Female directors of 2020 movies

by lunarist | created - 14 Sep 2020 | updated - 03 Mar 2021 | Public

1. Sara Colangelo

Director | The Kindergarten Teacher

Sara Colangelo is an award-winning writer and director. Her first film, the short documentary Halal Vivero, was a National Finalist at the 2006 Student Academy Awards, and her narrative short, Un Attimo di Respiro, screened at over fifteen national and international film festivals including Tribeca...

2. Chloé Zhao

Director | Nomadland

Chloé Zhao or Zhao Ting (born March 31, 1982) is a Chinese film director, screenwriter, and producer. Her debut feature film, Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015), premiered at Sundance Film Festival. Her second feature film, The Rider (2017), was critically acclaimed and received several accolades ...

3. Mona Fastvold

Director | The World to Come

Mona Fastvold was born on March 7, 1986 in Oslo, Norway. She is an actress and writer, known for The World to Come (2020), The Sleepwalker (2014) and The Childhood of a Leader (2015). She was previously married to Sondre Lerche.

4. Heidi Ewing

Director | I Carry You with Me

Heidi Ewing is a director and producer known for Jesus Camp (2006), The Boys of Baraka (2005), Detropia (2012) ,12th &Delaware (2010), Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You (2016), One of Us (2017) and Freakonomics (2010). She is currently completing her (currently untitled) first narrative ...

5. Patricia Vidal Delgado

Writer | Bué Sabi

Patricia Vidal Delgado is known for Bué Sabi (2013), La leyenda negra (2020) and Ico (2017).

7. Eliza Hittman

Director | Beach Rats

Eliza Hittman was born on January 1, 1979 in Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA. She is a director and producer, known for Beach Rats (2017) and It Felt Like Love (2013).

8. Josephine Decker

Director | Thou Wast Mild and Lovely

Josephine Decker is a director and actress, known for Thou Wast Mild and Lovely (2014), Madeline's Madeline (2018) and Shirley (2020).

9. Niki Caro

Director | Whale Rider

Niki Caro is a New Zealand film director and screenwriter, born in 1967. Caro was born in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. She was educated first at the Kadimah College in Auckland, and then the Diocesan School for Girls in Auckland. The School is a private girls' school, and ranks ...

10. Liz Garbus

Producer | What Happened, Miss Simone?

Liz Garbus is a producer and director, known for What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015), The Farm: Angola, USA (1998) and Girlhood (2003). She is married to Dan Cogan. They have two children.

11. Kelly Reichardt

Director | Wendy and Lucy

Kelly Reichardt was born and raised in Miami-Dade Country, Florida, to a family of police officers. She had an interest in photography from a very young age. She started by using her father's camera, which he used for photographing crime scenes. She went to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in ...

12. Shannon Murphy

Director | Babyteeth

Shannon Murphy is a theatre and film/TV director, known for Babyteeth (2019), On the Ropes (2018) and Killing Eve (2019). Her episode of Killing Eve Are You From Pinner? was nominated for 3 Emmy Awards. She was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Director in 2021 for her work on Babyteeth. ...

13. Kitty Green

Director | The Assistant

Kitty Green was born on August 8, 1984 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She is a director and writer, known for The Assistant (2019), Casting JonBenet (2017) and Ukraine Is Not a Brothel (2013).

14. Autumn de Wilde

Director | Emma.

Autumn de Wilde was born on October 21, 1970 in Woodstock, New York, USA. She is known for Emma. (2020), The Postman Dreams (2016) and Florence + the Machine: Free (2022).

15. Alice Wu

Writer | The Half of It

Studied computer science at MIT and Stanford University, where she received her bachelors and masters degrees. Left a job designing software at Microsoft to write and direct her first film, Saving Face, which premiered at the Toronto and Sundance Film Festivals, where it was acquired and released ...

16. Gina Prince-Bythewood

Writer | The Secret Life of Bees

Gina Prince-Bythewood wrote and directed the widely acclaimed feature film Love & Basketball (2000) which premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival. She won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature and a Humanitas Prize for her work on the film. Her other directing credits include ...

17. Rachel Lee Goldenberg

Director | Unpregnant

Rachel Lee Goldenberg is a director and producer, known for Unpregnant (2020), Valley Girl (2020) and A Deadly Adoption (2015).

18. Emerald Fennell

Writer | Promising Young Woman

Emerald Fennell was born on October 1, 1985 in Hammersmith, London, England. She is an actress and writer, known for Promising Young Woman (2020), The Crown (2016) and Killing Eve (2018). She is married to Chris Vernon. They have one child.

19. Gia Coppola

Director | Palo Alto

Gia Coppola was born on January 1, 1987 in Los Angeles, California, USA. She is a director and writer, known for Palo Alto (2013), Mainstream (2020) and Somewhere (2010).

