The Femmes to Watch

45WIE Kathryn Bigelow P

From different generations, these women are getting the job done.

Kathryn Bigelow: The filmmaker made history in March 2010 when she became the first woman to win the Oscar for best director for her Iraqi war film The Hurt Locker, beating out her ex-husband James Cameron (Avatar). Only three other women before had been nominated in the category: Lisa Wertmuller for Seven Beauties in 1976, Jane Campion for The Piano in 1993 and Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation in 2003. Bigelow is currently scouting sites for her next movie, the untitled Navy Seals project that she's making with Hurt Locker screenwriter Mark Boals. Sony will release the film on Dec. 19, 2012.

Andrea Arnold: The English filmmaker drew widespread praise for her 2009 indie film Fish Tank, which won the Cannes Film Festival jury prize. And in 2005, she won an Oscar for her short Wasp. This year, she was in U.K. theaters with Wuthering Heights.

Jane Campion: The renowned New Zealand-born filmmaker hasn't made a feature film since 2009's Bright Star. Campion, who now lives in Australia, recently announced she is reuniting with Holly Hunter, star of Campion's The Piano, for a six-part BBC series Top of the Lake, which also stars Mad Men's Elisabeth?Moss.

Lisa Cholodenko: The filmmaker made award headlines last year with The Kids Are All Right, which earned an Oscar nomination for best picture. Cholodenko's other credits include High Art and Laurel Canyon.

Miranda July: Also a performing artist and actress, July burst on to the directing scene with Me And You And Everyone We Know. Earlier this year, her drama The Future premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Mira Nair: The prolific Indian-born filmmaker, now based in New York, has a long list of credits, including Mississippi MasalaMonsoon Wedding and Vanity Fair.

Lynne Ramsay: The Scottish director is already getting awards notice for We Need to Talk About Kevin, starring Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly. Oscilloscope Pictures opens the film in the U.S. on Dec. 9.

Lone Scherfig: The Danish filmmaker directed the acclaimed coming-of-age drama An Education, starring Carey Mulligan and Peter Sarsgaard, and Italian for Beginners.

Sam Taylor Wood: The British photographer and visual artist made her feature directorial debut with Nowhere Boy, a film based on the childhood experiences of Beatles songwriter and singer John Lennon.

Tanya Wexler: The director's British film Hysteria, about the invention of the vibrator and starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, will be released in the U.S. next year by Sony Pictures Classics.