As I started getting excited for the Oscars this year, I realized there aren’t many women getting awards or even nominated for categories other than “Best Actress” or “Best Actress in a Supporting Role.” I did a little research and found this very informative infographic by the New York Film Academy. Turns out since the Oscars began in 1927, Kathryn Bigelow is the first woman to have won “Best Director” in 2010, a category for which only four women have been nominated ever.
According to this article on the Oscar’s Giant Gender Gap by Indie Wire, there have been 631 candidates for Best Cinematographer – yet none of them have been female.
It’s not surprising after learning that 1 in 5 workers in the film industry are women, but why is this number so small when they have so much to offer to the industry?
For example actress Angelina Jolie directed Unbroken which was nominated this year for cinematography, sound editing and sound mixing. Kathryn Bigelow earned Best Director and Best Picture for The Hurt Locker in 2010. And young writer Lena Dunham has written, directed and produced her own series, Girls, on HBO. However, these are names you’ve probably heard of. If you’re interested in more work from women in the film industry, then here’s a list to get you started!
1. Sofia Coppola, director and writer
Best known for her 2003 film Lost in Translation starring Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Coppola has directed a number of films including The Virgin Suicides (1999), Marie Antoinette (2006) and Somewhere (2010). She uses pastel colors and a handheld camera for a dreamlike aesthetic to reflect the inner workings of her characters.
2. Ellen Kuras, cinematographer
Ellen Kuras is the visual mastermind behind the popular films Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Blow (2001) and Be Kind Rewind (2008). I was also happy to discover she was the cinematographer for one of my favorite feel-good films, Away We Go (2009).
3. Ava DuVernay, director and producer
Ava DuVernay directed Best Picture nominated film, Selma (2014), which depicts Martin Luther King Jr.’s equal voting rights campaign via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. This is a film you want to see!
4. Reed Morano, cinematographer
One of the youngest members invited into the American Society of Cinematographers, Reed Morano has had her work regularly shown at the Sundance Film Festival for years, and recently made her theatrical debut as cinematographer for the film The Skeleton Twins (2014), which stars Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Luke Wilson and Ty Burrell.
5. Rachel Morrison, cinematographer
Rachel Morrison has had six films premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in the last five years. Her work on Showtime’s Rikers High got her an Outstanding Cinematography Emmy Nomination. Personally, I can’t wait to see her most recent film, Cake (2014) which stars Jennifer Aniston.
6. Mandy Walker, cinematographer
Mandy Walker, member of Australian Society of Cinematographers since 1999, has made commercials for big names like Audi, Nike, Kraft and Chanel No. 5. She’s worked on several feature length films including Jane Got A Gun (2015), Tracks (2013), and Red Riding Hood (2011).
7. Diablo Cody, screenwriter
Remember Juno (2007) and Jennifer’s Body (2009)? Diablo Cody was the screenwriter for both of those. She also wrote, directed, and produced Paradise (2013), which I haven’t seen, but judging by the trailer I can imagine it has the same quirky feel with a pull-at-your-heart-strings storyline.
Looks like I’ll be staying in this weekend for a movie marathon! Can you think of any other women in the film industry to keep an eye out for?