20. Sofia Coppola

Actress | The Godfather Part III

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 daughters, Romy and ...

21. Natalie Erika James

Director | Relic

Natalie Erika James is a director and writer, known for Relic (2020), Creswick (2017) and Drum Wave (2018).

22. Rose Glass

Director | Saint Maud

Rose Glass was destined to be a director from a young age. Upon leaving home she studied film and video at London College of Communication, UAL - where she directed her first 'proper' shorts - and also gained experience as a runner on professional sets. Eventually she made her way to the NFTS, ...

23. 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 ...

24. Tracey Deer

Producer | Mohawk Girls

Mohawk filmmaker Tracey Deer's debut feature Beans, a coming-of-age story about a young Mohawk girl's experiences during the Oka Crisis, screened at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) to critical acclaim. Tracey was also honored with the prestigious TIFF Emerging Talent Award, ...

25. Hikari

Director | 37 sekanzu

Hikari is a director and writer, known for 37 Seconds (2019), Tsuyako (2011) and Where We Begin (2015).

26. Sasie Sealy

Director | Lucky Grandma

Sasie Sealy is an award-winning writer/director based in New York City, with a (still) lingering Southern drawl. She began her directing career studying photography with Gregory Crewdson and writing and performing with the sketch comedy troupe The Fifth Humour. However, her love of striking visuals...

27. Michelle Latimer

Director | Trickster

Michelle is an award-winning director, writer and show-runner whose films have screened globally, including Sundance Film Festival, Toronto International, Berlin International, Rotterdam, Oberhausen, Cannes, The National Art Gallery of Canada and the MoMA. Her recent documentary feature adaptation ...

28. Kelly Fyffe-Marshall

Director | Black Bodies

Kelly Fyffe-Marshall is a dedicated director, screenwriter and social activist striving to solidify her mark in the world.

Kelly has directed music videos, documentaries, narratives and branded content and with her vast experience she has also been invited to be a juror for the Canadian Academy of ...

29. Renee Zhan

Director | O Black Hole!

Renee Zhan is known for O Black Hole! (2020), Hold Me (Ca Caw Ca Caw) (2016) and Reneepoptosis (2018).

30. Tiffany Hsiung

Director | The Apology

Tiffany Hsiung is an award-winning filmmaker based in Toronto, Canada. Her debut feature length documentary The Apology (2016) has won over 15 awards internationally. This includes the Peabody - Award (2019) and the DuPont Columbia award (2020). Hsiung also won the Peabody - Futures of Media Award ...

31. 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 ...

32. Janna Ji Wonders

Director | Walchensee Forever

Janna Ji Wonders was born in Mill Valley, California, USA. She is a director and writer, known for Walchensee Forever (2020), Kinder der Schlafviertel (2005) and I Remember (2015).

33. Radha Blank

Producer | The Forty-Year-Old Version

Radha Blank is a proud Native New Yorker, Performer and Writer for TV, stage and film. Her plays include HappyFlowerNail, Casket Sharp, nannyland and the critically acclaimed SEED which The Huffington Post called "fresh, lively...and poetic". She's a Helen Merrill Playwriting Award recipient, an ...

34. Channing Godfrey Peoples

Director | Miss Juneteenth

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Channing Godfrey Peoples studied theater at Baylor University and then enrolled in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.In the process of developing her first feature length film, she was a screenwriting fellow in Austin, ...

35. Janicza Bravo

Director | Zola

Janicza Bravo has spent half her life in Panama and half in Brooklyn. She studied directing and design for theatre at New York University's Playwrights Horizons Theater School. She has mounted plays in New York, Los Angeles, and Madrid. Her first short, Eat, premiered at SXSW. Her last short, ...

36. Ash Mayfair

Director | The Third Wife

Ash Mayfair is known for The Third Wife (2018), Between Shadow and Soul (2020) and Sam (2011).

37. Halina Dyrschka

Producer | Jenseits des Sichtbaren - Hilma af Klint

Halina Dyrschka was born on October 26, 1975 in Berlin, Germany. She is a producer and director, known for Beyond The Visible - Hilma af Klint (2019), Deja Vu (2013) and Das Rendezvous (2001).

38. Naomi Kawase

Director | An

Naomi Kawase was born on May 30, 1969 in Nara, Japan. She is a director and writer, known for Sweet Bean (2015), Still the Water (2014) and The Mourning Forest (2007). She was previously married to Takenori Sentô.

39. Ekwa Msangi

Director | Farewell Amor

Ekwa Msangi is a director and writer, known for Farewell Amor (2020), Dollar Van (2006) and The Agency (2009).

