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
    + 120
    - 37

    the people's #1 The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty, Near Dark

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 109
    - 42

    Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides, The Bling Ring

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 66
    - 25

    Big, Awakenings, A League of Their Own

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 63
    - 31

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

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 46
    - 34

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

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 42
    - 21

    The Piano

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 31
    - 17

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

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 15
    - 15

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

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 32
    - 24

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

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 31
    - 23

    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

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 13
    - 7

    Last Tango in Paris, Vagabond, The Truth About Charlie

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 14
    - 15

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

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 34
    - 27

    Frida, Titus

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 11
    - 5

    added by Ibetolis Fish Tank, Wasp, Red Road

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 10
    - 13

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

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 32
    - 30

    added by carlybobarly An Education

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 7
    - 2

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

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 22
    - 20

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

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 12
    - 11

    added by hrundo The Intruder, White Material, Beau Travail

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 9
    - 17

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

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 9
    - 17

    added by hrundo Blood & Sand

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 14
    - 15

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

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 16
    - 16

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

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 9
    - 13

    Mad Love, Priest, Face

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 13
    - 17

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

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 6
    - 1

    added by micktravis Triumph of the Will, Olympia, The Holy Mountain

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 7
    - 7

    Daisies, Something Different, Traps

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 7
    - 14

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

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 3
    - 1

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

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 4
    - 6

    often listed & added by weik Monster

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 3
    - 3

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

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 17
    - 9

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

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 24
    - 16

    added by weik The Kids Are All Right, Laurel Canyon, High Art

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 19
    - 12

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

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 19
    - 12

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

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 11
    - 7

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

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 4
    - 1

    added by weik The Graduate, Tootsie, The Birdcage

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 3
    - 1
    No image

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

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 3
    - 1

    added by weik The Secret Garden, Three Colors: Blue, Europa Europa

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 2
    - 2

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

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 2
    - 1
    No image

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

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 1
    - 1

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

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 2
    - 1
    No image

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

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 1
    - 1

    added by weik The Ascent, Wings, Farewell

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 1
    - 1

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

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 1
    - 1

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

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 3
    - 3

    added by weik The Man Who Cried, Orlando, Yes

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 7
    - 7

    added by Ibetolis Wendy and Lucy, Meek's Cutoff, Old Joy

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 1
    - 1

    added by weik Whale Rider, North Country, A Heavenly Vintage

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 5
    - 7

    added by weik Swept Away, American Pop, Seven Beauties

    ) open
60 +

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