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
    Up 108
    Down 31

    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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    The Piano

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  4. 4
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    Big, Awakenings, A League of Their Own

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  5. 5
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    most listed Clueless, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, I Could Never Be Your Woman

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  6. 6
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    Julie & Julia, Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail

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

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  10. 10
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    added by carlybobarly Elsker dig for evigt (Open Hearts), Brothers (Brødre), Efter ...

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  11. 11
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    added by hrundo The Blot, Hypocrites, Where Are My Children?

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  12. 12
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    often listed & added by hrundo Blood & Sand

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  13. 13
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    ranked low on reranks & added by wiabux The Parent Trap, The Parent Trap, Father of the Bride Something's Gotta Give, It's Complicated, What Women Want, The Holiday, Parent Trap

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

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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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    Last Tango in Paris, Vagabond, Vagabond

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  17. 17
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    Frida, Titus

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  18. 18
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    added by carlybobarly An Education

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  19. 19
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    added by carlybobarly La Ciénaga, The Holy Girl (La Nina Santa), La Mujer sin Cabeza (The ...

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  20. 20
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    added by carlybobarly My Father and I, Adore, Coco Before Chanel

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  21. 21
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    added by PeteBoyle Whip It, Curious George, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle

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  22. 22
    Up 12
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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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    Mad Love, Priest, Face

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  24. 24
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    added by hrundo The Intruder, White Material, Beau Travail

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  25. 25
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    added by Trioxin245 Kung Fu Panda, Girl, Interrupted, Shark Tale

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  26. 26
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    Daisies, Daisies, Daisies

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  27. 27
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    new! & added by micktravis Triumph of the Will, Triumph of the Will, Triumph of the Will

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  28. 28
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    new! & added by micktravis Esmeralda, Algie the Miner, Algie the Miner

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  29. 29
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    added by schuechen The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum, Rosenstrasse, Rosenstrasse

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  30. 30
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    added by Ibetolis Wendy and Lucy, Wendy and Lucy, Meek's Cutoff

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