40. Ann Hui

Director | Nu ren si shi

Born in China in 1947, Ann Hui moved to Hong Kong when she was still in her youth. After graduating in English and Comparative Literature from Hong Kong University, she spent two years at the London Film School. Returning to Hong Kong, she worked as an assistant to director King Hu before joining ...

41. Maïwenn

Actress | Polisse

Maïwenn (sometimes credited as Maïwenn Besco or her birth name Maïwenn Le Besco, born 17 April 1976) is a French actress, film director and screenwriter.

Maïwenn Le Besco was born in Les Lilas, Seine-Saint-Denis, France, a suburban area east of Paris. Maïwenn is of mixed Breton, Vietnamese, French, ...

42. Susanna Nicchiarelli

Director | Cosmonauta

Susanna Nicchiarelli was born on May 6, 1975 in Rome, Lazio, Italy. She is a director and writer, known for Cosmonaut (2009), Nico, 1988 (2017) and Miss Marx (2020).

43. Pilar Palomero

Writer | Las niñas

Pilar Palomero is known for Schoolgirls (2020), Balcony Boy (2008) and The Night of All Things (2016).

44. Jacqueline Lentzou

Director | Selini, 66 erotiseis

Jacqueline Lentzou is a director and writer, known for Moon, 66 Questions (2021), The End of Suffering (A Proposal) (2020) and Hector Malot: The Last Day of the Year (2018).

45. Agnieszka Holland

Director | Pokot

Having graduated from FAMU in Prague film (1971), Agnieszka Holland returned to Poland and began her film career working with Krzysztof Zanussi as assistant director, and Andrzej Wajda as her mentor. Her first feature film was PROVINCIAL ACTORS (1978), one of the flagship pictures of the "cinema of...

46. Philippa Lowthorpe

Director | The Third Day

Philippa Lowthorpe is a three times Bafta winning TV and Film Director.

She became the first woman to win a Bafta for Best Director at the Bafta Television Awards in 2013. She was awarded her second directing BAFTA in 2018 for Three Girls, the highly acclaimed and multi award-winning TV Series which...

47. Sally Potter

Director | The Tango Lesson

Sally Potter made her first 8mm film aged fourteen. She has since written and directed seven feature films, as well as many short films (including THRILLER and PLAY) and a television series, and has directed opera (Carmen for the ENO in 2007) and other live work. Her background is in choreography, ...

49. Thea Sharrock

Director | Me Before You

Thea Sharrock is a director and writer, known for Me Before You (2016), The Hollow Crown (2012) and The One and Only Ivan (2020).

50. Phyllida Lloyd

Director | Mamma Mia!

Phyllida Lloyd was born on June 17, 1957 in Bristol, England. She is known for Mamma Mia! (2008), The Iron Lady (2011) and Herself (2020).

51. Martha Stephens

Director | Land Ho!

Martha Stephens was born on March 12, 1984 in Huntington, West Virginia, USA. She is a director and actress, known for Land Ho! (2014), To the Stars (2019) and Passenger Pigeons (2010).

52. Amy Seimetz

Actress | Upstream Color

Amy Seimetz first came to prominence producing and directing shorts and independent films. Most notably associate producing Barry Jenkins' Medicine For Melancholy which was nominated for Gotham and Independent Spirit Awards, after playing at South By Southwest and the Toronto International Film ...

53. Haifaa Al-Mansour

Director | Wadjda

Haifaa Al Mansour is the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia and is regarded as one of the most significant cinematic figures in the Kingdom. She finished her bachelor's degree in Literature at the American University in Cairo and completed a Master's degree in Directing and Film Studies from ...

54. Nadia Hallgren

Cinematographer | Becoming

55. Barbara Kopple

Director | Harlan County U.S.A.

Barbara Kopple was born on July 30, 1946 in New York City, New York, USA. She is a director and producer, known for Harlan County U.S.A. (1976), American Dream (1990) and Shut Up & Sing (2006).

56. Karen Maine

Director | Yes, God, Yes

Karen Maine is a director and writer, known for Yes, God, Yes (2019), Obvious Child (2014) and Obvious Child (2009).

57. Amanda McBaine

Producer | Boys State

Amanda McBaine is a producer and director, known for Boys State (2020), The Overnighters (2014) and The Investigators (2000).

58. Alison Ellwood

Editor | Magic Trip: Ken Kesey's Search for a Kool Place

Alison Ellwood was born on July 20, 1961 in Australia. She is an editor and producer, known for Magic Trip: Ken Kesey's Search for a Kool Place (2011), American High (2000) and Laurel Canyon (2020).

