MEET THE LEADING WOMEN BEHIND THE CAMERA
Female filmmakers are making waves and breaking barriers in Hollywood.
– KEYS SOULCARE
The credits are finally rolling on the days when Hollywood was run by men. Nowadays, female filmmakers, producers and cinematographers are shaking up the industry and earning the attention of audiences and awards alike.
Their groundbreaking creativity and directorial finesse are inspiring a new path in herstory. We’re here to shine a spotlight on some of these rising stars who deserve recognition for their art behind and in front of the camera. Let’s give these ladies a standing ovation!
Greta Gerwig first found critical acclaim with her dazzling screenplays Frances Ha in 2012 and Mistress America in 2015. In 2017, she wrote and directed her first solo project Lady Bird, a sensitive, yet wildly powerful coming-of-age film featuring its breakout star, Saoirse Ronan. Lady Bird went on to become one of the year’s most exciting releases and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars. Gerwig followed up her success with Saoirse in her adaptation of the classic American novel Little Women in 2019, modernizing the nuances of the period novel and making it it relatable to women today
Actress, writer, director, producer and web show creator — there’s nothing Issa Rae can’t do! With an enigmatic sense of humor and the ability to translate the “awkward” into beautiful, Issa has garnered four Emmy nominations for her comedy series Insecure, which she wrote, directed, and starred in. Since its first season, Insecure has been unlike anything else on television with its deep exploration of friendship and the intricacies of being a Black,30-something woman navigating work, family, and love. Though the final season of Insecure wrapped in 2021, Issa launched her brand Hoorae to cement her media mogul status — and she’s only getting started. Issa signed a five-year deal with Warner Media that is valued at $40 million, starred in blockbuster films, and continued her content creator legacy on YouTube to promote the work of Black artists and bring equitable representation through every platform.
Following in the footsteps of her world-renowned father, director Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia Coppola has built a legacy of her own. Her first feature film The Virgin Suicides was recognized at the Cannes Film Festival for its hauntingly beautiful exploration of banal horrors in suburbia. Sofia received her first Oscar win in 2004 for writing Lost In Translation — becoming the third woman and first American woman, to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director. In 2010, she became the first American woman to win the Golden Lion, the top prize at the Venice Film Festival for her film Somewhere.
One of our generation’s most influential filmmakers and advocates for civil rights, Ava Duvernay’s films and TV projects have become essential viewing for Americans. The visionary curates thought-provoking visual collections of history to educate and uplift lesser-known history around slavery, social inequities, and modern-day racial disparities. Her Netflix documentary 13th analyzes the mass incarceration of Black Americans, tracing its historical origins to the 13th amendment alongside scholars, activists, and politicians. With her production company ARRAY, she has developed, produced, and directed an astonishing amount of projects — including her acclaimed miniseries When They See Us, a retelling of the true story behind the case of the Central Park Five who were falsely accused of a brutal attack. “An artist and an activist are not so far apart,” Ava once told the New York Times — and she certainly exemplifies this ethos to the highest degree.
Show these brilliant women some love! Which leading woman behind the camera do you most admire? Share your faves in the comments!