10 female directors you should know
A view from Andy Fowler

10 female directors you should know

After pledging to include a female director in every three-way pitch, Brothers and Sisters' Andy Fowler names the ones to watch.

For the second year in a row, there was only one female director in the top 10 directors list in Campaign’s Annual

It’s not great is it?

I mean, come on.

As you may already know, my agency Brothers and Sisters has pledged to include at least one female director on every three-way pitch.

We’ve had some criticism from people who say the talent isn’t out there, and we’ll struggle to fill each pitch list.

I say absolute nonsense, utter bollocks, complete poppycock.

And here to prove it is my "ten female directors you should know, but might not, and will hopefully like, so you can start putting them on your pitch lists" list.

In no particular order.

I wouldn’t like to say who’s best.

They’re all top film-makers in their own ways.

1. Aoife McArdle (Somesuch) 

Aoife first came to my attention with her extraordinary music video for Jon Hopkins’ Open Eye Signal, depicting a boy’s coming of age on a skateboard in widescreen.

Her visceral, cinematic work for Under Armour and Honda shows she can beat the boys in the fields of sport and cars where male directors have total dominance.

2. Liz Unna (Independent)

Liz won Best Online Film at the Shots Awards two years in a row for her poignant documentary character studies for the Times. Her recent Age UK Christmas work achieves similar levels of poignancy, but this time with a script.

3. Melina Matsoukas (Prettybird)

Beyoncé’s director of choice isn’t a bad calling card.

Melina’s Formation video for Ms. Knowles cleaned up last year.

Rihanna and Lily Allen are the other mega talents who have benefitted from her fierce image making and brave styling. Overdue some big scripts over here, I reckon.

4. Lucy Walker (Pulse)

Lucy is an English director of riveting, character driven, non-fiction. Watch the trailer for her feature documentary The Crash Reel and you’ll probably agree. Then watch her Listerine "Smile" film and you’ll definitely agree.

5. Crystal Moselle (Somesuch)

Director of The Wolfpack, the film about the brothers confined to their New York apartment by their parents. She has a phenomenal eye for characters and for a story. Her work for Miu Miu shows she can do it for brands too.

6. Nadia (Academy)

Nadia is a young director who learnt her craft under the expert tutelage of Chris Palmer. Named best new director at the 2015 UKMVA’s, her work for Danish Railway is stunning with a capital STUN.

7. Alison Maclean (Park Pictures)

Comedy is an area that suffers from a dearth of female directors, I’m sad to say. Alison is one of the best. Very funny, slick and snappy performances are her mainstay.

Check out her AT&T Blackberry spot for a giggle. Her FX and Go Phone work is chuckleable too.

8. Emily Kai Bock (Somesuch)

I saw her Grimes video a couple of years back and it felt really fresh.

Her Gap ad is the real deal – superb casting, great performances, and all round hipness creds. Her Coach NYC spot is off the scale cool.

9. Liz Murphy (Nice Shirt)

I’m normally not a big fan of those kinds of directors who say they capture little moments of real life. It usually means the work is dull.

But Liz is different. Stunning, aspirational, emotional glimpses of life in all its peculiarities. She has an amazing eye.

10. Becky Martin (2AM)

Becky is pretty much comedy royalty. When you’ve directed Veep and The Thick of It, it means you have worked with the best comedy writing and acting talent the world has to offer. Her Barclays ad shows that she deems great casting and timing as critical to a 60-second film as to a 60-minute one.