The Celluloid Void Project: A Compendium of Female Cinematographers in Chronological Order (Through


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 directors, screenwriters, editors, andโ€”the subject of today's postโ€”cinematographers

This list is a bit different than my directors, screenwriters, and editors lists, in that women cinematographers have been a bit of a rarity (few were working consistently pre-1975, and we didn't see a real explosion until the 1990s). To this day, only one woman has been nominated for Best Cinematography at the Academy Awardsโ€”Rachel Morrison, who lensed Black Panther in 2018. Thus I've found it more useful to list the first project each woman cinematographer shot (rather than listing the women by birth year).

This is definitely an ongoing project, so drop me a line (virginia@thecelluloidvoid.com) if you've got names you'd recommend adding. For this list, Iโ€™m counting feature-length debut projects made by women credited as cinematographer or DP, to keep things as simple as possible.

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1915: Rosina Cianelli (Uma transformista original) ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

1938: Tamara Lobova (Bez oshibki) ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ

1942: Era Savelyeva (Ubiytsy vykhodyat na dorogu) ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ

Galina Pyshkova (Mashenka) ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ

1944: Yu-Lan Chen (Zoya) ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ

1949: Nina Yurushkina (Lesnaya byl) ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ

1953: Antonina Egina (Yegor Bulychyov i drugiye) ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ

1956: Margarita Pilikhina (Za Vlast Sovetov) ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ

1969: Joyce Wieland (Reason Over Passion)

Nurith Aviv (Pano Will Not Be Shown) ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ

1971: Joan Churchill (Punishment Park) ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

1972: Marina Goldovskaya (Valentina Tereshkova) ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ

Elfi Mikesch (Passions) ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น

1975: Babette Mangolte (What Maisie Saw) ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท

Kim Longinotto (Pride of Place) ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง

Katia Forbert (Take It Like a Man, Ma'am) ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ

1977: Rashida Abdel Salam (The Water-Carrier Is Dead) ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ

Frances Reid (In the Best Interests of the Children) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

1978: Ulrike Ottinger (Madame X) ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช

Judy Irola (Northern Lights) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

1979: Sandi Sissel (The Wobblies) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Martha Ansara (My Survival as an Aboriginal) ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ

1980: Brianne Murphy (Fatso) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

1981: Caroline Champetier (Le Pont du Nord) ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท

1982: Karen Grossman (The Slayer) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

1984: Jeanne Lapoirie (Argie) ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท

1985: Kathleen Beeler (Star Worms II: Attack of the Pleasure Pods) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Zoe Dirse (DES: An Uncertain Legacy) ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

Jan Kenny (Fran) ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ

Maya Deren (Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Joan Hutton (The Best Time of My Life) ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

Dyanna Taylor (Pumping Iron II) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Lisa Rinzler (I Was a Teenage TV Terrorist) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

1987: Hรฉlรจne Louvart (Coeurs Croisรฉs) ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท

Sophie Charriรจre (If the Sun Never Returns) ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท

1988: Nancy Schreiber (Trapped Alive) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Agnรจs Godard (Room 666) ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท

1989: Kei Fujiwara (Tetsuo) ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต

1990: Mandy Walker (Return Home) ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ

Maryse Alberti (The Golden Boat) ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท

1991: Sue Gibson (Secret Friends) ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง

Jane Castle (Dead to the World) ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ

1992: Ellen Kuras (Swoon) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Birgit Hein (Die Unheimlichen Frauen) ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช

Judith Kaufmann (Never Sleep Again) ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช

1993: Agnรจs Varda (The Young Girls Turn 25) ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท

Peggy Ahwesh (Strange Weather) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

1994: Teresa Medina (Reflections on a Crime) ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ

Ann T. Rossetti (Go Fish) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

1995: Amy Vincent (Animal Room) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Tami Reiker (The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Young Girls in Love) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Sabine Lancelin (Sept en Attente) ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฉ

Sarah Cawley (A Reason to Believe) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Kim C. Simms (Lost on the Bohemian Road) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

B.R. Vijayalakshmi (Paattu Paadava) ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

1996: Akiko Ashizawa (Splatter: Naked Blood) ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต

Laela Kilbourn (Reindeer Games) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Naomi Kawase (Sun on the Horizon) ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต

Deborah Eve Lewis (High Road) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Lynne Ramsey (Memory of the Soil) ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ

1997: Miriana Marusic (The Castle) ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ

1998: Josรฉe Deshaies (Something Organic) ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

Sharon Calahan (A Bugโ€™s Life) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Uta Briesewitz (Next Stop Wonderland) ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช

2000: Valentina Caniglia (Little Indians) ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

Patti Lee (Bunny) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Muriel Coulin (Le pont du trieur) ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท

Cynthia Pusheck (The Rowdy Girls) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

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