25 Greatest Working Film Directors (Who Also Happen to be Female)


Cheryl Dunye

Most famous for her 1996 film The Watermelon Woman, Cheryl’s collaborative 2010 film The Owls gave views a glimpse not only at a lesbian film noir, but how the cast and crew view themselves (and their characters) in terms of sexuality and personal identity.

Sofia Coppola

The Oscar-winning director of Lost in Translation has continued to prove she has a knack for the on-screen narrative, as she also writes her own scripts. Marie Antoinette and 2010’s Somewhere helped show she isn’t restricted to genres, time periods or comfortability.

Catherine Breillat

The Parisian filmmaker is incredibly prolific, having made a film almost every single year since she began in 1975. She takes on taboo topics in movies like A Real Young Girl, Fat Girl and The Last Mistress. Last year, she remade Sleeping Beauty for French TV.

Nicole Holofcener

The director behind Friends With Money and last year’s Please Give has just signed on to direct the pilot episode of the new NBC lesbian-themed pilot I Hate That I Love You. She’s got plenty of TV experience, having worked on Sex and the City, Gilmore Girls and Six Feet Under, as well as the lesbianish episode of Bored to Death (“The Case of the Stolen Sperm”).

Joan Chen

Though first known for her acting work, Chen has since been recognized for Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl (winner of several film fest awards) and Autumn in New York, starring Richard Gere and Winona Rider. Her 2011 film, Seeing Red is in post-production, but she continues to act and recently did a guest spot on Fringe.

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