Women Writers & Directorsby jradelet | created - 17 Jul 2012 | updated - 18 Jul 2012 | Public
2. Jenny Lumet
Writer | Rachel Getting Married
Jenny Lumet was born on February 2, 1967 in New York City, New York, USA. She is an actress and writer, known for Rachel Getting Married (2008), The Mummy (2017) and Deathtrap (1982). She has been married to Alexander Weinstein since 2008. They have one child. She was previously married to Bobby ...
Director | Lost in Translation
Sofia Coppola was born on May 14, 1971 in New York City, New York, USA as Sofia Carmina Coppola. She is a director, known for Somewhere (2010), Lost in Translation (2003) and Marie Antoinette (2006). She has been married to Thomas Mars since August 27, 2011. They have two children. She was ...
Director | The Hurt Locker
A very talented painter, Kathryn spent two years at the San Francisco Art Institute. At 20, she won a scholarship to the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program. She was given a studio in a former Offtrack Betting building, literally in an old bank vault, where she made art and waited to be ...
Writer | The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Robin Swicord was born in 1952 in Columbia, South Carolina, USA. She is a writer, known for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) and Little Women (1994). She has been married to Nicholas Kazan since 1984. They have two children.
6. Sarah Polley
Actress | Dawn of the Dead
Sarah Polley is an actress and director renowned in her native Canada for her political activism. Blessed with an extremely expressive face that enables directors to minimize dialog due to her uncanny ability to suggest a character's thoughts, Polley has become a favorite of critics for her ...
9. Jane Campion
Writer | The Piano
Jane Campion was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and now lives in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Having graduated with a BA in Anthropology from Victoria University of Wellington in 1975, and a BA, with a painting major, at Sydney College of the Arts in 1979, she began filmmaking in the early...
10. Loveleen Tandan
Casting_director | Slumdog Millionaire
Loveleen Tandan is an India based filmmaker and Casting Director. Her career highlights include her work as Co-Director (India) of multi award winning Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and Casting Director of award winning features like Monsoon Wedding (2001), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Brick Lane (2007)...
11. Lina Wertmüller
Writer | Pasqualino Settebellezze
Lina Wertmüller was born on August 14, 1928 in Rome, Lazio, Italy as Arcangela Felice Assunta Job Wertmüller von Elgg Espanol von Brauchich. She is a writer and director, known for Seven Beauties (1975), Travolti da un insolito destino nell'azzurro mare d'agosto (1974) and I basilischi (1963). She ...
Producer | Jessica Jones
Melissa Rosenberg was born on August 28, 1962 in Marin County, California, USA as Melissa Anne Rosenberg. She is a producer and writer, known for Jessica Jones (2015), Dexter (2006) and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (2011). She has been married to Lev L. Spiro since 1995.
15. Julie Taymor
Director | Frida
Julie Taymor is an Academy Award-nominated director, known for such films as Frida (2002) and Across the Universe (2007).
She was born on December 15, 1952, in Newton, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. Her father, Melvin Lester Taymor, was a gynecologist. Her mother, Elizabeth Bernstein, was a ...
16. Nia Vardalos
Actress | My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Nia Vardalos was born on September 24, 1962 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada as Antonia Eugenia Vardalos. She is an actress and writer, known for My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), I Hate Valentine's Day (2009) and Connie and Carla (2004). She has been married to Ian Gomez since September 5, 1993. They ...
17. Leni Riefenstahl
Actress | Das blaue Licht
Leni Riefenstahl's show-biz experience began with an experiment: she wanted to know what it felt like to dance on the stage. Success as a dancer gave way to film acting when she attracted the attention of film director Arnold Fanck, subsequently starring in some of his mountaineering pictures. With...
18. Mary Harron
Director | American Psycho
Mary Harron was born on January 12, 1953 in Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada. She is a director and writer, known for American Psycho (2000), I Shot Andy Warhol (1996) and Alias Grace (2017). She has been married to John Walsh since August 15, 1998. They have two children.
19. Patty Jenkins
Director | Wonder Woman
Patty Jenkins is a writer/director best known for directing Wonder Woman, the Warner Bros./DC Comics blockbuster of 2017, and her debut feature Monster. Patty also works in television where she is best known for the pilot and finale episode of AMC's hit show The Killing.
Patty began her career as a ...
20. Rashida Jones
Actress | Parks and Recreation
Rashida Jones was born in Los Angeles, the younger daughter of media mogul, producer, and musician Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton. She has an older sister, Kidada Jones, and five half-siblings by her father's other relationships. Her father is African-American, and also has Welsh ancestry. ...
21. Betty Thomas
Self | Howard Stern
Betty Thomas was born July 27, 1947 in St. Louis, Missouri, graduating from Ohio University with a BA in fine arts. Initially sidetracked, Betty first taught school in Chicago but found herself restricted and needing more of an open forum for self-expression than a classroom. She found herself drawn...
