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Female Directors Bring Change to the Big Screen

 Last week, The New York Times reported that 9% of the top 250 movies at the domestic box office last year were made by female directors. That’s a 4% bump from last year showing that slowly, but surely, more women are taking charge behind the camera.

One of the women mentioned was Alison Klayman. Her documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is an engaging portrait of the Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei.  Ai Weiwei inspires global audiences to be involved in social change by blurring the boundaries of art and politics.


Ashley Sabin, one of the two directors of the documentary Girl Model, shows the morally adrift culture of modeling.  The film exposes the ways in which the image of childhood is a globally traded commodity. 

 In an interview with Film Maker Magazine, Sabin spoke of the process behind the movie as well as and the hardships these young models had to go through to be noticed.

“We don’t seek out the darkness, but in this story, there was an underbelly to the glamor and we realized pretty early on after we finished shooting that we were going to show that side,” said Sabin. “You watch all of these model and fashion programs, and they are sort of flashy and glamorous. We recognized that it wasn’t going to be this way.”


Another female director is Jennifer Siebel Newsom. Her empowering documentary Miss Representation explores the underrepresentation of women in media, government, and business.

In an interview with Sundance Film Festival, Siebel Newsom spoke about the importance of women standing up for other women, and giving each other a voice.

“[Miss Representation] has given me a voice, and I know some people may not be happy with the truth that was spoken,” said Siebel Newsom. “But truth is important, we all know that, and that’s how we’re going to change the world and that’s how we’re going to leave the world in a better place for future generations.”

REACT to these female directors:

EMPOWER young women who want to make a difference with film. Organizations like Girls in the Director’s Chair work to empower girls to take their rightful place in Hollywood.

EXPLORE the wide array of movies made by women. Websites like Women Make Movies regularly updates its catalogue of interesting movies that are directed, produced, or written by women.

SUPPORT these women and other female filmmakers. Follow their activities on Twitter, Facebook, and their blogs to see what they will bring to the silver screen next.

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