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Films Directed by French Women

by Ally the Manic Listmaker
France has always been a country that has welcomed and nutured the careers of their female directors. The first female director in the world was Alice Guy-Blaché, who created the first narrative film. Fast-forward to today where you have directors like Anne Fontaine, Catherine Corsini, and Catherine Breillat whose output is consistent. Here is a list of French women who have directed a movie: Mona Achache ( MUBI ) Shirel Amitay Jacqueline Audry ( Auteurs ) Pascale Bailly ( Auteurs ) Josiane Balasko ( Auteurs ) Actress/director Sylvie Ballyot ( Auteurs ) Laurence Ferreira Barbosa ( Auteurs ) Emmanuelle Bercot ( Auteurs… Read more

France has always been a country that has welcomed and nutured the careers of their female directors. The first female director in the world was Alice Guy-Blaché, who created the first narrative film. Fast-forward to today where you have directors like Anne Fontaine, Catherine Corsini, and Catherine Breillat whose output is consistent. Here is a list of French women who have directed a movie:

Mona Achache ( MUBI )

Shirel Amitay

Jacqueline Audry ( Auteurs )

Pascale Bailly ( Auteurs )

Josiane Balasko ( Auteurs )
Actress/director

Sylvie Ballyot ( Auteurs )

Laurence Ferreira Barbosa ( Auteurs )

Emmanuelle Bercot ( Auteurs )
Actress/director

Sandrine Bonnaire ( Auteurs )
Actress/director

Catherine Breillat

Zabou Breitman ( Auteurs )
Actress/director

Marie Caldera

Sophie Calle
Sophie Calle is an artist who experiments with many formats including film, murals, and writings.

Christine Carrière

Catherine Corsini ( Auteurs )

Delphine Coulin, Muriel Coulin
Sisters who are a directing team

Isabelle Czajka

Josée Dayan ( Auteurs )

Liliane de Kermadec

Emilie Deleuze

Julie Delpy ( Auteurs )
Actress/director

Claire Denis ( Auteurs )

Virginie Despentes ( Auteurs )

Marina de Van ( Auteurs )

Claire Devers

Jennifer Devoldère ( Auteurs )

Lola Doillon

Valérie Donzelli
Actress turned director

Martine Dugowson ( Auteurs )

Germaine Dulac ( Auteurs )

Caroline du Potet

Marguerite Duras ( Auteurs )
Novelist/director/muse

Audrey Estrougo

Pascale Ferran ( Auteurs )

Anne Fontaine ( Auteurs )

Nicole Garcia ( Auteurs )
Actress/director

Julie Gavras ( Auteurs )
Daughter of Costa-Gavras

Anne Giafferi

Valérie Guignabodet


Alice Guy-Blaché
First female director in the world and the first director who made a narrative film.

Lucile Hadzihalilovic ( Auteurs )
Wife of Gaspar Noe.

Geneviève Hamon
Documentarian that worked extensively with Jean Painlevé.

Mia Hansen-Løve ( Auteurs )

Jeanne Herry

Danièle Huillet ( Auteurs )
Born and died in France, she is most famous for her work in Germany and Italy.

Agnès Jaoui ( Auteurs )
Actress/director

Valérie Jouve ( Auteurs )

Sabrina B. Karine

Diane Kurys ( Auteurs )

Jeanne Labrune ( Auteurs )

Sophie Laloy ( Auteurs )

Mélanie Laurent
Actress/director

Isild Le Besco ( Auteurs )
Actress/director

Sophie Lellouche

Valérie Lemercier ( Auteurs )
Actress/director/singer/Cesars host

Nolwenn Lemesle ( Auteurs )

Anne Le Ny

Sophie Letourneur ( Auteurs )

Anne Lévy-Morelle ( Auteurs )

Elisabeth Löchen

Julie Lopes-Curval ( Auteurs )

Emma Luchini ( Auteurs )

Noémie Lvovsky ( Auteurs )

Maïwenn ( Auteurs )
Actress/director/sister of Isild Le Besco

Tonie Marshall ( Auteurs )

Laetitia Masson ( Auteurs )

Patricia Mazuy ( Auteurs )

Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar

Agnès Merlet ( Auteurs)

Jeanne Moreau ( Auteurs )
Actress/director

Yolande Moreau ( Auteurs )
Actress/director

Élodie Namer

Claudine Natkin

Béatrice Plumet ( Auteurs )

Katell Quillévéré ( Auteurs )
Born in Côte d’Ivoire.

Jackie Raynal ( Auteurs )
Editor/director

Madeleine Riffaud

Sandrine Rinaldi

Françoise Romand ( Auteurs )
Critic Jonathan Rosenbaum has championed her film, Meli-melo/Mix-Up.

Noémie Saglio


Céline Sciamma ( Auteurs )
New director who has the chance of being one of the greats.

Coline Serreau ( Auteurs )
Three Men and a Baby was based on her original film.

Claire Simon ( Auteurs )

Carine Tardieu ( Auteurs )

Andra Tévy

Danièle Thompson ( Auteurs )

Justine Triet

Stéphanie Valloatto

Sabrina Van Tassel

Agnès Varda ( Auteurs / UBUWeb )
Born in Belgium, Varda’s career started and continues in France. She has her own production/distribution company, Ciné-Tamaris, to keep alive not only her films, but those of her late husband, Jacques Demy.

Sylvie Verheyde ( Auteurs )

Marion Vernoux

Sandrine Veysset ( Auteurs )

Alice Vial

Alice Winocour ( Auteurs )

Paule Zajdermann

Hélène Zimmer

Rebecca Zlotowsky

Notes:
Chantal Akerman is Belgian, but is famous for some work in France.

Additional Links:
Films Directed By Women
A Female Director a Day.
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