Women and Minorities Only Slightly More Represented as TV Directors, Says DGA Diversity Study

Soon-to-be merged Disney/ABC and 21st Century Fox get the highest marks, while the streaming services and Viacom lag far behind when it comes to representation behind the lens.

The percentage of TV episodes directed by women and people of color increased oh-so-slightly vs. last year, according to an annual study released Wednesday by the Directors Guild of America. As the DGA warned in their report, change is frustratingly slow.

Despite efforts at several networks to improve representation among directors, the percentage of African-American directors was unchanged from last year, at 13 percent. Asian-American directors directed 6 percent of episodes, a small tick from 5 percent a year earlier. And Latinos directed just 5 percent of episodes, also a slow climb from 4 percent last year.

All told, directors of color helmed 24 percent of all episodes last season, up only 2 percentage points from the previous year.

The largest gain came from women, and even that was a relatively small climb. In the 2017-2018 TV season, females directed 25 percent of all episodes — an increase of 4 percentage points from 21 percent last year.

“It’s encouraging to see that the compass is pointing in the right direction, yet progress is mixed,” said DGA president Thomas Schlamme. “The bright spot here is that the doors are finally opening wider for women, who are seeing more opportunities to direct television. But it’s disappointing the same can’t be said for directors of color. The studios and networks who do the hiring still have a long way to go, and we are committed to continuing this important fight.”

It’s a particularly weak result given several networks’ well-publicized campaigns to increase representation behind the lens. Most publicly, FX pledged to make major changes after a Variety report in 2016 showed that 88 percent of the network’s episodes were directed by white men. In the months after, FX pledged to create opportunities for women and people of color. Last year, 27 percent of FX’s episodes were directed by women, and 27 percent were directed by people of color.

“We’re moving in the right direction,” FX CEO John Landgraf told reporters this summer. “But since only 36 percent of the total U.S. population is comprised of white men, we still have a lot of work to do if we’re someday hoping to show you numbers that represent true fairness and equal opportunity across the board.”

Impacting this report is another surprising statistic: According to the DGA, which measured every episodic TV series across broadcast, basic cable, premium cable and streaming TV (but didn’t include pilots), the number of episodes produced last season actually dropped — to nearly 4,300 episodes, down from nearly 4,500 the year before. Part of that can likely be attributed to shorter episodic orders, and the continued rise of limited-run series.

That dropoff could affect hiring practices. (A DGA spokesperson said the guild is still examining reasons for the decline.) Looking at episodic count, as opposed to percentages, the number of episodes actually helmed by African-Americans declined by 14.

Other year-to-year changes were better: Asian Americans directed nine more episodes, Latinos directed 12 more episodes, and women directed 131 more episodes. Here’s the breakdown:

o Women directed 1,085 episodes – a 14 percent increase over last year.
o White women helmed 813 episodes, up from 714 last year; and minority women directed 261 episodes, up from 236.
o Directors of color helmed 1,017 episodes, just 11 more than in the 2016-2017 season – a 1 percent increase.
o Minority males directed 756 episodes, 14 fewer episodes than last season.
o White males directed 2,414 episodes, 335 fewer episodes than last season.

Another troubling trend, per the DGA: Insider hiring on shows, in which directing jobs are given to individuals not pursuing a full-time job as a director (such as actors or producers). According to another recent DGA study, nearly 70 percent of first-break directing gigs between the 2009-2010 and 2015-2016 TV seasons were given to show insiders, 75 percent of which went to white men.

“Not only does the practice act as a bottleneck to the pipeline of new directors, crowding out talented diverse directors — it also diminishes the available number of jobs for the increasingly diverse workforce of career track directors,” the DGA writes in its report.

Breaking down last year’s scripted tally by studios, the DGA gave top marks to Disney/ABC, where 51.7 percent of episodes were directed by women or people of color. That was followed by its soon-to-be siblings at 21st Century Fox companies, including 20th Century Fox TV and FX (47.8 percent). Streaming services Netflix and Amazon were less representative, while Viacom was at the bottom, with just 30.5 percent of episodes directed by people of color or females. Here’s the full DGA chart of the 12 “dominant industry employers,” which the DGA said oversaw production of 77 percent of episodes covered by this report:

Episodic directors during the 2017-2018 TV season, by studio

DGA

Study: Male Indie Filmmakers Outnumber Women 2 to 1 at Major US Film Festivals

The overall number of films directed by women screened at major U.S. film festivals is roughly half that of male directors.

