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Not many people know, but female filmmakers have continuously raised the bar for the movie industry for the last two decades. Whether founding the French New Wave or being the first woman to win a Best Picture in the Oscar's, many accomplishments have proven that women have a place in an otherwise male-dominated industry.

The contributions of several gifted female directors have shaped the history of cinema, with some of the most influential figures paving the way for up-and-coming directors. The downside, however, is that most of their feats still need to be recognised.

So, who are there? For your next movie binge, try to find the titles of these ten amazing female directors and get a glimpse of the masterpieces that have shaped the movie industry as we know it:

Ava DuVernay (1972 - present)

Producer, director, and screenwriter Ava DuVernay is a perfectionist who has worked closely with her actors and crew to guarantee a film is shot precisely. The talented director has so far provided watchers with a series of compelling films to choose from, ranging from historical dramas like "Selma," to subtle love dramas like "Middle of Nowhere."

DuVernay's films are renowned amongst her fans for addressing significant social issues like racism and the civil rights movement. The director made history in 2012 when she became the first Black woman to win the Sundance Film Festival's US Dramatic Competition directing award.

Later, DuVernay became the first African-American woman to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director for her outstanding work in the historical drama "Selma" in 2014. The film won DuVernay a Golden Globe nomination and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture.

Maya Deren (1917-1961)

Maya Deren is arguably one of the most dramatic female names in film.

Deren is a Ukrainian-born director whose work is not well-known to the general audience. Despite having a short career, Deren has been remembered as a visionary who produced "experimental" pictures, including "At Land" and "Meshes of the Afternoon." Deren co-directed the scenes, which are still significant today, with her then-husband, Alexander Hammid.

Despite having a short life, the director made a name for herself as one of the greatest revolutionary filmmakers through unconventional editing techniques. Deren has significantly influenced the work of directors, such as David Lynch, who are still seen in Hollywood. The timelessness of Deren's work highlights how her creative abilities were well ahead of their time.

Jane Campion (1954 - present)

Jane Campion is a filmmaker from New Zealand who has had a lengthy career. Campion has undoubtedly established herself as one of the greatest in her business, with five Academy Awards nominations.

The female filmmaker was recognised for her work on the historical drama "The Piano," which pointed to the female gaze, highlighted the complexities of female minds and allowed viewers to resonate with unique characters.

Campion's work is frequently championed as it has significantly impacted global cinema. What's more, the filmmaker of "The Power of the Dog," which won Best Picture at the Golden Globes in 2021, is renowned for being the first female winner of the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Greta Gerwig (1983 - present)

Greta Gerwig is a highly talented director who has recently been profiled for the movie adaptation of "Barbie," featuring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. Gerwig is renowned for her work as an actor, writer, and filmmaker who focuses on portraying character development and well-written, three-dimensional characters. Gerwig is also celebrated for having a strong female focus, elevating women's voices, and dispelling gender norms.

Gerwig's most tremendous success is her blockbuster Barbie, and she had previously received Oscar nominations for both "Lady Bird" and "Little Women," both of which received nominations for Best Picture. The director broke even more records in 2023 when she became the highest-grossing female director of all time in a solo directorial film and the woman behind the highest-grossing movie of the year (Barbie).

Agnès Varda (1928 - 2019)

Agnès Varda, was in her thirties when she was given the label "the grandmother of the French New Wave" because of her involvement in the seminal film movement. The movement gained widespread recognition in France and around the world in the 1960s. Varda's involvement with the French New Wave includes the feminist film "Cléo."

For decades, film enthusiasts were captivated by Varda's new perspective and focus on film, saw her address human rights and social justice issues in a humanistic way. The director's work on La Pointe Courte has gone down in history, ultimately leading to the film's unofficial but largely acknowledged reputation as the first feature of the renowned French New Wave movement.

Julie Dash (1952 - present)

Julie Dash is a remarkable filmmaker who has gone down in history as a pioneer who sets out to break stereotypes of race and gender. Dash has given her viewers one of the most captivating films about women's history, "Daughters of the Dust." As part of her film career, Dash is also an accomplished director of music videos and advertisements, a writer, and a website producer.

The director of "Daughters of the Dust" became the first Black female director to have her film widely recognised in theatres across the US. The feminist movie commemorates African culture and follows the fictionalised story of her father's Gullah family, who lived off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina in 1902. The Library of Congress added the movie to the National Film Registry in 2004 because of its "cultural, historical, and aesthetic significance."

Chantal Akerman (1950 - 2015)

Chantal Akerman is a Belgian director best known for her 1975 character study "Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles," which paved the way for other female directors, especially in the feminist film genre.

Akerman's performance in the 1975 movie, which some consider a true classic, is still remembered as uniquely relatable today. This makes sense, though, given the subjects it addresses—power relations, patriarchy, and gender roles.

According to the BFI London Film Festival, Jeanne Dielman's 23 quai du Commerce is still the greatest film ever made, even after all these years. While establishing herself as a master of portraying realism in cinema, at a time when realistic depictions in film were unique, Akerman became known as one of the most significant directors of her generation.

Kathryn Bigelow (1951 - present)

Kathryn Bigelow has worked on several critically celebrated films after being well-known for her work on "Near Dark," "Blue Steel," and "Point Break." Bigelow's portfolio includes "Zero Dark Thirty" and the action-packed film "The Hurt Locker." The director is remembered for her writing and execution of her action films, highlighting her fast-paced filmmaking abilities.

Bigelow broke a significant Oscar record in 2009 by becoming the first female winner of the Best Director Oscar, thanks to her work on the war drama "The Hurt Locker" which she won in 2010. Considering there had only been male winners for the previous eight decades, the Oscar achievement shaped film history and paved the way for future female winners in the industry. Bigelow's win is still regarded as a memorable Oscars moment today.

Ida Lupino (1918 - 1995)

Skilled in acting as well as film, Ida Lupino founded her own independent production company and co-wrote and co-produced a number of films that exposed the darker aspects of society. Lipino's film portfolio includes the controversial films "Outrage," which openly addresses sexual assault, and "Not Wanted," which depicts unwed pregnancy.

Lupino, remembered for being a filmmaker ahead of her time, has since established herself as one of cinema's most significant female directors. Lupino's greatest accomplishment was becoming the first female director in the 1953 film "The Hitch-Hiker." Lupino's other milestones include being one of the first women to work behind the camera in the US, giving women a voice, and bringing significant tales to life.

Alice Guy Blaché (1873 - 1968)

Alice Guy Blaché was not just the first female director of a motion picture but also considered the first director of any motion picture ever. What's more, it is also thought that Guy Blaché was probably the only female filmmaker between 1896 and 1906. Though Guy Blanché is most commonly mentioned in informal discussions about the film sector, her efforts have changed the industry forever.

The French director, who made over one thousand films between 1896 and 1920, most of which were failures, inspired countless women across the globe with her bravery and independence in pursuing her ambition in a male-dominated field. Guy Blanché's contributions to the cinema business, ranging from innovative filmmaking techniques to her unique directing style, are primarily responsible for her extraordinary reputation and quite literally opened the doors for other successful female directors.