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Where are the summer’s women directors?

Where are the summer's women directors?

In the Wall Street Journal Online, I take a brief look at the lack of female directors working in Hollywood right now. The statistics continue to boggle the mind. This summer, for instance, the only film directed by a woman so far is “John Tucker Must Die,” the teen flick that opened over the weekend helmed by Betty Thomas. Even Fox’s successful “The Devil Wears Prada,” which was produced and written by women, was overseen by TV director David Frankel. In Hollywood’s often-slow August, there will be two more: Anne Fletcher’s “Step Up” and Martha Coolidge’s “Material Girls.” And that’s it.

I have to say the independent sector isn’t much better. Earlier in the summer, there was Deepa Mehta’s “Water“, and Fox Searchlight’s upcoming “Little Miss Sunshine” was co-directed by a woman. But there doesn’t seem to be any other indie films of note with female directors attached. It’s been said before, but it’s worth saying again: film — and even indie film — is dominated by white males.

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Ah, but “In Between Days” doesn’t have much distribution — and isn’t this part of the problem?

Michael Lieberman

“In Between Days”, which I’m hoping will open theatrically soon, is an adept and moving film made by a woman.


I don’t know what you consider “of note,” but Sony Pictures Classics is releasing “The Quiet” on Aug. 25, which is directed by Jamie Babbitt.

Also, on Sept. 8 (which is still summer-ish), “Sherrybaby” is coming out by Netflix’s new theatrical arm, which is directed by Laurie Collyer.

I just wanted to add those to the list, but you do make a great point. I also don’t know why it’s so hard for a female director to make a great film and then we hardly ever hear from her again, such as Jill Sprecher, Kimberly Peirce and Patty Jenkins.


Susan Seidelman’s entertaining “Boynton Beach Club” was a hit among the seniors in Florida before being picked up for distribution by Roadside Attractions/Samuel Goldwyn.

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