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Article – 5 Upcoming Female Directors to be Excited For…


Posted October 14, 2015 by

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5 Upcoming Female Directors to be Excited For

We’re at an age where equality in filmmaking has a spotlight. Just recently have actresses and female directors have called out sexism in the art form by illuminating audiences to the gap that still seems so prevalent in Hollywood and beyond. Female directors are often seen with a judging eye; they can either do romance or attempt at other meatier subjects, a very wary and wrong opinion, I might add. But in this day and age, with a many passionate feet charging forward, female directors are becoming more prolific and channelling their crafts for the better. So, to keep ahead of the curve, here are some upcoming female directors who are doing amazing things.

Kate Herron

Both a writer and a director, Herron is a UK based director with an eye for surreal yet human comedy. With a prolific amount of shorts under her belt, she has won many awards around festival circuits, been featured in the likes of Marie Claire and Film4, and her work bounds to different levels of greatness. Able to astutely gift her work with characters that feel wholly real, she is also able to translate funny and rambunctious tales in great cinematic ways. Quirky, and with an edge of humanity to them, Herron has a keen eye for what makes great comedy and, hopefully, will be working on a feature soon.

You Should Watch – Rest Stop and Valentine.

Desiree Akhavan

I’m a little bit biased when I say that Desiree Akhavan is a bit of a spirit animal and my thoughts were solidified at her recent talk at BAFTA. Anyway, Akhavan is a bisexual Iranian-American film director, producer, screenwriter and actor who has a few credits to her name. More recently, her indie phenomenon Appropriate Behaviour was lauded by critics and audiences alike by bi only being hilarious, but also with a vein of emotion and realism. Akhavan enthuses this sense equally with her other work such as web-series The Slope and short Nose Job. Whilst Akhavan doesn’t have a big portfolio, she has a bigger career ahead of her as she is likened to acclaimed directors such as Noah Baumbach and Woody Allen.

You Should Watch – Appropriate Behaviour.

Maya Forbes

Probably a director with the biggest portfolio on this list, Maya Forbes is on an increasingly stellar filmmaking journey. Starting out as a writer, Forbes has written many family friendly screenplays including Monsters vs Aliens, The Rocker, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. As well as this, she has been a crew member and a portfolio with a keen eye on what makes movies work. However, this year she takes the directing seat for the first time with Mark Ruffalo lead film Infinitely Polar Bear, a stark but comedic look at bipolar disorder and a single father’s attempt to raise his children. Her work can capture the right sense of family and is executed alarmingly well. With a hopeful indie success with Infinitely Polar Bear, this woman is on fire.

You Should Watch – Infinitely Polar Bear and Monsters vs. Aliens

Daisy Jacobs

Jacobs’ film The Bigger Picture should’ve most definitely won the Oscar for Best Animated Short over Feast. But that’s a rant I have said numerous amount of times and I cannot exhaust it enough. Anyway, Jacobs’ work is primarily in animation but she and her team are pushing the boundaries of the form to new heights. Literally. The Bigger Picture, after all, is a balance of life-size puppetry, characters, and sets that are all enhanced by stop-motion animation. This courageous fete is gloriously released with her film and never suffers from style over substance as the story is entrenched with heart and emotion. With Jacob’s work on her upcoming film, you should be watching her stellar trajectory.

You Should Watch – The Bigger Picture.

Nichola Wong

As with a lot of the women on this list, Nichola Wong has one credit to her name but it is a glorious one, indeed. Skinship is a short film about how technology and the modern world has polarised people, leaving them aching to be touched in the most animalistic way. Utilising London’s landscape, Wong quietly unravels this film with clarity and a visceral feeling that sends sublime chills down our skin. The short is alluring and has a great sense of palette that gloriously defines her work. With passion and enough momentum to carry this forward, Wong has captivated us with her short (that is still making the rounds) and hopefully for a long career.

You Should Watch – Skinship


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    Great list. I would add two of my favorites – Dee Rees, who made the stand-out Pariah in 2011 and the HBO original Bessie this year, and Hannah Fiddel, who has made two very interesting, if somewhat difficult features. They are the types of young directors who are finding their styles and voices and need some support along their journeys.

    Helen Ronald

    A really interesting list of future talent to watch – and a very useful synopsis of work to enjoy. It’s good to see the profile of women in the industry rising- albeit more slowly than we would like- amazing that it’s taking so long!


    Hi, it’s Maya Forbes. I think your spell check took over. Happens to us all.

    INFINITELY POLAR BEAR is very impressive. I hope it gets a UK release.

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