Here’s a game you can bust out at parties: Ask someone to name five female directors. They will probably ask if it’s okay if they say actresses who also direct (see: Angelina Jolie, Drew Barrymore, Julie Delpy). You’ll say, “Sure.” They still won’t make it to five. Nobody wins.
I’ve played this game a lot of the years to prove a point about how we talk about film and female filmmakers.* It’s not that there aren’t a lot of female directors out there. But their names are lost in the ether somehow, not just in this party game, but also when Hollywood big wigs are seeking a hot helmer to hire. So Vulture came up with a list of 100 Women Directors Hollywood Should Be Hiring.
It includes the big names you’d expect, like Kathryn Bigelow, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, and Ava DuVernay. It also includes much-buzzed-about up-and-coming directors like Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night), Amma Asante (Belle), and Jennifer Kent (The Babadook). It’s a great list of talent, and a great resource. But it’s coming under fire as all lists on the internet do from the “YOU FORGOT ABOUT….” contingent. However, the upside in this case is MORE female directors got shout-outs, including a whole database of them thanks to Bridesmaids’ director Paul Feig.
The Director List is a database of female directors, including helmers for TV, film, music videos, documentaries, web vids, and commercials. The site is meant to make it easier than ever to find these women and their work, creating a network for a group too often overloooked. I first heard about it when I met its passionate founder Destri Martino at the LA Film Prize. Feig first found out about it through Twitter. Here’s how that went down.
@paulfeig We reached out to the trades a few x's to no avail. Thx for using your platform to spread the word. And appreciate the kind words!— The Director List (@TheDirectorList) November 3, 2015
I just feel really dumb that I didn't know about your site before. It is insanely helpful. Keep up the great work. https://t.co/k5RmwnoGcc— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) November 3, 2015
Thanks for bringing my attention to these two sites. These are so important. Everyone should go check these out now. https://t.co/ZjfToMMbf1— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) November 3, 2015
So check out The Director List, and never lose my depressing party game again!
Kristy Puchko is fun at parties. Really.