Director | W imie...
One of the most prominent Polish directors of today, Malgorzata Szumowska was born in Kraków in 1973. She's been directing, writing and producing feature and documentary films. Her movies have received many awards, for example Silver Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival for "33 Scenes from Life" or...
23. Julie Delpy
Actress | Trois couleurs: Blanc
Julie Delpy was born in Paris, France, in 1969 to Albert Delpy and Marie Pillet, both actors.
She was first featured in Jean-Luc Godard's Détective (1985) at the age of fourteen. She has starred in many American and European productions since then, including Disney's The Three Musketeers (...
28. Leslye Headland
Writer | Sleeping with Other People
Leslye Headland was born on November 26, 1980 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Leslye Ann Headland. She is a writer and director, known for Sleeping with Other People (2015), Bachelorette (2012) and Terriers (2010). She has been married to Rebecca Henderson since September 18, 2016.
29. Katie Aselton
Actress | The Freebie
Katie Aselton was born on October 1, 1978 in Milbridge, Maine, USA as Kathryn Anne Aselton. She is an actress, known for The Freebie (2010), Black Rock (2012) and The Gift (2015). She has been married to Mark Duplass since August 26, 2006. They have two children.
Director | Pokot
Agnieszka Holland was born 28 of November 1948 in Warsaw but went to Czechoslovakia to study film directing at FAMU in Prague. She began her film career working in Poland with Krzysztof Zanussi as assistant director, and Andrzej Wajda as her mentor. She wrote several scripts with Wajda before ...
32. Lisa Cholodenko
Director | The Kids Are All Right
Lisa Cholodenko earned an MFA at Columbia University Film School where she made an award-winning short film Dinner Party (1997) Her feature High Art (1998) won the National Society of Film Critics award for Ally Sheedy's performance and The Waldo Salt Screenwriting award at Sundance. Both "High Art...
Director | Wayne's World
Spheeris is often referred to as a 'rock 'n roll anthropologist'.
In 1974 she formed the first Los Angeles music video production company, ROCK 'N REEL. She concluded her music video work with the Grammy-nominated, "Bohemian Rhapsody" video for "Wayne's World". Spheeris' feature film debut was the ...
37. Ava DuVernay
Producer | Selma
A director, producer, writer, marketer and film distributor, Ava DuVernay made her feature film debut with the documentary This in the Life (2008), a history on hip hop movement that flourished in Los Angeles in the 1990's. This was followed by series of television music documentaries which ...
38. Martha Coolidge
Director | Valley Girl
Martha Patterson Coolidge was born on August 17, 1946 in New Haven Connecticut. She studied illustration at Rhode Island School of Design, but changed majors, becoming the first film major at the school. She attended and graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she ...
Director | Rosenstrasse
Margarethe von Trotta was born in Berlin in 1942. In the 1960s she moved to Paris where she worked for film collectives, collaborating on scripts and co-directing short films. She also pursued an acclaimed acting career, starring in films by well known German directors such as Rainer Werner ...
41. Jill Sprecher
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in philosophy and literature, she moved to NewYork to study film and has since made Manhattan her home. She has worked as a coordinator, production manager and line producer on both studio and independent features. She studied film ...
42. Kasi Lemmons
Actress | The Silence of the Lambs
Kasi Lemmons was born on February 24, 1961 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA as Karen Lemmons. She is an actress, known for The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Candyman (1992) and Eve's Bayou (1997). She has been married to Vondie Curtis-Hall since 1995. They have two children.
43. Jodie Foster
Actress | The Silence of the Lambs
Alicia Christian Foster was born in Los Angeles on November 19, 1962. She is the daughter of Evelyn Ella "Brandy" (Almond) and Lucius Fisher Foster III, an Air Force lieutenant colonel and later real estate broker. Brandy had filed for divorce in 1959 after having three children with Lucius, but ...
44. Nora Ephron
Writer | Julie & Julia
Nora Ephron was educated at Wellesley College, Massachusetts. She was an acclaimed essayist (Crazy Salad 1975), novelist (Heartburn 1983), and had written screenplays for several popular films, all featuring strong female characters, such as anti-nuclear activist Karen Silkwood (Silkwood (1983), ...
Director | Nowhere Boy
Sam Taylor-Johnson was born on March 4, 1967 in London, England as Samantha Louise Taylor-Wood. She is a director and producer, known for Nowhere Boy (2009), Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) and Love You More (2008). She has been married to Aaron Taylor-Johnson since June 21, 2012. They have two ...
Writer | À ma soeur!
Catherine Breillat is a Paris based filmmaker and writer who became famous for her distinctively personal films on sexuality, gender trouble and sibling rivalry. Accused of being a "porno auteuriste", Breillat allowed for an unbiased view of sexuality and extended the language of mainstream movies....
