Kick-Ass Women in Film Today

Female director working in home office
No matter how male-dominated the film industry feels, women continue to break barriers and leave a lasting mark. Check out seven women kicking butt in film today.

While it’s an unfortunate truth that of the top grossing films of 2014, only 18.9% were produced by women, only 11.2% had female writers, and only 1.9% were directed by women – here are seven totally kick-ass women in the film industry that you should be watching.

Aline Brosh McKennaAline Brosh McKenna 

Aline is a screenwriter, producer, and vintage female portraits collector.  Best known for her work on The Devil Wears Prada, this Harvard alum originally sought a job in the publishing industry. However, after taking a screenwriting course at NYU, she attracted the attentions of an agent, moved to L.A. and the rest is history! Most recently, she is the co-creator and executive producer for The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Dawn Porter

Dawn Porter

Trapped, highlights the struggle of abortion providers in the deep south to comply with state laws that purposefully attempt to regulate abortion out of existence. Using her legal training to guide her camera lens, she tells captivating stories while maintaining journalistic integrity, “I’m not as interested in convincing people about what I think as in allowing them to explore what they think.” 

Elizabeth WoodElizabeth Wood

Elizabeth is a writer and director who tends to generate a lot of buzz with her edgy, issue-charged films. Her most recent film, White Girl, has set a lot of tongues wagging for its portrayal of white privilege, gentrification, and youth party culture. While not an autobiography, she based much of the story on her own experiences as an Oklahoma transplant in NYC. The latest rumor around Elizabeth Wood is that she mighbe directing Marvel’s Captain Marvel film that is set to be released in 2019! Whether the rumor pans out or not, I would bet we can expect some kick ass films from Elizabeth in the future!

Sian Heder Sian Heder 

Sian is a writer and filmmaker best known for her work on Seasons 1-3 of Orange is the New Black. What you might not know about her is she actually BS’d her way into her career one night at a bar! (Career goals FTW!) More recently, she wrote and directed the film Tallulah, starring Ellen Page and Allison Janney, which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. The film was inspired by her time working as a nanny for five star hotels in L.A. When asked about her writing process, she said, “I want tough notes on every script I write. I want to hear people poke holes in my stories, for people to realize that this little hole in my script could become a big hole in my movie…I want people to challenge me and question my choices and push me harder.”

Patty JenkinsPatty Jenkins

Patty, is best known for writing and directing the movie Monster, about Aileen Wuornos, a serial killer. She is currently working on the 2017 Wonder Woman movie that releases June 2017 and I can not wait to see what she brings to the DC Universe. “The first meeting I had with Warner Bros. after Monster, they were like, ‘Great what do you want to do?’ And I was like, ‘I want to do Wonder Woman,’” said Jenkins. “There was a period of time where people were scared to make a female superhero movie, and a Wonder Woman movie in particular. There was an apologist attitude about how do we make her super hard and impressive? And I said, you have to make her universal.” Having the strength and composure to go after exactly what you want is why Patty is one of the most kick ass women in film.

Diablo CodyDiablo Cody

Diablo Cody, the pen name for Brook Busey-Maurio, is probably best known as the writer of 2007’s Juno. She is also known as a creator, writer, and producer for United States of Tara which ran from 2009-2011 on Showtime. Though she did do a stint as director for 2013’s Paradise, she quickly decided that directing was not for her. “I don’t think I possess the leadership qualities required to be a director.” However, that doesn’t mean she’s not still hard at work – she’s currently writing for Amazon’s One Mississippi and is even working with Simon Cowell on a synchronized swimming comedy for Fox!

So Yong KimSo Yong Kim

So Yong is a Korean-American filmmaker and Sundance award winner. Most well known for her debut feature, In Between Days, which won the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006, her films often depict the relationship between children and their parents. In Treeless Mountain two children are left on their own while their mother leaves to go find their father – this is directly inspired by Kim’s own brief meeting with her father when she was just six years old. Although her films are often widely acclaimed, she still feels frustrated by the lack of recognition in the field. “I had my first film at Sundance in 2006 and even though I’ve had four feature films which I’ve written and directed and helped to produce, I don’t have people calling me to be my agents or managers, I still have to reach out to them and then show them my work. It’s kind of shocking, but it’s part of the process.” 

Have a favorite kick-ass lady working in the film world that I missed? Let me know in the comments!

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