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  • Writer's pictureEllen Cheshire

#DirectedbyWomen 2000-2021 - stories Women Tell: Films

Updated: May 5, 2023

The theme for International Women's Day 2022 is #BreakingtheBias, where we are asked to:

Imagine a gender equal world...

A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

Together we can forge women's equality.

Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias

With that in mind, I have pulled together a list of film's directed by a women, since 2000. BUT, only one from each year. My top choice. A tough choice! Each offering something to the debate around the stories women choose to tell, and how.

If you haven't seen any of them, do take the time to track them down.

What films would you add? Join me on twitter @cheshellen

2000: American Psycho, American-Canadian black comedy psychological horror directed by Mary Harron

2001: Monsoon Wedding, romantic drama in English, Hindi and Punjabi directed by Mira Nair

2002: Morvern Callar, with its sparse dialogue a fine study of a woman in psychological collapse from British director Lynne Ramsay.

2003: My Life Without Me, Canadian romantic/end of life drama directed by Isabel Coixet

2004: Yes, British drama (in iambic pentameter) directed by Sally Potter

2005: The Producers, American musical-comedy directed by Susan Stroman

2006: Marie Antoinette, a sumptuous and sympathetic portrait of Marie Antoinette from director Sofia Coppola

2007: Caramel, Lebanese friendship drama directed, starring and co-written by Nadine Labaki

2008: Mamma Mia!, British musical directed by Phyllida Lloyd

2009: Bright Star, British-French-Australian bio-pic directed by Jane Campion

2010: Winter's Bone, American independent drama directed by Debra Granik

2011: Dreams of a Life, harrowing British drama-documentary directed by Carol Morley

2012: Stories We Tell, Canadian autobiographical documentary directed by Sarah Polley

2013: Wadjda, Saudi Arabian–German film, written and directed by Haifaa al-Mansour

2014: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Persian-language Vampire film directed by Ana Lily Amirpour

2015: The Dressmaker, Australian Western-revenge-drama directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse

2016: Prevenge, British horror film about motherhood directed and starring the then seven month pregnant Alice Lowe

2017: Pin Cushion, a mother and daughter British Drama written and directed by Deborah Haywood

2018: Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché, documentary on the film female filmmaker, directed by Pamela Green

2019: Judy & Punch, twisted dark tale of revenge written and directed by Mirrah Foulkes

2020: Zola, a thrilling American drama inspired by a twitter thread, directed by Janicza Bravo

2021: The Power of the Dog, an American western, with a Brit star, filmed in New Zealand by director Jane Campion

At the time of writing The Power of the Dog is hotly anticipated to win the Best Picture at this years Oscars. Although not necessarily the benchmark for assessing what makes a great film, this is a great film, and the Oscars certainly help in raising the profile of what otherwise would be hard-to-sell or little-seen movies. The film is leading the pack with 12 Oscar nominations including Best Director for Jane Campion, making her the first woman to be nominated twice. You read my 20+ year of Championing Campion here.


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