This Week

    • Joan Micklin Silver

      Silver’s debut film was the keenly observed immigrant tale Hester Street (1975). Made for under $400,000 and rejected by distributors, the black-and-white feature was eventually released and earned $5 million as well as a Best Actress Oscar nomination for Carol Kane. A few years later Silver directed Chilly Scenes of Winter (1979). The film was cut by the studio and the ending changed significantly. Despite this small setback, Silver would …

    • Gilda de Abreu

      Brazilian filmmaker Gilda de Abreu began her career 1936 as a performer onstage, appearing in productions before producing operas in Rio de Janeiro. After a successful start with acting, de Abreu became interested in moving into filmmaking. In 1946 she directed her debut feature, O Ébrio, which would go on to become a huge success in Brazil. Similar in personal style to her Hollywood counterpart Ida Lupino and Dorothy Arzner, …

    • Penelope Spheeris

      Spheeris attended UCLA, earning a master’s degree in film from UCLA while working as a waitress. She went on to work as a film editor before forming her own company, Rock ‘n’Reel, which was the first pre-MTV music video production company in Los Angeles, focused primarily on performance videos. During the 1970s, Spheeris worked on several projects including Saturday Night Live and a Lily Tomlin special for ABC and would …

    • Susan Seidelman

      Susan Seidelman began her career studying fashion design at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Soon realizing that she had no interest in spending time behind a sewing machine, she turned to her love of film as a possible career direction. After taking a few film classes and serving as a production assistant at a local television station, Seidelman enrolled in New York University’s film program in 1974. She soon directed a …

    • Agnieszka Smoczyńska

      While still in high school, Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Smoczyńska took a movie class and it changed the course of her life. Abandoning her long-held dream of becoming an actress, she decided to become a director after seeing the films of Antonini, Fellini, Visconti and others. She studied film at the Krzysztof Kieślowski Film School in Katowice, Poland with further study at the Wajda Film School. Smoczyńska had intended to direct …

    • Germaine Dulac

      Born in Amiens, France, Germaine Dulac moved to Paris in her youth. There she pursued her interest in journalism and feminism and began to write for La Fronde, a feminist magazine, from 1900-1913, where she became a drama critic. A growing interest in still photography along with knowing friend and actress Stacia Napierkowska led to Dulac’s foray into filmmaking. With financial backing from her husband, she started a film company …

    • Sara Sugarman

      Sara Sugarman was born in Rhyl, Wales and studied at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (where she won the Best Actress Medal), becoming an actress in theater, radio, television and film, most notably in Sid and Nancy (1986). Although she has continued to act, she became interested in directing. Sugarman studied film at The American Film Institute and Bournemouth Art School, where she wrote and directed three short …