Claudia Weill

1947 –
Airing Girlfriends (1978) on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 12:15 AM on TCM

Claudia Weill produced and directed her first feature, Girlfriends in 1979 which she sold to Warner Brothers after winning multiple awards at Cannes, Filmex and Sundance. In 2019, it was acquired by the Library of Congress for the National Film Registry and by the Criterion Collection. Her second feature, It’s My Turn, for Columbia Pictures with Michael Douglas and Jill Clayburgh, won her the Donatello (European Oscar for Best New Director). She began in film by shooting and directing documentaries – notably, the Academy Award-nominated The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir, with Shirley MacLaine,  about the first American Womens’ Delegation to China in 1973 and the multi-award-winning doc, Joyce at 34 with Joyce Chopra (Criterion).

In television, she has directed for the HBO series Girls, thirtysomething (winning Emmy and Humanitas Awards for her work), My So-Called Life, as well as Face of Stranger, starring Gena Rowlands in an Emmy-winning role, and 20 short films for Sesame Street that are still on the air. She has also worked extensively as a theatre director.

Ms. Weill has taught Film and TV Directing for many years at USC, the New School, Columbia School of the Arts and Sarah Lawrence College among others and regularly mentors writers and directors. She and Elaine May were the 3rd and 4th women admitted to the Academy as directors in 1981, over 30 years after Dorothy Arzner and Ida Lupino.

Select Filmography

The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir (1975)
Girlfriends (1978)
It’s My Turn (1980)