International Women’s Day: My Favorite Films By and About Women

To celebrate International Women’s Day, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite films by and about women. (I’ve co-opted “by” for my own purposes so I can include editing, a craft near and dear to my heart.)

This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the remarkable, groundbreaking, inspiring work done by women in the industry — just many, many of the ones I love. I’m sure I’ve forgotten some I’ll kick myself for later. If I’ve left out your favorite, please comment!

Yes, this is a long list. I apologize to your bandwidth.

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, director and writer Ana Lily Amirpour

A League Of Their Own, director Penny Marshall



American Mary, directors and writers Jen and Sylvia Soska


An Education, director Lone Scherfig

Appropriate Behavior, director and writer Desiree Akhavan

Away From Her & Stories We Tell, director and writer Sarah Polley

The Babadook, director and writer Jennifer Kent

Before Midnight, co-writer Julie Delpy


Bend It Like Beckham, director and writer Gurinder Chadra


Belle, director Amma Assante, writer Misan Saga

Beyond the Lights, director and writer Gina Prince-Blythewood

Boys Don’t Cry, director and co-writer Kimberly Pierce

Brave, co-director and writer Brenda Chapman

Bridesmaids, writers Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo

Bright Star, director and writer Jane Campion



Carol, based on Patricia Highsmith’s “The Price of Salt”

Citizenfour, director Laura Poitras


Cleo from 5 to 7 (+ The Beaches of Agnes, The Gleaners and I), director Agnes Varda


Clueless, director and writer Amy Heckerling


Daughters of the Dust, director and writer Julie Dash


ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, writer Melissa Mathison


From the East, director Chantal Akerman


Frozen, director and writer Jennifer Lee


Girlhood, director and writer Celine Sciamma



Harlan County USA, director Barbara Kopple


The Hitchhiker, director and co-writer Ida Lupino


Hiroshima Mon Amour, writer Marguerite Duras


In a World…, director and writer Lake Bell


Inside Out, co-writter Meg LeFauvre


Jackie Brown (+ Kill Bill), editor Sally Menke


Jaws (+ American Graffiti), editor Verna Fields


Kiki’s Delivery Service (+ Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro)




Lilo and Stitch


The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum, co-director Margarethe Von Trotta


Mad Max: Fury Road, editor Margaret Sixel


Marie Antoinette, director and writer Sofia Coppola


Momento, editor Dody Dorn


Mulholland Dr, editor Mary Sweeney


Near Dark, director and co-writer Kathryn Bigelow


A Nightmare On Elm Street



Nowhere Boy, director Sam Taylor-Wood


Obvious Child, director and writer Gillian Robespierre


Pan’s Labyrinth


Persepolis, co-director and writer Marjane Satrapi


The Red Shoes


Room, writer Emma Donaghue


Selma, director Ava DuVernay


Sense and Sensibility, writer Emma Thompson


The Silence of the Lambs


Singing in the Rain, co-writer Betty Comden, editor Adrienne Fazan

Sonita, director Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami


Star Wars, edited by Marcia Lucas


Taxi Driver (+ The Departed, Raging Bull), edited by Thelma Schoomaker


Terminator 2: Judgment Day


Three Colors: Blue


You’ve Got Mail, director and writer Nora Ephron


What Happened, Miss Simone?, director Liz Garbus


Whale Rider, director and writer Niki Caro


Whip It, director Drew Barrymore, writer Shauna Cross


Winter’s Bone, director Debra Granik, writers Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini


Wreck-It-Ralph, co-writer Jennifer Lee

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