I ♥ Female Directors

Dear Reader,

Every year there are studies and lists and think pieces about the lack of female directors working in television and film. And hey, we love studies and lists and think pieces as much as the next gal, but the numbers are soooo depressing and the problem is soooo entrenched and unchanging that reading about it starts to feel a lot like eating your vegetables if vegetables tasted like futility which they do.

We started iheartfemaledirectors.com because we think the biggest thing missing from the conversation about female directors is some good old-fashioned gushy fandom. We will not have achieved true equality until every film school student who ever jizzed himself talking about the exploration of violence and masculinity in Fight Club has also needed a change of pants after discussing the exploration of violence and masculinity in Beau Travail.

Yes, there are historically fewer female directors than male, but there have still been hundreds (thousands?) of great ones. And new female directors are being born and dismissed every minute! So while the major studios’ scientists toil away in their under-the-lot labs, manufacturing the single perfect, hireable female director*, we’ll be swooning over the ones who have already put amazing, love letter-worthy things into the world.  

So here’s our plan: every week we’ll put up a new love letter to a female director we’re obsessed with. And look, maybe that won't solve all of sexism in Hollywood. But it might get you to watch an Agnes Varda movie, and isn't that a close second?

Love,
Annabel, Laura & Charley

 

*Criteria:
• Experienced (but also fresh!)
• Works Constantly (but is always available)
• Commanding (but not emasculating)
• Will represent the wokeness and feminism of the studio (but won’t complain about institutionalized sexism)
• Has a unique voice (but wants to direct mediocre tentpoles)
• A visionary (but takes all notes)

Dear Nanfu Wang,

When I first saw your documentary Hooligan Sparrow, about Chinese activist Ye Haiyan's fight for six little girls who were sexually abused by their principal, I was terrified for you. At the beginning of the film you seemed as nervous as anyone would be about going up against a famously oppressive government. Then, as the filming goes on and the government targets and threatens you, you become increasingly fearless. You start ignoring the odds stacked against you. When cameras are impossible to use, you shoot with secret recording devices. You smuggle footage out of the country so that this story can be told.  It's an amazing transformation to watch and one that makes me hopeful that such transformation, from concerned person to bold activist, lies within all of us - even within me.

Also, the film is so masterfully filmed and edited, it's as exciting as any big screen thriller. And if anyone doesn’t believe me, Hooligan Sparrow’s Peabody Award, George Polk award, IDA award, and place on the Oscar documentary shortlist should be convincing.   

As determined as you were to make the film, I’m most inspired by your determination to make a lasting impact. And undoubtedly you did since earlier this year Ye Haiyan's daughter received a full scholarship to a high school in the US. She is here now, free of the constant threat her family faces in China and thanks, in part, to you. It's the kind of impact I aspire to help create and an incredible testament to the power of your filmmaking. You not only garnered support for Ye Haiyan’s family, you emboldened other political activists and human rights lawyers in China. 

There's a ton of injustice in the world - more than it feels like we can fix. But I have hope because there are filmmakers like you who aren't going to sit by and let this shit fly. 

Wendy

 Art by   Chau Nguyen   (  @rckshw  )  

Art by Chau Nguyen (@rckshw)
 

Source: https://www.iheartfemaledirectors.com/nanf...