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On the heels of the Time’s Up movement in Hollywood demanding gender parity at agencies and studios, The Alice Initiative — backed by a group of female film executives — has announced its annual survey highlighting 20 female directors who are primed for a studio directing gig.
More than 50 executives and producers voted on the female directors they believe to be the next wave, none of whom have yet directed a studio feature film. The list highlights 10 women who have directed at least one (non-studio) feature and 10 who have garnered attention for their work on TV or in short films.
It’s fitting that the list would be announced just days before the Sundance Film Festival, where many of these helmers have debuted a previous film, including Marti Noxon’s To the Bone and Alethea Jones’ Fun Mom Dinner. This year’s list also includes Reed Morano, who just won an Emmy for her work on The Handmaid’s Tale and will debut her latest film, I Think We’re Alone Now, at Sundance this month.
The Alice Initiative was formed in 2016. The group members, made up of mid- to top-level film executives at every major studio and several top production companies, had found that when searching for directors for their projects, they ended up calling one another for suggestions of talented women, hence the desire for a formal list.
Progress continues to be slow when it comes to female directors getting the opportunity to helm bigger films. A recent study found that only eight of the top 100 films in 2017 were directed by women. Part of the aim of this list is to highlight female directors who should be hired for high-profile, and bigger-budget, jobs.
The Alice Initiative is named after French filmmaker Alice Guy-Blache, who is widely considered the first female director. She was a pioneer in the field and helmed more than 1,000 films during her career in the early 1900s.
The Alice Initiative’s website also includes a master list of hundreds more women directors currently working on TV and in film.
See the complete list from the the Alice Initiative below.
Directors With Completed Feature Work:
Tina Mabry (Mississippi Damned)
Reed Morano (Meadowland; I Think We’re Alone Now; currently shooting Paramount’s The Rhythm Section)
Houda Benyamina (Divines)
Quinn Shepard (Blame)
Roseanne Liang (My Wedding and Other Secrets)
Alethea Jones (Fun Mom Dinner)
Clea Duvall (The Intervention)
Marti Noxon (To the Bone)
Sarah-Violet Bliss (Fort Tilden)
Anna Kerrigan (Five Days Gone)
Directors With Episodic, Documentary or Shorts:
Courtney Hoffman (The Good Time Girls)
Tannaz Hazemi (Hail Mary Country)
Annabel Oakes (All Exchanges Final)
Regina King (Shameless, This Is Us, Scandal, Story of a Village)
Jessica Sanders (March of the Living)
Pam Brady (Lady Dynamite)
Rachael Holder (I Love Bekka & Lucy)
Rashida Jones (Hot Girls Wanted, Angie Tribeca)
Rosie Haber (digital series New Deep South and Ink)
Amanda Lipitz (Step)
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