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Get to know the only 5 women who have ever been nominated for Best Director Oscar

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With only five women to ever be nominated for an Academy Award for directing, it's important to get to know these noteworthy women and some of their incredible work.

Ever since the very first Academy Awards ceremony, all the way back in 1929, the presence of female directors in the film industry, particularly Hollywood, has been low. The role of women in film was relegated to something pretty to look at on-screen, never as somebody to be taken seriously behind the camera - and definitely not as a director of a big budget or Oscar-worthy film.

Before the 1980s women were rarely allowed behind the camera, and not many were allowed or even considered to direct films, especially not in Hollywood. Thankfully in recent years more female directors have been hired to take on big-budget blockbuster films, such as Patty Jenkins' 2017 Wonder Woman and Elizabeth Banks' Pitch Perfect films - yet Hollywood is still very much a male-dominated industry, particularly where award shows are concerned.

As of the most recent Academy Awards, only five women have ever been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director. Given that the total number of women ever nominated for this award is shockingly low, it seems important that these women are given the recognition that they deserve. Read on to find out more about these inspirational women, as well as where you can find some of their additional work.

Lina Wertmüller (1977)

Nominated in 1977 for her film Seven Beauties, Italian filmmaker Lina Wertmüller was the first woman to ever be nominated for an Academy Award in the directing category. The film was nominated for three other Academy Awards that year, including Best Foreign Language Film.

Image Credit: Sannita, from Wikimedia Commons. This graph has been made using Piktochart

Jane Campion (1994)

After nearly two full decades, there was finally another addition to the exclusive club of female Best Director nominees, New Zealand director Jane Campion was nominated for her 1994 film The Piano. Whilst she ultimately did not win for Best Director, her film did receive an Academy Award for best original screenplay.

Image Credit: Georges Biard] This graph has been made using Piktochart 

Sofia Coppola (2004)

Ten years after Jane Campion received her nomination, Sofia Coppola became the first ever American to be nominated for an Academy Award for best director thanks to her 2003 film Lost in Translation. While she ultimately didn’t win for Best Director, her film was nominated for three other Academy awards, where she ultimately did win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

Image Credit: Georges Biard) [CC BY-SA 3.0)]  This graph has been made using Piktochart

Kathryn Bigelow (2010)

Nearly 35 years after the very first woman was nominated as Best Director, Kathryn Bigelow became the first ever female to win for her 2009 film The Hurt Locker. She was the fourth female to ever be nominated for the award, and the only female to ever win. The film was nominated for a total of nine Academy Awards, winning six of them, also notably receiving the Best Picture. The Hurt Locker also became the first film directed by a woman to win the Best Picture.

Image Credit: Sgt. Michael Connors - 302nd Mobile Public Affairs DetachmentThe graph has been made using Piktochart

Greta Gerwig (2018)

Eight years after Kathryn Bigelow changed history, Greta Gerwig became the newest member of one of the Academy’s most exclusive clubs as only the fifth women to have been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director, for her 2018 film Lady Bird. The film was her directorial debut, and was praised as both a critical and box office success, making her an immediate favorite for the 2018 awards season. The film was nominated for a total of five awards, including Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture.

Image Credit: Martin Kraft (photo.martinkraft.com). This graph has been made using Piktochart

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