When we talk about female representation, we often talk about how it’s important for girls to see women doing what they aspire to do. As Geena Davis says, “If they can see it, they can be it.” This is why the conversation around female characters on film and television and even of Barbie is so weighted. Beyond this, when women are behind the camera shaping stories that are uniquely their own, it’s crucial that we see that too. It’s all too easy to think of Hollywood as a boys club and overlook the incredible women who are fighting for their place—and their films—in the midst of it.
So here, we offer a round-up of images of female directors, kicked off above with a shot from 1910, showing Alice Guy-Blache, a director, producer, and screenwriter who was one of the very first to use the invention of film to tell stories. Essentially, she’s one of the pioneers of the medium of film itself.
Below are a few of the talented women who followed in Guy-Blache’s footsteps.
Sofia Coppola on the set of THE VIRGIN SUICIDES 💞 pic.twitter.com/pUtL6UOOPo— Criterion Collection (@Criterion) April 24, 2018
Lexi Alexander and Ray Stevenson on the set of Punisher: War Zone pic.twitter.com/wkzMk7DNoD— Martin Kessler (@MovieKessler) February 15, 2016
On set with Gina Prince Bythewood and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Good times pic.twitter.com/aZwhtbyseg— Datari Turner (@DatariTurner) April 16, 2014
Tazuko Sakane - Japan’s first female director. Films included Children’s Manchuria (1942), Working Women (1942), Healthy Little Citizens (1942), Brides of the Frontier (1943) & more but only few survived. #womeninfilm #directedbywomen #womenfilmpioneers #womenandcameras pic.twitter.com/edJwBICqAN— Women & Cameras (@WomenAndCameras) January 25, 2018
Haifaa al-Mansour- became, with her film ‘Wadjda’, the first female filmmaker in her country, Saudi Arabia. Since then she directed ‘Mary Shelly’(2017) which is now in post, and she is set to shoot ‘The Perfect Candidate’ back in Saudi Arabia. #womeninfilm #DirectedByWomen pic.twitter.com/Ot6Li2iF8C— Women & Cameras (@WomenAndCameras) March 28, 2018
Just before the release of her new film YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE, Lynne Ramsay spoke with us about her early moviegoing life in Glasgow, the version of herself that emerges on set, & the mind-expanding power of chess: https://t.co/ojpgFvZzFn pic.twitter.com/NXW56j4m7R— Criterion Collection (@Criterion) April 16, 2018
Sarah Maldoror is regarded as the matriarch of African cinema. She studied at the Moscow Film Academy where she learned about politically committed cinema, developing a revolutionary aesthetic of her own. #womeninfilm pic.twitter.com/yKoRrx45Iu— Women & Cameras (@WomenAndCameras) January 30, 2018
In researching this piece, I came across the Twitter account Women and Cameras, which offers a near daily dose of film history and inspiration. Check ‘em out.
Did we miss a pic of your favorite female director at work? Share it in comments.