5 Contemporary Female Filmmakers

June 24, 2013

Female ShutterstockTraditionally, filmmaking has been dominated by male directors, producers and writers. However, times are changing – many of the most memorable films of the last decade can be attributed to female filmmakers.

According to a study conducted by researchers at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, only 29.8 percent of today’s filmmakers are female. For such a small percentage, these women are making a big splash.

Though there is a still work to be done, these five women have contributed notable, contemporary films in the last few decades. Discover which of your favorite films have been directed or produced by a female filmmaker – and, if you are a female student in a film degree program, be inspired by their persistence and triumph in this male-driven industry:

The first woman ever to win the Academy Award for Best Director, Bigelow is probably the most well-known female filmmaker – especially after her recent success with Zero Dark Thirty.

She is known for making male-friendly films that explore war-torn settings or the sins of otherwise likable characters. She is one of the most respected directors of our time.

Famous films:

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2007 for Juno, Cody has gone on to create other interesting films – including more unconventional comedies and one erotic horror film.

Cody has pursued a variety of interests, including writing, blogging and television. She is known for her quick wit and sharp, sarcastic style.

Famous films:

Following in her famous father’s footsteps, Coppola has marked herself as a unique and talented filmmaker. At the time of her Academy Award nomination for Best Director (for 2003’s Lost in Translation), Coppola was only the third woman to have ever been nominated.

Though she did not win Best Director, she did take home the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Lost in Translation. Her films are recognizable for their focus on young, rich and beautiful characters.

Famous films:

Producing partner of Drew Barrymore at Flower Films, Juvonen has established herself as a supporter of female filmmakers. She has produced over 10 films with Barrymore and together they have won box office glory and critical acclaim.

Juvonen has produced a wide variety of films, exploring various genres and mediums.

Famous films:

The woman behind some of the most beloved films, Kennedy began as a producer at LucasFilm – before become the president of the corporation and the branch manager of the Start Wars and Indiana Jones franchises.

She has been nominated for over 120 Academy Awards and has worked on everything from Schindler’s List to The Goonies to the Sixth Sense. She has been involved in almost all of George Lucas’s major projects. This past year, she was nominated for another Best Picture award for her work on Lincoln.

Famous films:

Many of these contemporary female filmmakers are involved in multiple aspects of the filmmaking process. Explore your interests – and learn more about the industry – at Brooks Institute.