A new study, released today by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, found that festivals featured an average of 14 films — narrative features and documentaries — directed by at least one woman, compared with an average of 29 films directed exclusively by men.

When looking only at narrative feature films, the disparity was even worse. U.S. festivals screened an average of 6 narrative features directed by at least one woman, compared with an average of 16 narrative features directed by men.

Also Read: Cannes’ Female Troubles: Women Directors Have Always Been Scarce

The study examined 23 high-profile film festivals in the U.S., including AFI Fest, SXSW, Sundance, and Tribeca Film Festival.

“The findings indicate that the celluloid ceiling endures in independent film for behind-the-scenes women, despite the heightened public and industry attention regarding their under-employment,” said Dr. Martha M. Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, in a statement. “The numbers have yet to reflect any sea change or seismic shift for women working on independent films.”

The study comes in the midst of the TimesUp movement and #MeToo, which have forced Hollywood and other industries to contend with the treatment of women in the workplace, pay disparity and the opportunities open to women.

Women accounted for 29 percent of directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on indie films shown at festivals in 2017-18 — an increase of just one percentage point from the year before.

Also Read: #MuteRKelly: Women of Color of Time’s Up Call on Industry to Cut Business Ties to R Kelly

And that’s despite the record high percentage of women in independent film working behind the camera as editors and cinematographers.

According to the study, 85 percent of the films screening at festivals had no women cinematographers, 77 percent had no women writers, 73 percent had no women editors, and 66 percent had no women directors.

Likely unsurprising, films that had at least one female director also had higher percentages of women writers, editors, and cinematographers than films with exclusively male directors.

Films with at least one woman director, were made up of 71 percent female writers, while on films with male directors, women accounted for only 8 percent of the writers.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Rachel Bloom on How ‘Most Likely to Murder’ Flips Seeing Women as Objects (Exclusive Video)

Power Lunch With Dakota Fanning: ‘You’re Not Telling a Women’s Story, You’re Telling a Human Story’ (Exclusive Video)

All 7 of This Year’s National Book Critics Circle Awards Went to Women

The overall number of films directed by women screened at major U.S. film festivals is roughly half that of male directors.

A new study, released today by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, found that festivals featured an average of 14 films — narrative features and documentaries — directed by at least one woman, compared with an average of 29 films directed exclusively by men.

When looking only at narrative feature films, the disparity was even worse. U.S. festivals screened an average of 6 narrative features directed by at least one woman, compared with an average of 16 narrative features directed by men.

The study examined 23 high-profile film festivals in the U.S., including AFI Fest, SXSW, Sundance, and Tribeca Film Festival.

“The findings indicate that the celluloid ceiling endures in independent film for behind-the-scenes women, despite the heightened public and industry attention regarding their under-employment,” said Dr. Martha M. Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, in a statement. “The numbers have yet to reflect any sea change or seismic shift for women working on independent films.”

The study comes in the midst of the TimesUp movement and #MeToo, which have forced Hollywood and other industries to contend with the treatment of women in the workplace, pay disparity and the opportunities open to women.

Women accounted for 29 percent of directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on indie films shown at festivals in 2017-18 — an increase of just one percentage point from the year before.

And that’s despite the record high percentage of women in independent film working behind the camera as editors and cinematographers.

According to the study, 85 percent of the films screening at festivals had no women cinematographers, 77 percent had no women writers, 73 percent had no women editors, and 66 percent had no women directors.

Likely unsurprising, films that had at least one female director also had higher percentages of women writers, editors, and cinematographers than films with exclusively male directors.

Films with at least one woman director, were made up of 71 percent female writers, while on films with male directors, women accounted for only 8 percent of the writers.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Rachel Bloom on How 'Most Likely to Murder' Flips Seeing Women as Objects (Exclusive Video)

Power Lunch With Dakota Fanning: 'You're Not Telling a Women's Story, You're Telling a Human Story' (Exclusive Video)

All 7 of This Year's National Book Critics Circle Awards Went to Women

Best Cannes Directors of the 21st Century

Check out the IndieWire film staff’s countdown of 25 living auteurs who have thrilled and stirred us on the Croisette this century, undaunted by rigid festival etiquette and the massive international stage.

