The Celluloid Void Project: A Compendium of Female Film Directors, 1900–1980

November 7, 2019

 

When I started The Celluloid Void, I didn't really know exactly what I wanted it to be… I wanted to focus on women working in the film industry, but at first, I primarily used it as a place to house reviews and lists related to more modern films. As I found myself doing more research for pieces on early cinema, however, I began to realize how little had been written on many of the oldest women cinematographers, screenwriters, editors, and—the subject of today's post—directors.

 

Inspired by Columbia's Women Film Pioneers Project (see the [W] notations below for links!), I began keeping a list of women who didn't have Wikipedia entries of their own, and I started my research. Before I knew it, I had dug into the fascinating lives of hundreds of inspiring, independent, free-spirited women who pursued a career in a young medium full of possibility. The women you'll see on this ongoing list were true risk takers in every sense of the word… In their free time, they were into racing cars, flying planes, breaking social taboos, and helping define the language of film as we know it today. 

 

The list is ordered by birth year, starting with the oldest women of the bunch, and you can click through each link to see her full Wikipedia entry. Of course, all research is ongoing, and I'm always looking for new things to add. You can also see my research on Pinterest, where I've created a mini board for each director (with the goal of finding photos for every single one!).

 

^ = Wikipedia page not created by me 

* = No English-language Wikipedia page 

 

***

 

1860–

 

Lule Warrenton (1862–1932) ^ [W]

Elinor Glyn (1864–1943) ^ [W] 🇬🇧

Olga Wohlbrück (1867–1933) 🇦🇹

Anna Hofman-Uddgren (1868–1947) ^ [W] 🇸🇪

Julia Crawford Ivers (1869–1930) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

 

1870–

 

Gab Sorère (1870–1961) ^ 🇫🇷

Gertrud David (1872–1936) ^ 🇩🇪

Luise Fleck (1873–1950) ^ [W] 🇦🇹

Alice Guy-Blaché (1873–1968) ^ [W] 🇫🇷

Daisy Sylvan (1874–??) ^ [W] 🇮🇹

Elvira Notari (1875–1946) ^ [W] 🇮🇹

Ida May Park (1875–1954) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

Cecil Spooner (1875–1953) ^ 🇺🇸

Angela Murray Gibson (1878–1953) ^ [W] 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Lillian Ducey (1878–1952) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

Alla Nazimova (1879–1949) ^ [W] 🇷🇺

Lois Weber (1879–1939) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

 

1880–

 

Margarete Lindau-Schulz (1880–??)* 🇩🇪

Paula Blackton (1881–1930) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

Olga Preobrazhenskaya (1881–1971) ^ 🇷🇺

Iva Raffay (1881–??)* 🇨🇿

Toni Attenberger (1882–1949)* 🇩🇪

Thea Červenková (1882–1961) ^ [W] 🇨🇿

Germaine Dulac (1882–1942) ^ 🇩🇪

Frydel Fredy (1882–1965)* 🇩🇪

Frances H. Flaherty (1883–1972) 🇺🇸

Cleo Madison (1883–1964) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

Hanna Henning (1884–1925) ^ 🇩🇪

Jane Murfin (1884–1955) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

Rosa Porten (1884–1972) ^ [W] 🇩🇪

May Tully (1884–1924) ^ 🇨🇦

Ruth Owen Bryan (1885–1954) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

Gene Gauntier (1885–1966) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

Ester Julin (1885–1931)* 🇸🇪

Elsie Jane Wilson (1885–1965) [W] 🇺🇸

Ruth Ann Baldwin (1886–??) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

Jeanie Macpherson (1886–1946) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

Diana Karenne (1888–1940) ^ [W] 🇵🇱

Frances Marion (1888–1973) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

Dinah Shurey (1888–1963) ^ 🇬🇧

Thea von Harbou (1888–1954) ^ [W] 🇩🇪

Nina Agadzhanova (1889–1974) ^ [W] 🇷🇺

Marguerite Bertsch (1889–1967) ^ [W] 🇫🇷

Jeanne "Musidora" Roques (1889–1957) ^ [W] 🇫🇷

Leontine Sagan (1889–1974) ^ 🇩🇪

 

1890–

 

