Film Directors

She is the daughter of the famous director Francis Ford Coppola and makes everyone wonder about her classic directorial genes. Her movie, ‘Lost in translation’ got her an Academy Award for the best original screenplay in the year 2003. She also became the third woman and first American Woman to be nominated for the award of the Best Director in the Academy Awards. Her 2017 film, ‘The Beguiled’ won her the best director award at the Cannes Film Festival. Her film, ‘Somewhere’ won The Golden Lion award and also the top prize at the Venice International Film Festival.

2. Julie Taymor

Most Popular Female Film Directors

Julie Taymor won a Tony Award for her directorial debut work on ‘the lion king’. The film shot her to fame and she then went to create films like ‘Frida’ and the ‘The adaptation of the Tempest’ which continued to rule the box office for quite some time. This American director of theater, opera and films also received the Drama Desk Award for outstanding costume design and Emmy awards for ‘original song’. She has also directed Broadway musicals like the ‘spider man’ and another famous film,’ Midsummer night’s dream’.

1. Nora Ephron

Most Popular Female Film Directors 2019

Nora Ephron is the queen of romantic comedies. Her famous romcoms like the ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ and ‘You’ve Got Mail’ shot her to fame instantly. Tragically, she died from pneumonia in the year 2012 while she was 71 years of age. People still remember her for her quick quips and sharp wit. Her other films include, ‘ Silkwood’, ‘When Harry met Sally’, ‘Julie and Julia’ which were critically acclaimed and box office hits.

The above list of female directors is quite motivational and inspirational and proves that for women of the 21st century, there is nothing that a woman can’t do. Women of today run shoulder to shoulder with men. They belong to different parts of the world but share a common talent of film making. Some of their films are adored and will remain in our memories.


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