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10 films made by a female director for your next girl’s night


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Despite the rise of female representation on and off screen, still no nominations were given this year to female filmmakers in the Academy Awards' Best Director category.

Image credit: BagoGames on Flickr

With recent calls for changes within the entertainment industry with regards to equality and representation, it's important that films directed by women are given the same type of funding and support as those directed by men. All too often, due to lack of financial support and news coverage, female directors are not given the chance to have their work seen by global audiences.


Female-driven and female-led stories are often not seen as important or as profitable as stories starring a male protagonist, despite recent research that has proven otherwise. Recent efforts have been made to fix this issue, and there have been new female superheroes and more female protagonists on the screen than ever before. Now more than ever, filmmakers and the entertainment industry is starting to realise how important it is that females in the audience see role models that look like them reflected on screen.


Yet despite this, this year's award season reflected a disturbing lack of recognition. The Academy Awards, BAFTAs and Golden Globes have all failed to nominate any female-led project in the best directing category.

So, to help you discover some great female-led film, we've compiled a list of the best of some of the best films directed by women for your viewing pleasure.

Wonder Woman (2017)

If you haven’t heard about this film than you must be living under a rock. Directed by Patty Jenkins, this movie tells the story of Diana Prince - or as some people may know her, Wonder Woman.

Telling the origin story of this beloved badass, we discover how Diana learned about courage and mercy from saving mankind. It was one of the biggest debut weekends for box office cinema in 2017, and one of the biggest openings in the history of the DC Universe films.

Bend it like Beckham (2002)

An absolute classic, and a film that makes us all wish we had stayed in sports. Jess Bharma is a young, talented girl from a strict Indian family, who has a passion for football. She's forbidden to play, despite her talent, because her parents firmly believe that sports aren’t for girls. She joins the team anyway and ends up befriending star player Jules (played by Keira Knightly), and together they show audiences that girls can be athletes too!

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)

A much more recent addition and a serious Oscar contender, directed by Marielle Heller, this film stars Melissa McCarthy in an incredible true story of literary forger Lee Israel. McCarthy is absolutely amazing in this role, and the film is filled with all kinds of smart and witty humour that audiences will love. McCarthy received an Oscar nomination for this role, something that is undoubtedly well deserved.

Lady Bird (2017)

One of my personal favourites, this film is responsible for making director Greta Gerwig only the fifth woman to have ever been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director. Starring Saoirse Ronan as the titular character, Lady Bird tells of the love story between a mother and daughter, and is an amazing coming of age tale that every girl (and her mother) should see.

The Hurt Locker (2008)

In a list such as this, you cannot fail to include The Hurt Locker - the film that gave Kathryn Bigelow the prestigious title of the only woman to have ever won an Academy Award for Best Director. The film follows an Iraqi explosive ordnance disposal team, and the physiological stress of the combat that they're engaged in. There is some serious star-power within the cast, including the likes of Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie.

We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)

For anybody looking for a timely physiological thriller, this is definitely the one to watch. Directed by Lynne Ramsay, and adopted by the bestselling novel of the same name, this film stars Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller in a story about a dysfunctional and toxic mother-son relationship that eventually ends with a mother dealing with the repercussions of acts committed by her psychopathic son.

Lost in Translation (2003)

Here's another Oscar contender for your list. Directed by Sofia Coppola (making her the third woman to ever be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director), Lost in Translation stars Bill Murray as an ageing actor, who happens to run into a conflicted newlywed (played by a young Scarlett Johansson), in a Tokyo hotel. The two strangers strike up a unique friendship as two transplants in a strange and foreign place.

Frozen (2013)

If you and your friends are looking for an animated or Disney film, look no further. Directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck and standing proud as one of Disney’s most profitable films to date, Frozen tells the story of the two sisters from the frozen north, Elsa and Anna. Voiced by Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell respectively, the story unfolds as a love story between two sisters rather than your typical romantic Disney fairytale.

See our interview with Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck here.


The Parent Trap (1998)

Perhaps one of my favourite films of all time, and directed by a woman to boot, so of course The Parent Trap had to find a spot on this list. Directed by Nancy Meyers, this film is a remake of the 1961 classic, and stars Lindsay Lohan in her breakout role as twins Annie and Hallie Parker. The story follows the two bright young twin girls, whose miraculous chance meeting at summer camp leads them to an identity swap as part of a scheme to reunite their divorced parents.


Clueless (1995)

A retelling of Jane Austen's Emma, this is another classic rom-com and 90s favourite that will brighten any girls' night. Clueless is directed by Amy Heckerling and follows spoiled and successful Beverly Hills school girl Cher, played by Alicia Silverstone, in her misguided but well-meaning efforts to become a matchmaker.

Captain Marvel (2019)

What film could we possibly end on, besides Marvel’s first ever female superhero? Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, this film brings Marvel to new heights with the story of Carol Danvers, a badass pilot who saves the world. This film not only shows another amazing female superhero on-screen, but also is able to give a great example to viewers about women in the workforce.

Lead Image Credit: BagoGames on Flickr

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