Photo: Female Directors – Sofia Coppola, Chloe Zhao, Kathryn Bigelow
Female Directors – Gendered Careers
There are many careers that are still sadly labeled with a specific gender, but as time goes on people are growing up as well. Director is a job that has been male-dominated since the beginning of film. Though there have always been female directors and creators along the way, there has never been a light shined on them like the men. As Hollywood slowly begins to pay attention to women, more chances have been given to women and applauded for their success. It’s a tough pill to swallow that we are in 2021 and there is still so much hesitation and lack of respect towards women in the industry, but thankfully women have not only gotten their chance, but also supported other women around them and spoke their truth.
8 Female Pioneers – Watch Video Below
Not only has it been a tough fight for women, but especially women of color. With systematic racism being installed in practically every aspect of life, the film industry is no exception to it. Being aware of the lack of opportunities and disrespect that many people of color have been through in the industry is important no matter who you are. Allowing everyone an equal opportunity is not only the right thing to do, but should be the only option at this point. Going forward and recognizing mistakes in the past and making sure everyone is growing from it is a priority for every production set, office, writers room and anywhere else.
Winning an Academy Award is the dream for most people who work in the film industry. The golden Oscar has been in the hands of many esteemed directors, but shockingly has only been in the hands of two female directors. It is shocking to know that next year will be the 94th academy awards and only two winners have been women. It is clear in many cases that the Oscars do not have the best track record with diversity, but there will always be such excitement when films start to have Oscar buzz.
Let’s take a look at some special women in the film industry that have not only proven themselves to the masses that they are the real deal, but also to the Academy. This list should be much longer and it is hopeful to say that one day directors can focus on being directors and not have to break new boundaries for the females around them.
First and foremost, it is necessary to start with Kathryn Bigelow. In 2010, Bigelow won the Oscar for best achievement in directing and broke the boundary for all future female directors. Making history that night and also winning best picture for ‘Hurt Locker’ starring Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie. The film is taken place during the Iraq war and follows the story of a sergeant whose recent transfer to an army bomb squad shakes up the unit as they enter a city where everyone and everything is dangerous. This was a huge win for the industry and a huge wake-up call for Hollywood to pay attention. Only a few years later Bigelow was nominated for best achievement in directing again for her work on ‘Zero Dark Thirty’. This phenomenal film starring Jessica Chastain tells the story of the decade-long manhunt for Osama Bin Landen and the navy S.E.A.L. who completed the mission. Bigelow is a force to be reckoned with in the film industry.
Kathryn Bigelow’s Journey – Watch Video Below
Next up is another history maker, Chloe Zhao. At the last Oscars, Zhao took home the academy award for best achievement in directing for ‘Nomadland’ starring Frances McDormand. The film is about a woman in her sixties who decides to live out as a modern-day nomad after she loses everything in the great recession. Only being the second woman to ever take home the Oscar in that category while simultaneously being the first Asian woman as well. Zhao is also not a one-act wonder, she also was nominated for best-adapted screenplay and best editing. She wore many hats in that film production and it certainly paid off in the end. Zhao most recently wrote and directed the next highly anticipated Marvel movie, ‘Eternals’. Zhao definitely made the 93rd Academy Awards memorable with her wins and many nominations.
Chloe Zhao’s Journey – Watch Video Below
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She may be most known for being the daughter of Frances Ford Coppola or for her role in ‘The Godfather: Part III’ as Mary Corleone, Sofia Coppola has made a name for herself in the film world. In 2004 she was nominated for an Oscar for best achievement in directing for her film ‘Lost in Translation’ starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. She was also nominated for best picture, but won best original screenplay. The film is about an old movie star and a neglected young woman find themselves in Tokyo and cross paths finding comfort in each other’s company. Sofia went on to direct some wonderful films including ‘Marie Antoinette’ and ‘The Virgin Suicides’.
Sofia Coppola’s Journey – Watch Video Below
Last, but definitely not least is the magnificent Greta Gerwig. Though her filmography is mostly filled with her acting work, she has turned into a fantastic writer and director. Gerwig’s first Oscar nominee was for best directing and also best screenplay for the 2017 film ‘Lady Bird’ starring Saoirse Ronan. A brilliant coming-of-age film about a high school artist trying to get out of her small town. Only a few years later she was nominated for best-adapted screenplay for ‘Little Women’, though was surprisingly snubbed for best director for that year. Gerwig has continued to do great work whether it be writing, directing, or acting.
Greta Gerwig’s Journey – Watch Video Below
All of these lovely women have done great things in the film industry and have proven over and over that it is possible to be recognized by the academy and to never stop working hard. Hopefully one day soon it will be old news for women to be nominated for their work and it is a recurring notion, but for now, we applaud all the women that work so hard to pave the way for the future.
By Jack Colin
Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.
I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV. media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.”
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Jack Colin is a playwright and screenwriter with an immense love for film & television which drives him to learn from and share his passion with anyone willing to listen. Living life as a trans man, Jack wants his writing to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ members and share the positive stories that are so often ignored through his work at The Hollywood Insider, he is eager to give readers a confident outlook on life. The storytellers of the world are the ones who decide what happiness can be. Jack takes pride in The Hollywood Insider’s mission statement to stray away from gossip and to lift up voices in entertainment with supportive and meaningful stories that will promote strength and unity.