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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  1. 1
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    ranked high on reranks
    Kathryn Bigelow

    The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty, Near Dark More
  2. 2
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    Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides, The Bling Ring More
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    Big, Awakenings, A League of Their Own More
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    most listed &ranked high on reranks
    Amy Heckerling

    Clueless, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, I Could Never Be Your Woman More
  5. 5
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    Julie & Julia, Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail More
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    The Piano More
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    An Education More
    added by: carlybobarly
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    American Psycho , This Film Is Not Yet Rated, I Shot Andy Warhol More
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    Blood & Sand More
    added by: hrundo
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    ranked high on reranks &controversial
    Lucrecia Martel

    La Ciénaga, The Holy Girl (La Nina Santa), La Mujer sin Cabeza (The ... More
    added by: carlybobarly
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    Away From Her, Stories We Tell, Take This Waltz More
    added by: carlybobarly
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    Frida, Titus More
  14. 14
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    Wayne's World, Suburbia, The Decline of Western Civilization More
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    Mad Love, Priest, Face More
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    My Father and I, Adore, Coco Before Chanel More
    added by: carlybobarly
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    We Need to Talk About Kevin, Morvern Callar, Ratcatcher More
    added by: carlybobarly
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    Whip It, Curious George, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle More
    added by: PeteBoyle
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    Elsker dig for evigt (Open Hearts), Brothers (Brødre), Efter ... More
    added by: carlybobarly
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    The Parent Trap, The Holiday, What Women Want More
    added by: wiabux
    Something's Gotta Give, It's Complicated, What Women Want, The Holiday, Parent Trap
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    Jacquot de Nantes, Lion’s Love, Documenteur: An Emotion-Picture More
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    Claire Denis

    The Intruder, White Material, Beau Travail More
    added by: hrundo
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    Pasti, Pasti, Pastičky, Prefab Story, Pearls of the Deep More
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    Marjane Satrapi

    Persepolis, Chicken with Plums, Les beaux gosses (The French Kissers) More
    added by: hrundo
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    the people's #1
    Georgina Smithers

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    Milk, Cinema16: World Short Films, Wasp More
    added by: Ibetolis
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    Old Joy, River of Grass, Wendy and Lucy More
    added by: Ibetolis
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    The Promise, Rosenstrasse, Hannah Arendt More
    added by: schuechen
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