The best female movie directors have pioneered the mostly male-dominated position in filmmaking and crafted wonderful experiences on the silver screen. Many female directors have struggled over the years to get the opportunity to do mainstream movies with the best of them. The best movies inspire and evoke powerful ideas and some of those pictures had female directors at the helm. Female directors work hard to gain such respect to make the best product out there to showcase across the movie screen for audiences to enjoy. These female directors are the best at providing the most compelling movies like their male counterparts and continue the climb at the top of the cinematic heap.

  1. Kathryn Bigelow. This director has built a career doing great genre movies for many years for the joy of movies audiences. Her credits included the classic horror movie about nomadic vampires in "Near Dark", to Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze in the action thriller "Point Break", about an undercover FBI agent hunting down bank robbers. The biggest milestone happened when she became the first female director ever to win the coveted Oscar for her work in "The Hurt Locker."

  2. Jane Campion. A native of New Zealand, Campion has created numerous tales centered around female characters throughout the eras of history in cinema form. The best of her works features "The Piano", about an erotic affair from a native New Zealander, Harvey Keitel, and a deaf wife of a landowner, Holly Hunter. "The Portrait of a Lady" with Nicole Kidman is about an American heiress journey of self-discovery in Europe. She was nominated for the Academy Award for "The Piano."

  3. Sofia Coppola. Her director roots are certainly deep, being the daughter of the famed moviemaker Francis Ford Coppola. The young woman made a name for herself with movie like "The Virgin Suicides", dealing with a mysterious group of sisters, and "Marie Antoinette", based on France's tragic queen. Sofia became the first American female director to be nominated for the Oscar for "Lost in Translation" starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson about an unlikely bond between a lonely movie star and a slighted newlywed.

  4. Amy Heckerling. This writer and director from New York has made so many memorable movies in her short career. Her work in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" in 1982 featured a who's who of Hollywood from Sean Penn, Forest Whitaker, Phoebe Cates, Judge Reinhold to Jennifer Jason Leigh. The talented female director topped herself with a sequel to the 80's classic in "Clueless" with Alicia Silverstone Paul Rudd, Stacey Dash and Brittany Murphy.

  5. Ida Lupino. She was regarded as a pioneer for female directors at a time when there were scarce opportunities to do so in any capacity. Ida Lupino and her husband formed an independent company which allowed her to work as a director, screenwriter and producer. "Not Wanted" was her unofficial first directorial job when the original director suffered a heart ailment and she stepped in to finish the film, which opened up doors to do others like "Outrage" and "The Hitch-Hiker."