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?

Annabel, Laura & Charley


• 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)

Oh, Penny Marshall, how do I love thee?

I love thee for making Big, an endearing, inspiring movie for every woman who has ever tried to form an adult relationship with a man who is literally a child. And for the racquetball scene, a brilliant portrayal of white male fragility.

But I mostly and forever love thee for A League of Their Own, a movie that gave me all the feels the first time I saw it-- a baby gay 15 years from coming out, in my softball jersey, at the movie theater, opening weekend. I felt like Marla when she first walks into Harvey Field. I love the cast you brought together and the performances you brought out of them. I love Helen Haley innocently asking, "Has anyone seen my new red hat?” I love Doris, a pre-out Rosie O’Donnell, pretending to love male attention. I love Madonna teaching Alice to read with sexually explicit romance novels and Dottie’s smolder as she strides to the plate for the last at-bat in the World Series. And I really love the cameos from the real-life athletes finally celebrating their place in the history books, decades overdue. And I really, really love that this movie made you the first female director ever to gross over $100 million at the box office twice.

A League of Their Own showed me an unfair world where women had to trade kisses for fouls and be beautiful and “act properly” to even be given a chance, a world where black women weren't even allowed in the stadium, much less the dugouts. But also an inspiring and achievable world where women, together, can create something empowering and all their own.  

So thank you, Penny. I hope you know how special it was, how much it all meant.

Love, Jessie

PS: Just between us, did Dottie drop the ball on purpose? Never mind, I know she did ... right?!

Source: www.iheartfemaledirectors.com/penny-marsha...