(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)
March is Women’s History Month, so it’s only fitting that we turn our attention to some of the most notable female filmmakers working today. A rarity among the ranks of Hollywood filmmakers, women represent only 7% of the field (according to the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University). Though there’s still much room to grow, women have come a long way since the days of Alice Guy (b. 1873), the French pioneer who’s considered the first female director. With Guy paving the proverbial way, women like Julie Taymor, Phyllida Lloyd, Sarah Polley, Brenda Chapman, Dee Rees, and Lena Dunham have come up through the ranks, imprinting their unique stamps on some of the most interesting films today. In 2010, Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) became the first woman to win the Oscar for Best Director, and in 2011, two of the 10 Best Picture-nominated films were helmed by women (Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right and Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone). But the road is still long.
Beginning today, Limité launches its three-part series on female filmmakers, paying tribute to just some of the women representing three categories of filmmakers: “The Hollywood Hitmakers,” “The Indie Darlings,” and “The International Cineastes.” This week, we focus on those women who have made their mark in big studio releases. Join us next Friday for Part 2.
This series is dedicated to the memory of trailblazer Nora Ephron, beloved writer-director of such romantic comedy classics as Sleepless in Seattle (1993) and You’ve Got Mail (1998), and writer of When Harry Met Sally… (1989). Her valuable contributions to the genre—and to filmmaking, as a whole—are no doubt felt in the works of so many female directors working today.