The disparity between men and women filmmakers is an unfortunate truth in Hollywood. According to the Center for the Study of Women in Film & Television, at San Diego State University, women comprised just 17 percent of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors and cinematographers working on the top 250 (domestic) grossing films of 2014. In the directors-only category, women made up only 7 percent of those calling the shots last year.
They’re disheartening statistics, given that some of the best cinematic experiences, both critically and with audiences, were written and/or directed by women—The Hurt Locker, You’ve Got Mail, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Selma, Point Break—to name a few.
But instead of bemoaning those facts, we’re going to celebrate women filmmakers by calling attention to their awesomeness and helping you understand that many of the movies you love had a lady calling the shots. To that end, we bring you the top 10 women filmmakers. These women were selected for many reasons including their obvious talent as filmmakers, their ability to score big at the box office or during awards season, and for what they’ve done with their fame to make it better for others.
See what you think of these leading ladies, who are paving the way for women in film.