59. Sarah Gavron

Director | Suffragette

Girl (little or teenage), woman, family, couple, friendship, emigration, class struggle, serious society subjects are terms that can be associated with the name of Sarah Gavron, one of the (too) few women directors in Great Britain.Via three major films "Brick Lane" (about the uprooting, ...

62. 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 Detective (1985) at the age of fourteen. She has starred in many American and European productions since then, including Disney's The Three Musketeers (1993), ...

63. Catarina Vasconcelos

Director | A Metamorfose dos Pássaros

Catarina Vasconcelos is a director and producer, known for The Metamorphosis of Birds (2020), Metaphor or Sadness Inside Out (2014) and Pária (2013).

64. Caru Alves de Souza

Writer | Meu Nome é Bagdá

Caru Alves de Souza was born in 1979 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She is a director, scriptwriter and producer. She is Tata Amaral's partner in Tangerina Entretenimento, a production company based in Sao Paulo. Underage (2014), her debut fictional feature, had its world premiere at 61st San Sebastian IFF,...

65. Julia Hart

Writer | Fast Color

Julia Hart is a writer and director, known for Fast Color (2018), I'm Your Woman (2020) and Miss Stevens (2016). She has been married to Jordan Horowitz since 2008. They have two children.

66. Lien Willaert

Director | Red Sandra

Lien Willaert was born on February 4, 1976 in Roeselare, Flanders, Belgium. She is a director and assistant director, known for Red Sandra (2021), Bittersweet Sixteen (2021) and Wittekerke (1993).

67. Zaida Bergroth

Director | Miami

Zaida Bergroth is a director and writer, known for Miami (2017), Tove (2020) and The Good Son (2011).

68. Tara Miele

Director | Wander Darkly

Tara Miele is a filmmaker originally from Long Island. She built her career working in both film and television, including directing three micro budget features. She is most well known for her film Wander Darkly and her viral video "Meet a Muslim." Tara aims to create socially-conscious work, and ...

69. Brenda Chapman

Writer | Brave

Brenda Chapman is an American animator, animation film director and writer from Beason, Illinois. She directed the Pixar film Brave and the DreamWorks Animation film The Prince of Egypt. She wrote the storylines of The Lion King and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. She is married to Kevin Lima, fellow ...

70. 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 ...

71. Regina King

Actress | Ray

Regina King was born in Los Angeles, California, to Gloria, a special education teacher, and Thomas King, an electrician. She began her career in the television show 227 (1985), followed by a role in Boyz n the Hood (1991). She began to be recognized by a mainstream audience after her role as Cuba ...

72. Reed Morano

Director | The Handmaid's Tale

Reed Morano was born on April 15, 1977 in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. She is known for directing and executive producing the pilot as well as episodes 2 & 3 of 'The Handmaid's Tale' (2017) and directing the feature film, 'Meadowland' (2015), which she also served as her own DP on. She also did double ...

73. Cathy Yan

Director | Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Cathy Yan is a director and producer, known for Birds of Prey (2020), Dead Pigs (2018) and According to My Mother (2016).

76. Nora Fingscheidt

Director | Systemsprenger

Nora Fingscheidt was born in 1983 in Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, Germany. She is a director and writer, known for System Crasher (2019), The Unforgivable (2021) and Ohne diese Welt (2017).

77. Juliet Landau

Actress | A Place Among the Dead

Juliet Landau is an actress, director, producer and writer. As an actress, highlights include her role as "Drusilla" on Joss Whedon 's Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) & spin-off Angel (1999), and co-starring in Tim Burton's Ed Wood (1994) as "Loretta King". She played the recurring role of Rita ...

78. Ashley Avis

Director | Black Beauty

Ashley Avis is an American director, screenwriter, and producer. She was born in Chicago, Illinois to Richard Avis and Victoria Woods, and has one brother, Richard Avis. She is married to Edward Winters, who is her partner in their Los Angeles based production company, Winterstone Pictures.


79. Clea DuVall

Actress | The Faculty

Clea DuVall was born in Los Angeles on September 25, 1977, to Rosemary (Hatch) and actor Steph DuVall. DuVall's teenage years presented her with many challenges. Her parents divorced when she was twelve, and, when her mother remarried, DuVall moved out because she did not feel at home in the ...

80. Jennifer Sheridan

Director | Rules of the Game

Having grown up in South London, Jennifer developed her love for film at the BRIT school where she was introduced to Asian horror by her inspirational teacher, the late Dean Peckett. She worked her way into the industry using self taught editing skills and ultimately became a respected scripted ...

81. Ina Weisse

Director | Der Architekt

Ina Weisse was born on June 12, 1968 in Berlin, Germany. She is an actress and director, known for The Architect (2008), Unexpected (2014) and The Audition (2019). She is married to Matti Geschonneck.

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