The Best Female Directors People In Film
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The Best Female Directors

List Criteria: Only women who are film directors

The best female directors include an Academy Award winner, members of Hollywood's royal families and a whole bunch of ladies who make beautiful things happen when they're behind the camera. While women might be the minority among the greatest directors in movie history that doesn't mean they are any less talented.

It's hard to argue against Kathryn Bigelow as a top pick for the best female director of all time. For her work on "The Hurt Locker" in 2009, she became the first woman to take home the prized Oscar for Best Director. Bigelow proved herself as no one-trick pony in 2012 when she received numerous accolades for her direction of "Zero Dark Thirty."

Bigelow's Oscar buzz was easily the most mainstream of any female director in the recent past but she surely isn't the first female director to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director. In 1976 Lina Wertmuller received a nomination for "Seven Beauties,in 1993 Jane Champion was nominated for "The Piano," and in 2003 Sofia Coppola, daughter of the great Francis Ford Coppola, was up for the award for "Lost in Translation."

But for every Oscar-nominated female director, there are dozens right behind also creating great movies. Isa Lupino, Penny Marshall, Nora Ephron, Nancy Meyers and Amy Heckerling are just a few of those names and each directing poignant and quality films on a regular basis.

Has a female director become an inspiration or favorite of yours? Have a beloved female director in mind that's not listed? Vote for those you enjoy, add any not listed or re-rank this list of the best female directors below. Who knows, maybe these talented women will soon be considered some of the greatest living American directors.
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  1. 1
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    The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty, Near Dark

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  2. 2
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    Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides, The Bling Ring

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  3. 3
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    Big, Awakenings, A League of Their Own

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  4. 4
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    The Piano

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  5. 5
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    Julie & Julia, Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail

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  6. 6
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    most listed Clueless, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, I Could Never Be Your Woman

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  7. 7
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    added by carlybobarly Away From Her, Stories We Tell, Take This Waltz

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  8. 8
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    American Psycho, This Film Is Not Yet Rated, I Shot Andy Warhol

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  9. 9
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    added by wiabux The Parent Trap, Father of the Bride, Something's Gotta Give Something's Gotta Give, It's Complicated, What Women Want, The Holiday, Parent Trap

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  10. 10
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    Wayne's World, Suburbia, The Decline of Western Civilization

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  11. 11
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    added by carlybobarly Elsker dig for evigt (Open Hearts), Brothers (Brødre), Efter ...

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  12. 12
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    Frida, Titus

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  13. 13
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    Last Tango in Paris, Vagabond, The Truth About Charlie

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  14. 14
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    added by Ibetolis Fish Tank, Wasp, Red Road

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  15. 15
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    added by hrundo Persepolis, Chicken with Plums, Les beaux gosses (The French Kissers)

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  16. 16
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    added by carlybobarly An Education

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  17. 17
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    often listed & added by hrundo The Blot, Hypocrites, Where Are My Children?

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  18. 18
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    added by hrundo The Intruder, White Material, Beau Travail

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  19. 19
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    added by PeteBoyle Whip It, Curious George, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle

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  20. 20
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    added by hrundo Blood & Sand

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  21. 21
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    ranked low on reranks & added by micktravis Triumph of the Will, Olympia, The Holy Mountain

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  22. 22
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    added by carlybobarly We Need to Talk About Kevin, Morvern Callar, Ratcatcher

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  23. 23
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    added by carlybobarly My Father and I, Adore, Coco Before Chanel

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  24. 24
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    Mad Love, Priest, Face

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  25. 25
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    added by carlybobarly La Ciénaga, The Holy Girl (La Nina Santa), La Mujer sin Cabeza (The ...

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  26. 26
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    added by jobill The Silence of the Lambs, Taxi Driver, Elysium

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  27. 27
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    Daisies, Something Different, Traps

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  28. 28
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    added by micktravis Esmeralda, Algie the Miner, La Fée aux Choux

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  29. 29
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    often listed & added by Trioxin245 Kung Fu Panda, Girl, Interrupted, Shark Tale

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  30. 30
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    often listed & added by weik Monster

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  31. 31
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    added by schuechen The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum, Rosenstrasse, Circle of Deceit

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  32. 32
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    added by weik Monsoon Wedding, Salaam Bombay!, Mississippi Masala

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  33. 33
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    ranked low on reranks & added by weik The Kids Are All Right, Laurel Canyon, High Art

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  34. 34
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    added by weik Boys Don't Cry, Carrie, Stop-Loss

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  35. 35
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    added by weik Winter’s Bone, Down to the Bone, Stray Dog

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  36. 36
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    added by weik Lovely & Amazing, Friends with Money, Walking and Talking

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  37. 37
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    added by weik Là-bas, Never Forget, The Meetings Of Anna

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  38. 38
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    new! & added by weik Slums of Beverly Hills, Happy Accidents, The Savages

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  39. 39
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    added by weik The Ascent, Wings, Farewell

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  40. 40
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    added by weik Little Women, Oscar and Lucinda, My Brilliant Career

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  41. 41
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    added by weik The Graduate, Tootsie, The Birdcage

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  42. 42
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    added by weik Meshes of the Afternoon, A Study in Choreography for Camera, Cinema16: ...

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  43. 43
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    added by weik Me and You and Everyone We Know, Jesus' Son, The Center of the World

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  44. 44
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    added by weik Bridget Jones's Diary, Incendiary, Call Me Crazy: A Five Film

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  45. 45
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    added by weik Twilight, Red Riding Hood, Thirteen

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  46. 46
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    added by weik Can't Hardly Wait, Private Parts, John Tucker Must Die

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    new! & added by weik I Am Sam, So I Married an Axe Murderer, Stepmom

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  48. 48
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    added by weik The Man Who Cried, Orlando, Yes

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    new! & added by weik Whale Rider, North Country, A Heavenly Vintage

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  50. 50
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    added by weik Last Tango in Paris, Fat Girl, Romance

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