49. Ida Lupino
Actress | High Sierra
Ida was born in London to a show business family. In 1933, her mother brought Ida with her to an audition and Ida got the part her mother wanted. The picture was Her First Affaire (1932). Ida, a bleached blonde, came to Hollywood in 1934 and played small and insignificant parts. Peter Ibbetson (...
52. Adrienne Shelly
Actress | Waitress
The late Adrienne Shelley was born in Queens, New York, to Sheldon Levine and Elaine Langbaum. After graduating Jericho High School, located in Jericho, New York, she enrolled at Boston University, and majored in film production. After her junior year, she dropped out and moved to Manhattan where ...
53. Miranda July
Writer | Me and You and Everyone We Know
Filmmaker Magazine rated her #1 in their "25 New Faces of Indie Film" in 2004!
She is a performance artist and published short story writer. Since becoming a filmmaker, her debut feature, Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005) has won several film awards.
Daughter of Lindy Hough and Richard ...
55. Amy Heckerling
Writer | Clueless
Amy Heckerling studied Film and TV at New York University and got a Masters Degree in Film from The American Film Institute. Despite this education she couldn't get a break in Hollywood. However, in 1982, she made Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), and people started to take notice. In 1987, ...
56. Valerie Faris
Director | Little Miss Sunshine
Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris have built an impressive body of work by perpetually seeking innovative projects in a variety of mediums.
After introducing bands such as REM and The Red Hot Chili Peppers on their ground breaking MTV show The Cutting Edge, Jonathan and Valerie continued to work in ...
57. Rebecca Miller
Writer | Personal Velocity: Three Portraits
Rebecca Miller was born on September 15, 1962 in Roxbury, Connecticut, USA as Rebecca Augusta Miller. She is an actress and writer, known for Personal Velocity (2002), Maggie's Plan (2015) and Angela (1995). She has been married to Daniel Day-Lewis since November 13, 1996. They have two children.
59. Mira Nair
Director | Salaam Bombay!
Accomplished Film Director/Writer/Producer Mira Nair was born in India and educated at Delhi University and at Harvard. She began her film career as an actor and then turned to directing award-winning documentaries, including So Far From India and India Cabaret. Her debut feature film, Salaam ...
60. Nancy Savoca
Director | True Love
Director 'Nancy Savoca' received critical acclaim for her first feature film, True Love (1989) which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 1989 Sundance Film Festival and was hailed as one of the best films of the year by both Janet Maslin and Vincent Canby of the New York Times. Savoca was nominated for...
61. Lone Scherfig
Director | An Education
Writer/director Lone Scherfig graduated from The National Film School of Denmark in 1984. Her first feature film, THE BIRTHDAY TRIP (1990), was selected for Panorama in Berlin, the New Directors section at MOMA in New York and won the Grand Jury Prix in Rouen. Her next film, ON OUR OWN (1998), ...
62. Lexi Alexander
Director | Hooligans
A former World Karate and Kickboxing Champion, Lexi Alexander found her calling to become a filmmaker while traveling around the world competing and teaching martial arts seminars. Born in Mannheim, Germany, Lexi dreamed of eventually moving to Hollywood and made it a point to attend every karate ...
63. Gurinder Chadha
Writer | Bend It Like Beckham
Gurinder Chadha was born in Kenya, and grew up in Southall, London, England. She began her career as a news reporter with BBC Radio, directed several award winning documentaries for the BBC, and began an alliance with the British Film Institute (BFI) and Channel Four. In 1990, Chadha set up her own...
64. Elaine May
Actress | Small Time Crooks
Elaine May was born on April 21, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Elaine Iva Berlin. She is an actress and writer, known for Small Time Crooks (2000), A New Leaf (1971) and Ishtar (1987). She was previously married to David L. Rubinfine, Sheldon Harnick and Marvin May.
67. Maya Deren
Director | Meshes of the Afternoon
Maya Deren came to the USA in 1922 as Eleanora Derenkowsky. Together with her father, a psychiatrist, and her mother, an artist, she fled the pogroms against Russian Jews. She studied journalism and political science in at Syracuse University in New York, finishing her BA at NYU in June 1936 and ...
68. Nina Menkes
Director | Phantom Love
Called "Brilliant, one of the most provocative artists in film today" by The Los Angeles Times, Nina Menkes synthesizes inner dream-worlds with harsh, outer realities. Her eight films (six full-length features) are a body of work Sight and Sound has called "Controversial, intense and visually ...
Actress | Kissing Jessica Stein
Jennifer is an American actress and filmmaker, who is perhaps best known for writing and starring in the indie hits, Kissing Jessica Stein (2001) and Friends with Kids (2011).
A graduate from Yale University, Jennifer started her career as a New York-based theater actor, starring in over 25 ...