01 · 13 · 20

Five Oscar nominated women for Best Direction

By: Aranza Flores @Alvayeah

According to a study realized by the Annenberg Foundation, via Women in Film, only 4.5% of the 1,200 most popular films of 2018 were directed by women.

At this yea’s Oscars, Greta Gerwig‘s Little Women gained nominations for Best Film, Best Costume Design, Best Soundtrack, Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress. The director however, was not nominated for the Best Director prize.

Below we list five films directed by women that have been nominated for the Oscar for Best Director:

Pasqualino Settebellezze (1976, dir. Lina Wertmüller)


This picaresque film tells the story of Pasqualino, a man who is confined to a mental institution after being accused of murder in fascist Italy during the Second World War. He is then recruited for the Italian Army to serve on the Eastern Front. The film was also nominated for Best Foreign Film and Best Original Screenplay.

Lina Wertmüller

Lina Wertmüller

Lina Wertmüller is an Italian director and screenwriter. Since 1972 she has worked prolifically, making films like The Seduction of Mimi (1972), Love & Anarchy (1973), y Ciao, Professore! (1992). She is known for writing female characters with an ironic or grotesque sense of humor.

The Piano (1993, dir. Jane Campion)

The Piano (1993, dir. Jane Campion)

A mute woman and her daughter move to New Zealand for an arranged marriage. On the journey Ada is forced to abandon her old piano, which has functioned as a substitute for her voice. According to the BBC, The Piano is the greatest film ever directed by a woman.

The film also gained Jane Campion one of only five nominations for a woman for Best Director at the Golden Globes, as well as winning her the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1993.

Campion is a New Zealand director who has an extensive film career: from films such as Portrait of A Lady (1996), In the Cut (2003) and Bright Star (2009) to short films and television series such as Top of the Lake (2013) and his current project The Power of the Dog.

Lost in Translation (2004, dir. Sofia Coppola)

Lost in Translation (2004, dir. Sofia Coppola)

Bob (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) meet during a short stay at a hotel in Tokyo, bonding over a shared sense of loneliness. In 2004 the film won the Oscar for Best Screenplay and the Golden Globe for Best Comedy or Musical, as well as the prizes for Best Actor and Best Screenplay (written by Coppola herself).

Sofia Coppola

Sofia Coppola

Sofia Coppola is a director, actress, producer and screenwriter, known for films like The Virgin Suicides (1999) and Marie Antoinette (2006), as well as for making music videos for bands like The Flaming Lips, The White Stripes and Phoenix.

The Hurt Locker (2009, dir. Kathryn Bigelow)

The Hurt Locker (2009, dir. Kathryn Bigelow)

The Hurt Locker is a portrait of the daily life of a group of American soldiers deployed in Iraq; a unit specializing in bomb diffusion made up of Sergeant William James, Sergeant. J.T. Sanborn and specialist Owen Eldridge, who risk their lives for their missions.

Kathryn Bigelow

Kathryn Bigelow

Director, screenwriter and producer Kathryn Bigelow is the only woman in history who has won the Oscar for Best Director. She is known for films like The Loveless (1983), Strange Days (1995) and Zero Dark Thirty (2012).

Lady Bird (2017, dir. Greta Gerwig)


Christine McPherson is a 17-year-old girl in her last year at a Catholic high school in Sacramento, California. Passionate about art, she dreams of living on the East Coast, far from her family and everyone she knows. However, her dreams bring her nothing but trouble with her mother, turning the film into a nostalgic portrait of female adolescence.

Greta Gerwig

Greta Gerwig

Greta Gerwig is a director, actress and screenwriter based in California. As an actress she has starred in films like Frances Ha (2012, dir. Noah Baumbach), for which she was also co-screenwriter, and To Rome with Love (2012, dir. Woody Allen).