The Best Female Directors People In Film

The Best Female Directors

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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.

List Criteria: Only women who are film directors

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  Name
Score
  1. 1
    Up 97
    Down 24

    ranked high on reranks
    Kathryn Bigelow

    The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty, Near Dark More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 74
    Down 27
    Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides, The Bling Ring More
    90
  3. 3
    Up 49
    Down 19
    Big, Awakenings, A League of Their Own More
    83
  4. 4
    Up 32
    Down 26

    most listed &ranked high on reranks
    Amy Heckerling

    Clueless, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, I Could Never Be Your Woman More
    76
  5. 5
    Up 42
    Down 23
    Julie & Julia, Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail More
    75
  6. 6
    Up 25
    Down 16
    The Piano More
    70
  7. 7
    Up 29
    Down 23
    An Education More
    64
    added by: carlybobarly
  8. 8
    Up 20
    Down 18
    American Psycho , This Film Is Not Yet Rated, I Shot Andy Warhol More
    64
  9. 9
    Up 6
    Down 12
    Blood & Sand More
    63
    added by: hrundo
  10. 10
    Up 5
    Down 12
    63
    added by: hrundo
  11. 11
    Up 8
    Down 13

    ranked high on reranks &controversial
    Lucrecia Martel

    La Ciénaga, The Holy Girl (La Nina Santa), La Mujer sin Cabeza (The ... More
    63
    added by: carlybobarly
  12. 12
    Up 18
    Down 12
    Away From Her, Stories We Tell, Take This Waltz More
    62
    added by: carlybobarly
  13. 13
    Up 22
    Down 21
    Frida, Titus More
    61
  14. 14
    Up 5
    Down 9
    Wayne's World, Suburbia, The Decline of Western Civilization More
    60
  15. 15
    Up 8
    Down 10
    Mad Love, Priest, Face More
    56
  16. 16
    Up 13
    Down 12
    My Father and I, Adore, Coco Before Chanel More
    56
    added by: carlybobarly
  17. 17
    Up 11
    Down 12
    We Need to Talk About Kevin, Morvern Callar, Ratcatcher More
    54
    added by: carlybobarly
  18. 18
    Up 15
    Down 14
    Whip It, Curious George, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle More
    53
    added by: PeteBoyle
  19. 19
    Up 7
    Down 10
    Elsker dig for evigt (Open Hearts), Brothers (Brødre), Efter ... More
    51
    added by: carlybobarly
  20. 20
    Up 21
    Down 15
    The Parent Trap, The Holiday, What Women Want More
    50
    added by: wiabux
    Something's Gotta Give, It's Complicated, What Women Want, The Holiday, Parent Trap
  21. 21
    Up 2
    Down 3
    Jacquot de Nantes, Lion’s Love, Documenteur: An Emotion-Picture More
    47
  22. 22
    Up 5
    Down 8

    ranked low on reranks
    Claire Denis

    The Intruder, White Material, Beau Travail More
    46
    added by: hrundo
  23. 23
    Up 3
    Down 5
    Pasti, Pasti, Pastičky, Prefab Story, Pearls of the Deep More
    46
  24. 24
    Up 5
    Down 10

    ranked low on reranks
    Marjane Satrapi

    Persepolis, Chicken with Plums, Les beaux gosses (The French Kissers) More
    46
    added by: hrundo
  25. 25
    Up 2
    Down 5
    No image

    the people's #1
    Georgina Smithers

    45
  26. 26
    Up 3
    Down 2
    Milk, Cinema16: World Short Films, Wasp More
    43
    added by: Ibetolis
  27. 27
    Up 3
    Down 3
    Old Joy, River of Grass, Wendy and Lucy More
    42
    added by: Ibetolis
  28. 28
    Up 1
    Down 1
    The Promise, Rosenstrasse, Hannah Arendt More
    41
    added by: schuechen
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