In light of recent events, it would do us good to remind ourselves that women have a place in the film industry, and not just as sexual objects for the men in charge. Here is a partial list of 20 female filmmakers and producers to follow on Twitter. Engage with them online to actively participate in shattering the glass ceiling.
1.) Ava DuVernay @ava
Ava DuVernay is a lot of firsts. Among them; first African-American woman to win the Best Director Prize at Sundance Film Festival (Middle of Nowhere), first black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award (Selma), and first woman of color to direct a live-action film with a budget of over $100 million (A Wrinkle in Time). Follow her Twitter account for updates on her latest projects, news about diversity in Hollywood, and to stay politically aware.
2.) Mira Nair @MiraPagliNair
If you’re sick of Hollywood blockbusters and franchises (here’s looking at you, third-Spider–Man-remake-in-the-last-fifteen-years), Mira Nair’s production company Mirabi Films is putting out films that are arguably more interesting and definitely more diverse. Her films focus on Indian society, and her Twitter reflects her passion for inclusivity.
3.) Mynette Louie @mynette
As a daughter of working-class immigrants, Mynette Louie knows better than anyone the infamous Hamilton line “Immigrants, we get the job done.” She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization responsible for the Academy Awards, and she is the current president of Gamechanger Films, a company that invests in women-directed narrative features. Her Twitter is a great place to learn about and engage in intersectional feminism.
4.) Reed Morano @reedmorano
Reed Morano is known for her work as a cinematographer on films like Kill Your Darlings and The Skeleton Twins, but most recently has received critical acclaim for directing the first three episodes of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Her Twitter is equal parts film and politics, and is definitely a place to become engaged and aware.
5.) Issa Rae @issarae
As is becoming increasingly common in this digital day and age, Issa Rae got her start on YouTube with a webseries called Awkward Black Girl, a series inspired by Rae’s own experiences and catapulted by an article by Leslie Pitterson pointing out the lack of black female nerd characters on screen. In addition to co-writing and starring in the HBO series Insecure (partially based on Awkward Black Girl), Issa Rae still maintains her YouTube presence, using her platform to feature content created by people of color. She is a great person to be following on all social media platforms. Her Twitter, specifically, is informative, funny, and personable.
6.) Gale Anne Hurd @GunnerGale
Zombies, monsters, aliens. All things we’ve been socialized to think of as “boy” interests. Gale Anne Hurd is proving there’s no such thing. She has produced films like Aliens and The Terminator, as well as producing Fear the Walking Dead, the spinoff to AMC’s hit The Walking Dead (which she also produced). Check out her Twitter for updates on all her projects.
7.) Tina Mabry @tinamabry
Tina Mabry’s first feature film Mississippi Damned earned her a spot on the
‘25 New Faces of Indie Film’ list by Filmmaker Magazine, and she’s had her hand in directing and producing episodes of Dear White People, Queen Sugar (created by Ava DuVernay), and Insecure (created by Issa Rae). A large part of her Twitter is dedicated to celebrating the work of people of color in film and television, so it’s an awesome way to be aware of all the diverse projects happening.
8.) Mina Shum @minashum
Independent filmmaker Mina Shum has proved to be a versatile storyteller. She’s written and directed feature films that have premiered in Sundance, Toronto, and Berlin, directed episodic television for networks like CBC, Nickelodeon, and MTV/Logo, and, as if that weren’t enough, she was also a member of an alternative rock band. Shum mainly uses her Twitter to promote her work, so you’ll get some great behind-the-scenes photos of her latest film Meditation Park, starring Grey’s Anatomy’s Sandra Oh.
9.) Stephanie Allain @stephanieallain
Stephanie Allain began her career as a script reader and worked her way up to become Senior Vice President of Production at Columbia Pictures. She was monumentally influential in developing an African-American filmmaking community in Hollywood in the 1990s. She is a great person to be following on Twitter to engage in politics and intersectional feminism.
10.) Nina Jacobson @ninajacobson
Nina Jacobson has been involved with films like The Chronicles of Narnia, The Sixth Sense, and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise as a studio executive at Disney. After being fired from Disney (over the phone, after giving birth), Jacobson successfully established her own production company, Color Force, and went on to produce the Hunger Games franchise. She has significantly helped expand the role of women in the entertainment industry. Her Twitter is informative (bringing attention to the mistreatment of women, LGBTQ, people of color in both the film industry and society as a whole) and fun (she was sorted into Ravenclaw by Pottermore).
11.) America Ferrera @americaferrera
America Ferrera is arguably most famously known for her titular role in the comedy drama series Ugly Betty. Since 2015 she has starred in and co-produced the comedy series Superstore. She has been routinely recognized as a role model for young Hispanic women, and in 2007 she was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. Her Twitter presence is passionate and full of personality, and she doesn’t shy away from sharing personal accounts of being a Latina woman in Hollywood.
