In honor of Women’s History Month, this March your friends at Lunacy will be posting content celebrating the contribution of women to the film industry. We kick things off this week by asking our staff to tell us about a female filmmaker who has inspired them.

Ava DuVernay
“Ms. DuVernay’s body of work in the last five years alone demonstrates a rarely seen level of talent and vision that spans a wide array of subjects, stories, and styles… And she’s taught aspiring and experienced filmmakers alike a thing or two about passion vs. desperation, the director’s uniform, how to treat others, the importance of persistence, and how to make your own luck.”
–Stu Pollard


Where I work is in an industry that really has no regard for my voice and the voice of people like me and so, what do I do? Keep knocking on that door or build your own house? –Ava DuVernay


Greta Gerwig
“In her directorial debut, LADY BIRD, she beautifully captures the wonderful and often painful parts of growing up. She explores the relationship between mother and daughter in a unique and personal way that I have never before seen on screen and truly related to it. I’m excited to see what project Gerwig decides to take on next.”
–Emily Hadley


Jennifer Yuh Nelson
“A great example of hard work and talent paying off. She worked her way up from a storyboard artist to become the first female solo director of an animated feature (KUNG FU PANDA 2, the highest grossing film by a female director until WONDER WOMAN). This August her first live action film, THE DARKEST MINDS, hits theatres and I can’t wait to see how she brings the sci-fi young adult novel to life.” 
–Dan Levine


Kathryn Bigelow
“When I think about all of the directors working right, no one is more deserving to inherit Hitchcock’s title of ‘the master of suspense’ than Kathryn Bigelow. It’s tough to tell if my heart raced faster when Jeremy Renner diffused a complex bomb in THE HURT LOCKER or when the S.E.A.L. choppers were flying to Abbottabad to take out Bin Laden in ZERO DARK THIRTY.”  
–Brian Zager

If there’s specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons: I can’t change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies. –Kathryn Bigelow


Nancy Meyers
“Meyers worked as a screenwriter before she became a director, and I think that shows in her authorial voice. The people in her movies seem genuine and fully formed; the relationships between them are complicated. Even when she’s doing a high concept movie, the characters come first, and that’s why her films are so fun to rewatch. I know some people who watch THE HOLIDAY every year, but for me SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE is a perfect film.” 
–Gabriel Bradley


Nora Ephron
“It’s almost impossible to think about romantic comedies and not think of Nora Ephron. In SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, YOU’VE GOT MAIL, and JULIE & JULIA she created popular films featuring strong female characters.  As one of the few successful female directors of her time, she helped pave the way for other women to follow in her footsteps.”
–Alexandra Reinnoldt


Patty Jenkins
“Jenkins has proved that women don’t need to be relegated to telling quiet stories about romance and finding yourself. Her films MONSTER and WONDER WOMAN prove that female directors bring a unique perspective that Hollywood sorely needs. In the latter, Jenkins takes what could have been a simple superhero story and adds complexity and depth using advanced camera techniques, graceful CGI, and a delicacy in handling strong female characters.”
–Alexandra Jensen

I just thought everything the audience sees they’re going to be seeing quite literally through the cinematographer’s eyes. And I wanted to be that guy. –Reed Morano


Reed Morano ASC
“She has a directorial style influenced by her experience as a cinematographer. Morano is aware that she approaches filmmaking from a different perspective than many other directors, and uses it to make the work better.”
–Derek Sepe


Sophia Coppola
“I love her aesthetic. The gorgeous, carefully composed frames and the patient editing are perfectly suited to these stories about the struggle for human connection. Her movies are all beautiful, but it’s never style for style’s sake; it’s in the service of the story and the characters.”
–Harris McCabe


Let us know more about your favorite women in film in the comments below!