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TOP 5 - Female film directors in the last 10 years.

My favourite film directors are Ang Lee, Ridley Scott and Paul Greengrass. All men. That got me thinking the other day.

Who are some of the most successful female film directors?

The only names that quickly came to mind were Penny Marshall, Kathryn Bigelow and Sofia Coppola. Curious, I started to search and found that quite a few films I enjoyed like Deep Impact and Bend it Like Beckham were directed by women. Embarrassed by my lack of industry knowledge regarding women filmmakers, I wrote this article.

Let us take a closer look at five successful women movie directors who have made a significant contribution to film within the last 10 years.

5. Jane Campion

Jane Campion is an Academy Award-winning film maker and screenplay writer. She is one of the most internationally successful New Zealand directors, although most of her work has been made in or financed by other countries, principally Australia where she now lives and the U.S.

Notable film: The Piano (1993)

Oscar History: 2 nominations, 1 win.

4. Gurinder Chadha

Chandha is a British film director of Indian origin. Most of her films explore the lives of Indians living in the UK. In the 1980s she began making documentaries for the BBC, and in 1989 released "I'm British but..." for Channel 4, which followed the lives of young British Asians. In 1990, Chadha set up a production company, Umbi Films. Her first film was the 11-minute "Nice Arrangement" (1991) about a British Asian wedding.

Notable film: Bend it Like Beckham (2002)

3. Sofia Coppola

Sofia Carmina Coppola is an American film director, actress, producer and Academy Award-winning screenwriter. She is the third female director, and only American woman, to be nominated for an Academy Award for Directing. The daughter of legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia Coppola began her show business career making several appearances in her father's films.

She eventually moved on towards directing making films like Lick the Star (1998), The Virgin Suicides (1999) and Lost in Translation (2003).

Notable film: Lost in Translation (2003)

Oscar History: 3 nominations, 1 win.

2. Deepa Mehta
Deepa Mehta is a Genie Award winning and Academy Award nominated Indian-born Canadian film director and screenwriter. Deepa Mehta's films focus around the Indian community, in India and in the diaspora. Mehta is best known for her Elements Trilogy: Fire (1996), Earth (1998) and Water (2005) all of which were set in India.

Notable Film: Water (2005)

1. Catherine Hardwicke

Catherine Hardwicke is an American production designer and film director. Her works include the independent film Thirteen, which she co-wrote with one of the film's co-stars, Nikki Reed, the Biblically-themed The Nativity Story, and the vampire film Twilight. The opening weekend of Twilight was the biggest opening ever for a female director.

Notable film: Twilight (2008)

For more riveting filmmaking tidbits check out