More Films by Female Directors

Let’s continue to celebrate women beyond just one day or a weekend.

Previously on Ripple, I posted a list of my favorite films that happened to be directed by women. Here’s another list, not a personal favourite list but one just to show the variety of movies female directors have helmed, to shatter the myth and misconception that some might hold: ‘if we leave it to them, they’ll only churn out chick flicks.’

In alphabetical order, not ranked, director and year released in brackets, a list to hopefully inform, remind, and maybe surprise. There are many more, of course, but I’ll just stop at 65. How many have you seen? Which other ones you’d like to add?


A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Marielle Heller, 2019)

A Thousand Suns (Mati Diop, 2013)

A Wrinkle in Time (Ava DuVernay, 2018)

American Psycho (Mary Harron, 2000)

The Arch (Cecile Tang Shu Shuen, 1970)

The Assistant (Kitty Green, 2020)

The Beguiled (Sofia Coppola, 2017)

Bend It Like Beckham (Gurinder Chadha, 2002)

         Big (Penny Marshall, 1988)

Birds of Prey (Cathy Yan, 2020)

Booksmart (Olivia Wilde, 2019)

Boys Don’t Cry (Kimberly Peirce, 1999)

Bridget Jones’s Diary (Sharon Maguire, 2001)

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Marielle Heller, 2018)

Capernaum (Nadine Labaki, 2018)

Captain Marvel (Anna Boden, 2019)

Captain Marvel's Carol Danvers

Charlie’s Angels (Elizabeth Banks, 2019)

Chocolat (Claire Denis, 1988)

Cloud Atlas (The Wachowskis co-direct, 2012)

Clueless (Amy Heckerling, 1995)

Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009)

Frozen / Forzen II (Jennifer Lee co-directs, 2013 / 2019)

High Life (Claire Denis, 2018)

The Hitch-hiker (Ida Lupino, 1953)

Hustlers (Lorene Scafaria, 2019)

The Iron Lady (Phyllida Lloyd, 2011)

Kung Fu Panda 2 (Jennifer Yuh Nelson, 2011)

Late Night (Nisha Ganatra, 2019)

Leave no Trace (Debra Granik, 2018)

Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)

Mamma Mia! (Phyllida Lloyd, 2008)

The Matrix / Reloaded (Lana and Lilly Wachowski, 1999 / 2003)

Meek’s Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2010)

Miss Julie (Liv Ullmann, 2014)

Money Monster (Jodie Foster, 2016)

Jodie Foster directs


Monster (Patty Jenkins, 2003)

Mulan (Niki Caro, 2020)

Mustang (Deniz Ganze Ergüven, 2015)

My Brilliant Career (Gillian Armstrong, 1979)

Night Moves (Kelly Reichardt, 2013)

Nowhere Boy (Sam Taylor-Johnson, 2009)

Pay It Forward (Mimi Leder, 2000)

Pitch Perfect 2 (Elizabeth Banks, 2015)

Point Break (Kathryn Bigelow, 1991)

…….The Prince of Tides (Barbra Streisand, 1991)

Queen and Slim (Melina Matsoukas, 2019)

Queen of Katwe (Mira Nair, 2016)

Seven Beauties (Lina Wertmüller, 1975)

Selma (Ava Duvernay, 2014)


Shrek (Vicky Jenson co-directs, 2001)

Something’s Gotta Give (Nancy Meyers, 2003)

The Portrait of a Lady (Jane Campion, 1996)

The Secret Garden (Agnieszka Holland, 1993)

The Souvenir (Joanna Hogg, 2019)

Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)

Twilight (Catherine Hardwicke, 2008)

Unbroken (Angelina Jolie, 2014)

Wadjda (Haifaa Al-Mansour, 2012)

Washington Square (Agnieszka Holland, 1997)

We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay, 2011)

Whale Rider (Niki Caro, 2002)

What Women Want (Nancy Meyers, 2000)

Winter’s Bones (Debra Granik, 2010)

Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

The Zookeeper’s Wife (Niki Caro, 2017)






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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

15 thoughts on “More Films by Female Directors”

  1. Oh Arti, seeing “Whale Rider” on the list brought to mind the powerful and beautiful story of a young girl rising to the top tier — in a very male dominated society — and with her astonishing achievement changing the whole culture. Touched my heart. For all females!


    1. Heather,

      Niki Caro has been riding high these years and I’m glad to see she’s taking on different genres and now into TV too. Just show how versatile women directors are. 🙂


  2. Some fantastic films on that list and surprising to learn how many of them were directed by women.
    I heard rumours of another Matrix.
    That brings to mind series as with internet streaming, series are as powerful or more so than film in their ability to extend the story.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly. Hopefully these signs indicate a turning point. Thanks for the idea, think I’ll do another post: Upcoming movies by Female Directors 2020 and beyond. You’ll be even more surprised. 🙂


  3. Arti,

    What wonderful lists, here and along with your previous post listing your personal favourites, they very much inform, remind and yes surprise. 🙂

    I would like to add McFarland (Nikki Caro, 2015) based on the true story of a 1987 cross country running team from a mainly Latino high school in McFarland, California. The film stars Kevin Costner as Jim White, the school’s coach, who leads the team to win a state championship.
    Harriet (Kasi Lemmons, 2019) the story of Harriet Tubman, the heroic abolitionist, of her escape from slavery through the Underground Railroad, and the
    dangerous missions she led to liberate hundreds of slaves by that route.

    As always, your posts always inspire, entertain, educate, and more…..


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yinling,

      Thanks so much for the two additions! I should have included them, because both of them tell important stories, albeit the scale and historic significance may be different. Again, thanks for your input. Much appreciate your stopping by the Pond and throwing in your two pebbles! 🙂


  4. Another great list! I guess Nadine Labaki (your no 15) is my personal favourite since I saw her debut “Caramel”. I also love Gillian Armstrong (which you included) and more people should see such films of hers as “Oscar and Lucinda” and “My Brilliant Career”.

    Can I suggest Massy Tadjedin who was born in Iran? Her film “Last Night” (2010) with Keira Knightley had much impressive emotional depth.

    To be honest, in retrospect, it may not be such a good idea to stress Mary Harron as the director of American Psycho. I also included this film before on my “female empowerment” list but now it is clear that one of the strict rules before making American Psycho was that there HAD to be a female director or no film will be made. Now to emphasise that this film, which is…well…anti-female (who would deny that?), was shot by a female may be sending out an odd message.


    1. We in North America aren’t easily accessible to Labaki’s films but I’ve seen Caramel and it’s delightful. Would like to check out Massy Tadjedin’s Last Night.

      This list is meant to show the variety of genres women directors have helmed and is not ranked nor all my favourites. I’ve seen many of them but not all, and American Psycho is one I haven’t. I’ve included that one mainly because it has been included in many reputable sites. I don’t know the details of its filmmaking backgrounds so can’t comment on your points made. Appreciate your input though. I’ve also noted that the London Critics Circle Film Awards (2001) had nominated Mary Harron for Director of the Year and Christian Bale for Best Actor of the Year for the movie.

      Again, it’s wonderful to exchange views with other cinephiles and critics. Thanks for stopping by the Pond and throwing in your two pebbles. 🙂


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