Awakening: The Herstory of the Female Filmmaker

Using the past to propel the journey forward.

Unless you’re James Cameron, you have to be thrilled that female filmmakers are finally starting to get their studio-due in Hollywood. Patty Jenkins is posed to be the highest-paid director in the industry once she inks her deal for Wonder Woman 2, and Ava DuVernay recently became the first African-American female to helm a film with a budget north of $100 million, Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time. There’s still a long way to go until we reach true equality, but at long last the path has been identified, cleared, and set out upon.

Today, though, we’re going to focus on not the path from here, but the path to here. In the following video from Kelly Gallagher, “The Herstory of the Female Filmmaker,” all the trailblazing female filmmakers like Maya Deren, Mira Nair, Julie Dash, Adrienne Shelly and scores more are given recognition in a kind of oral history compiled by Gallagher of her friends. It’s fascinating, necessary, and best of all, a handful of years old, meaning however hopeful you feel at the video’s conclusion, there’s a light bump to be had in knowing things have progressed even further. If the past is propulsion to reach the future faster, Gallagher’s made a rocket booster of a video.

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Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist