The International Female Director Initiative

View Fullscreen


What is the IFDI?

The International Female Director Initiative, otherwise known as the IFDI, is a database dedicated to advocating for the voices of female directors in a male-dominated, global film industry. This site features an expansive collection of films directed solely by women from areas across the globe, as well as various interactive elements, such as a timeline and navigable map, that can be used to learn more about women and gender issues within the film industry. The IFDI is just one small part of a larger effort to bring gender disparity in the film industry to light, but through this database, we hope to educate others on the treatment of women in media and promote the voices of individuals that have historically been silenced.

Women in Film

It is no secret that the film industry has been historically dominated by men, particularly amongst the market of American viewership. As of the initial creation of this collection in 2020, only five women have ever received a nomination for an Academy Award, arguably the most well-known award for cinematic achievement in the United States (Constable, 2019). Only two of those women originated from outside the United States, and only one of their films was in a non-english language. Now, efforts are being made globally to promote equal opportunities across all genders, yet female directors still are at a disadvantage when trying to find work in the film industry. The goal of the IFDI is to draw attention to the extraordinary female directors who continue to fight for recognition alongside their male counterparts. With more exposure to international female directors, audiences can expand their viewing and explore perspectives that so desperately need a platform.

Purpose and Values

The purpose of this database is to provide the average American movie-viewer with internationally acclaimed options in film, and to widen the scope of knowledge and interest. Though strides are being taken to expand common streaming sites to include these options, there are still a great many that fall under the radar, and hit the blockade of capitalism and copyright requirements. Due to worldwide gender disparities, we want this to be a place where women in the arts are uplifted, and their unique works shared to those of all nationalities. No matter the gender, no matter the origin, all creative projects are worthy of attention and praise.

About the Creators

This project was initially created by undergraduate students at Marist College: Amanda Cox, Aliyah Mohammed, and Emma Shaw. Due to the lack of readily available information in our home country, we all notice that there is a lack of familiarity both with female filmmakers and international films in general. As we are all from the United States, we recognize that there are certain aspects of international films that we will not be able to understand due to our limited geographical perspectives. Keeping this in mind, we have created a database where individuals, including ourselves, can learn more about international films and their respective female directors.