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Six Female Directors You Should Definitely Know

In any male-dominated industry, it can be hard for young women to find powerful role models to look up to and be inspired by. I know when first starting out on my film journey, I couldn’t even count enough female directors off the top of my head to fill up a whole hand. Now, two hands are hardly enough for this game, but it wasn’t an easy journey getting here. To help you on your journey, whether it’s film or discovering more accomplished women in media, here are some incredibly talented female directors you should be aware of.


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Lu Lu Wang

Most well-known for her critically acclaimed film The Farewell, Lulu Wang is an American filmmaker with a powerful voice for storytelling. Her works transport you directly into the shoes of her characters, giving you a glimpse into not only other worlds but other cultures as well.

Greta Gerwig

One of the most popular film directors amongst younger generations at the moment, Greta Gerwig has a unique voice and directing style that comes through the screen and touches the hearts of her viewers. Though she initially pursued an acting career, she changed gears after writing the script for Lady Bird. After knocking the ball out of the park with this coming-of-age comedy, she continues to make masterpiece after masterpiece, keeping the world on the edge of its seat as we wait to see what will come next. 

Miranda July

Miranda July is an American film director who recently released her film, Kajillionaire, about two con-artist parents raising their kid to know all the tricks of the trade. She is not only a director with a unique style that gives life to her films but is also an author. Check out some of her work here.

Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay is known for creating powerful films that shed light on Black history and racial inequality, such as her 2014 film Selma, and her 2016 documentary, 13th. In 2012, she became the first Black woman to win the directing award at Sundance for her second feature film, Middle of Nowhere. Obviously, Ava is extremely talented when it comes to storytelling, but what’s even more admirable is the usage of her platform to spread important messages, entertaining and educating her viewers at the same time.

Sofia Coppola

Daughter of famous film director Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia has been working in the business since she was a kid. Though she began her career by acting in her father’s films, she eventually began making her own with her directorial debut The Virgin Suicides. Sofia was also the first American woman to be nominated for best director at the Academy Awards in 2004.

Garrett Bradley

Garrett made headlines last year as she became the first Black woman to win Best Director in the US Documentary Competition at Sundance for her feature-length documentary, Time. She is known for exploring important subjects such as race, class, and social justice through her filmmaking, often in more experimental formats. At only 35 years old, Garrett continues to shake the film world with her art, while simultaneously diving into complex issues that are necessary for the public to not only be aware of but consistently engage in discussion about them.

The female perspective in film is essential to include when telling diverse stories, and these women are definitely ones to keep an eye on as we campaign for more inclusive narratives in media. I’m excited to see these incredibly talented women continue to make spectacular works of art and hope you continue to keep them on your radar as well.

Gracen is currently a sophomore at CWU studying Film Production. Some of her interests include photography, making art, watching movies, and listening to music. This is her second year writing for Her Campus.
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