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When Ava DuVernay snagged a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director for a Motion Picture, she made history as the first black woman to have had the honor in her name, and gave hope to millions of Selma fans that women were finally getting recognition for their work in film.

That all came to a shattering hault when the 42-year-old’s historic film got shut out of most of the major categories at this year’s Oscars.

In all the hubbub surrounding this year’s awards, it can become easy to forget that women have made some major strides in the film industry, despite not being acknowledged by the male-dominated industry.

In celebration of Ava and some of entertainment’s greatest such as Tina Fey and Kathryn Bigelow, here is a list of some of your favorite movies written or directed by women.

Wayne’s World 

This snarky comedy which chronicles two friends as they try to make it big with their basement broadcast show. The Penelope Spheeris directed film birthed “ex-squeeze me” and became one of Mike Meyerss signature performances.

Love & Basketball

Way before Troy and Gabriella snagged our hearts in High School Musical, there was Monica and Quincy who both had a love for basketball so strong it almost kept them from being together. Written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, Love & Basketball is a true American classic.

 Mean Girls

This high school comedy–a brain child of Tina Fey’s–taught us everything we needed to know about high school. From what to wear, to dealing with crushes, and of course mean girls.

Marie Antoinette

This period piece chronicling the life of France’s former queen, Marie Antoinette, showed the woes of reigning supreme at the age of 19. The film, written and directed by Sofia Coppola, snagged an Oscar for Best Achievement in Costume Design.

The Hurt Locker

Before American Snipper tugged at our heart strings, Kathryn Bigelow directed and produced this feature film about a three-man bomb disposal team as they serve their time in Iraq. The Hurt Locker swept the 2010 Oscars by earning six awards–including Best Director for Kathryn, who was the first female in history to win in the category.


This poignant film, written and directed by Dee Rees, showed the difficulties of figuring out one’s sexual identity when she is surrounded by a society that wants to dictate who she is. The film won snagged a Cinematography Award at 2011’s Sundance Film Festival.


Growing up is hard to do and this is truly evident in the Kristen Wiig-written comedy. The film tells a story of two best friends (maybe three) as they prepare for one’s wedding. There is major shade, ruined bridal showers and wedding dresses, Wilson Philips, and of course, who can forget Melissa McCarthy and that sink situation?

Zero Dark Thirty

Kathryn Bigelow came back with another thriller, this time depicting the 10-year-long hunt for al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden and his subsequent death in the hands of Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6.


Madonna traded in her music royalty cap and lended her hand to the film industry when she co-wrote and directed this intermingling of love stories. The film won Madge Golden Globes for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture as well as Best Original Score in a Motion Picture.

Beyond The Lights

Gina Prince-Bythewood came back for our hearts when she captured this love story between a pop superstar and her bodyguard. The film highlighted all the pitfalls of fame and money, while showing that love conquers all. 


The Hollywood Reporter’s 23rd Annual Women In Entertainment Breakfast (PHOTOS)
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