Marie Luise Droop (1890–1959) ^ 🇩🇪

Lottie Lyell (1890–1925) ^ [W🇦🇺

Lucille McVey (1890–1925) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

Bess Meredyth (1890–1969) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

Rose Pansini (1890–1985)* 🇫🇷

Elaine S. Carrington (1891–1958) ^ 🇺🇸

Zora Neale Hurston (1891–1960) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

Fatma Begum (1892–1983) ^ 🇮🇳

Francesca Bertini (1892–1985) ^ [W] 🇮🇹

Eloyce Gist (1892–1974)* [W] 🇺🇸

Mabel Normand (1892–1930) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

Ruth Roland (1892–1937) ^ 🇺🇸

Nell Shipman (1892–1970) [W] 🇨🇦

Fern Andra (1893–1974) ^ 🇺🇸

Grace Cunard (1893–1967) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

Mimí Derba (1893–1953) ^ [W] 🇲🇽

Lillian Gish (1893–1993) ^ [W]  🇺🇸

Marie-Louise Iribe (1894–1934)* [IMDB] 🇫🇷

Esfir Shub (1894–1959) ^ [W] 🇷🇺

Caroline van Dommelen (1894–1957) ^ 🇳🇱

Marguerite Viel (1894–1976)* [W]

Dorothy Davenport (1895–1977) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

Louise Lovely (1895–1980) ^ [W] 🇦🇺

Klára Tüdős (1895–1980)* 🇭🇺

Marion E. Wong (1895–1969) [W] 🇺🇸

Alice Eklund (1896–1983)* 🇸🇪

Mary Field (1896–1968) ^ 🇬🇧

Margery Wilson (1896–1986) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

Dorothy Arzner (1897–1979) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

Madeline Brandeis (1897–1937) ^ 🇺🇸

Aleksandra Khokhlova (1897–1985) ^ [W] 🇷🇺

Rina Massardi (1897–1979) ^ 🇮🇹

Ada Pellová-Czivisová (1897–??)* 🇨🇿

Rosario Pi (1897–1967) 🇪🇸

Tressie Souders (1897–1995) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

Cándida Beltrán Rendón (1898–1984)* [W] 🇲🇽

Wanda Tuchock (1898–1985) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

Gabriela Bussenius (1899–1975) ^ [W]

Marie Epstein (1899–1995) ^ 🇵🇱

Alice O'Fredericks (1899–1968) ^ 🇸🇪

Lotte Reiniger (1899–1981) ^ [W] 🇩🇪

 

1900–

 

Irena Dodalová (1900–1989)* 🇨🇿

Aziza Amir (1901–1952) ^ 🇪🇬

Marjorie Deans (1901–1936) ^ 🇬🇧

Paulette McDonagh (1901–1978) ^ [W] 🇦🇺

Margaretha Rosencrantz (1901–1986)* [N] 🇸🇪

Adela "Perlita" Sequeyro (1901–1992) ^ [W] 🇲🇽

Yuliya Solntseva (1901–1989) ^ 🇷🇺

Jenny Gilbertson (1902–1990) ^ [W] 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Nadezhda Kosheverova (1902–1989) ^ 🇷🇺

Leni Riefenstahl (1902–2003) ^ 🇩🇪

Fanchon Royer (1902–1986) ^ [W]

Olga Ulitskaya (1902–1978)* 🇷🇺

Margarita Barskaya (1903–1937) ^ ‎🇷🇺

Helena Cortesina (1903–1984) [W] 🇪🇸

Jacqueline Logan (1903–1983) ^ 🇺🇸

Vera Stroyeva (1903–1991) ^ 🇷🇺

Gilda de Abreu (1904–1979) ^ 🇧🇷

Edith Kiel (1904–1993) ^ 🇩🇪

Tazuko Sakane (1904–1975) ^ [W] 🇯🇵

Carmen Santos (1904–1952) ^ [W] 🇵🇹

Muriel Box (1905–1991) ^ 🇬🇧

Tatyana Lukashevich (1905–1972)* 🇷🇺

Aloha Wanderwell (1906–1996) ^ [W] 🇨🇦

Wanda Jakubowska (1907–1998) ^ 🇵🇱

Consuelo P. Osorio (1907–1993)* 🇵🇭[IMDB]