12.) Geena Davis @GDIGM
Geena Davis is an accomplished actress, writer, producer, and, believe it or not, archer. Her Twitter is not a personal one, however. Instead it is dedicated to The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which Davis launched in 2007. The Institute works collaboratively with the entertainment industry to increase the presence of female characters in media and reduce stereotyping of females. Follow the Institute’s Twitter to stay updated on women and inclusivity in entertainment.
13.) Megan Ellison @meganeellison
Megan Ellison is the founder of Annapurna Pictures, and an Oscar-nominated producer for her work on films like Zero Dark Thirty, Her, and American Hustle. Her Twitter is a great place to stay up-to-date on politics, film, television, and video games. It’s also a great place to stay up-to-date with the latest news on Annapurna Pictures’ most recent project Professor Marston and the Wonder Women.
14.) Patty Jenkins @pattyjenks
Speaking of Wonder Women… Patty Jenkins. You’ll probably know her best as the director of DC’s Wonder Woman. The film gave Jenkins the biggest domestic opening of all-time for a female director and made Jenkins the first female director of an American studio superhero movie. Wonder Woman is currently the highest-grossing movie directed by a woman. Jenkins is set to direct the Wonder Woman sequel, and her Twitter is a great way to learn about any developments.
15.) Suzanne Todd @teamsuz
Suzanne Todd is a film and television producer and the owner of the film production company Team Todd, which she founded with her sister Jennifer Todd. Team Todd has produced hit films for multiple major studios, and Suzanne Todd’s movies have grossed over two billion dollars worldwide. She’s definitely worth following to stay informed about female-centric projects happening in Hollywood.
16.) Shonda Rhimes @shondarhimes
Shonda Rhimes is a household name. She is the producer and screenwriter responsible for hit television shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal. Her production company Shondaland also produced shows like How to Get Away with Murder and The Catch. Shonda Rhimes’s shows were so successful that they prompted ABC to dedicate its entire Thursday primetime lineup to ShondaLand dramas, dubbing the night “Thank God It’s Thursday.” Be sure to follow her on Twitter for updates on all her projects, as well as news about people of color in the entertainment industry. As one of the most powerful women of color in the business, Shonda Rhimes uses her social media platform to highlight the achievements and projects of people of color in entertainment.
17.) Deepa Mehta @IamDeepaMehta
Deepa Mehta is the Indo-Canadian film director and screenwriter responsible for the Elements Trilogy which includes the films Fire, Earth, and Water. Earth was India’s official entry and Water was Canada’s official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In addition to her work as a director and screenwriter, Deepa Mehta co-founded Hamilton-Mehta Productions with her husband. Her Twitter presence is engaging, and she keeps her followers updated on everything from women’s treatment in the media to hypocrisies in the American White House.
18.) Amma Asante @AmmaAsante
Amma Asante started her film career as an actress and eventually made her way to screenwriting and directing, writing two series for the BBC2 drama Brothers and Sisters. She is the BAFTA-winning director and writer of critically successful films Belle and A Way of Life, and in 2017 was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire for her contributions to film. She is an incredible filmmaker with an eye for period pieces, a genre that many thought she wouldn’t be able to handle. Follow her on Twitter to keep up with her current and future projects.
19.) Stella Meghie @stellamink
Stella Meghie took a long journey to get to the film industry. She worked as a public relations agent in the fashion industry before returning to school to pursue a degree in screenwriting. Her work paid off, and in 2017, her debut feature film Jean of the Joneses, which she wrote and directed, won two Canadian Screen Award nominations, and a nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Her Twitter is a great place to get updates on her films, and her personality shines through in her tweets.
20.) Lexi Alexander @Lexialex
Last but not least: Lexi Alexander. A Palestinian-German-American film and television director, an outspoken advocate for feminist issues in Hollywood, and a former World Karate Association world champion. I’ll repeat that last one. At the age of 19, Lexi Alexander became a world champion in point fighting and karate. After asserting herself as one of the most badass women in the world, Lexi moved to the U.S. where she worked as a stunt performer while studying acting and directing at UCLA. The first short film she ever directed (Johnny Flynton) was nominated for an Academy Award. She wrote and directed the 2011 film Lifted, and has directed episodes of Arrow, Supergirl, Limitless, and Taken. All I can say is that you really really should follow her on Twitter.
When it comes to women in film, this list is just the tip of the iceberg. Special thanks to Ruth Atkinson for bringing this topic to our attention. While you’re checking out the above Twitter accounts, why not check out Ruth’s as well (@Ruth_Atkinson). Ruth is a script consultant and story editor based in Los Angeles, California.