Irene Starewicz (1907–1993)* 🇷🇺

Solange Térac (1907–1993) ^ 🇫🇷

Jacqueline Audry (1908–1977) ^ 🇫🇷

Bahija Hafez (1908–1983)* [IMDB] 🇮🇳

Fatma Rouchdi (1908–1996)* 🇮🇳

Cléo de Verberena (1909–1972)* [W] 🇧🇷

Mona Goya (1909–1961) ^ 🇲🇽

Matilde Landeta (1910–1999) ^ 🇲🇽

Carmen Toscano (1910–1988) ^ 🇲🇽

 

1910–

 

Jill Craigie (1911–1999) ^ 🇬🇧

Grete Frische (1911–1962) ^ 🇩🇰

Edith Carlmar (1911–2003) ^ 🇳🇴

Maria Basaglia (1912–1998) 🇮🇹

Susana C. de Guzman (1912–1992)* 🇵🇭

Andrée Feix (1912–1987) ^ 🇫🇷

Maria Teresa Ricci (1912–1969)* 🇮🇹

Joy Batchelor (1914–1991) ^ 🇬🇧

Marguerite Duras (1914–1996) ^ 🇫🇷

Esther Eng (1914–1970) ^ 🇺🇸

Astrid Henning-Jensen (1914–2002) ^ 🇩🇰

Jane Marsh Beveridge (1915–1998) ^ 🇨🇦

Maria Plyta (1915–2006) ^ 🇬🇷

Maya Deren (1917–1961) ^ 🇺🇸

Katherine Stenholm (1917–2015) ^ 🇺🇸

Wendy Toye (1917–2019) ^ 🇬🇧

Ida Lupino (1918–1995) ^ 🇬🇧

Gabriela Samper (1918–1974) ^ 🇨🇴

Annelise Reenberg (1919–1994) ^ 🇩🇰

Cahide Sonku (1919–1981) ^ 🇹🇷

 

1920–

 

Ewa Petelska (1920–2013) ^ 🇵🇱

Bárbara Virgínia (1923–2015) ^ 🇧🇷

 

Unknown

 

Elizaveta Thiman (active 1912)* 🇷🇺

Maria Ekman (active 1915)* 🇸🇪[IMDB]

Edith Mellor (active 1918–1919)* 🇺🇸[IMDB]

Margot Meyer (active 1918)* 🇦🇹[IMDB]

Nina Niovilla (active 1919–1923)* 🇵🇱[IMDB]

Diana D'Amore (active 1920)* 🇮🇹[IMDB]

Trude Santen (active 1920–1927)* 🇩🇪

Kathe Wienskowitz (active 1920)* 🇩🇪

Maria Cantoni (active 1921)* 🇲🇽

Eva Christa (active 1921–1922)* 🇩🇪

Vanina Casalonga (active 1923)* 🇫🇷

Aimée Navarra (active 1923–1939)* 🇧🇪[IMDB]

Maria P. Williams (active 1923) ^ [W] 🇺🇸

Xie Caizhen (active 1925) ^ [W] 🇨🇳

Helene Lackner (active 1925–1927)* 🇩🇪

Lita Lawrence (active 1925)* 🇺🇸

Alicia Armstrong de Vicuna (active 1926)* [W] 🇨🇱

Jacqueline Milliet (active 1927)* 🇩🇪

Rebecca Puche (active 1969)* 🇨🇴

Rosario Rodríguez de la Serna (active 1925–1929)* 🇨🇱 [W]

Lona Ruth (active 1929)* 🇩🇪

Olga Tschechowa (active 1929) ^ 🇦🇲

Tina Cordero (active 1930)* [IMDB] 🇮🇹

Marta Flantz (active 1933–1935)* [IMDB] 🇵🇱

Brigida Perez Villenueva (active 1933)* 🇵🇭

Mária Balázs (active 1936)* 🇭🇺

Carmen Concha (active 1939–1940)* 🇵🇭

Marguerite de la Mure (active 1950)* 🇫🇷

 

***

 

 

 

 

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Please reload

THE LATEST

© 2023 by Salt & Pepper. Proudly created with Wix.com