There’s nothing like a rousing walk up the Cannes red carpet, flashbulbs exploding, plus lengthy standing ovations after the premiere, to feed a filmmaker’s hungry ego. Although the world’s most glamorous film festival can be reticent to anoint new auteurs before they are given credit elsewhere, each year’s 20 directors competing for the Palme d’Or each comprise a class photo of master filmmakers with a far reach; they know building your foreign profile improves global box office returns.

Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Frémaux and his predecessor, Gilles Jacob, have nurtured generations of working auteurs. Check out the IndieWire film staff’s countdown of 25 living directors who have thrilled and stirred us on the Croisette this century, undaunted by rigid festival etiquette and the massive international stage.

25. Lee Chang-dong

Lee Chang Dong Palme d'Or Award Ceremony Photocall at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival, Cannes, France - 23 May 2010

Lee Chang-dong at the Cannes Palme d’Or Award Ceremony photocall in 2010

AGF s.r.l./REX/Shutterstock

Lars von Trier may grab more headlines, but the real reason to get excited about this year’s Cannes lineup is the long-awaited return of Lee Chang-dong. Most recently on the Croisette with “Poetry” in 2010, the Korean auteur previously directed Jeon Do-yeon to a richly deserved Best Actress prize at the festival three years earlier. “Burning” is just his sixth film in 20 years, but his sparse filmography suggests that the wait will have been worth it. Lee is a director who burrows into his troubled characters’ inner lives, often in a way that makes us as uncomfortable as we are compelled — especially in “Oasis,” a romantic drama about a man who’s just been released from prison falling for a woman with cerebral palsy. That premise might sound conducive to either quirk or misery, but Lee makes it deeply humanist in a way that all his movies are. —Michael Nordine

24. Cristian Mungiu

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Fonds Eurimages Du Conseil De 'Europe/Les Du Fleuve/Mandragora Movies/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5871888c) Cristian Mungiu Beyond The Hills - 2012 Director: Cristian Mungiu Fonds Eurimages Du Conseil De 'Europe/Les Films Du Fleuve/Mandragora Movies ROMANIA/FRANCE/BELGIUM On/Off Set Drama Dupa Dealuri Au-delà des collines

Cristian Mungiu directing “Beyond The Hills” (2012)

Fonds Eurimages Du Conseil De 'Europe/Les Du Fleuve/Mandragora Movies/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

The uncompromising Romanian auteur won the Cannes Palme d’Or in 2007 for his relentless abortion drama “4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days,” using his customary long unedited sequences shot with natural light. And then, infamously, Romania’s Oscar submission was not nominated for the Oscar that year, which pushed the Academy to change the way it handles the foreign language voting–adding a committee to make sure such oversights do not occur again. Based on a true story told to the filmmaker, “4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days” is set in 1987, a bleak period before the end of the Ceaucescu regime, when abortions were banned, and follows Otilia (Anamaria Marinca) as her roommate Gabita (Laura Vasiliu) tries to obtain an illegal abortion. Mungiu tried to always show the inner state of mind of the character, tuning into her anxiety and fear. Mungiu’s rigorous aesthetic –followed in subsequent Cannes entries “Beyond the Hills” (which shared a Best Actress prize fin 2012 for two non-pros Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur, as well as a screenplay prize for Mungiu) and director-prize-winner “The Graduation” (2016) requires that he not cut within a scene. He can trim the front or the back, but not the middle. The camera doesn’t move unless something triggers it. This forces Mungiu to be clever about choreographing 10-minute pieces of action, adding off-screen information, and relying heavily on the use of sound. And his actors are given space to develop emotions without cutting, sometimes via as many as 30 takes. The end result is packed with fierce energy and intense emotion. —Anne Thompson

23. Wong Kar-wai

Wong Kar Wai and cast of 'Gomorroa' 2008 Cannes Film Festival 'Gomorroa' Premiere Wong Kar Wai and cast of 'Gomorroa' 2008 Cannes Film Festival 'Gomorroa' Premiere on May 18, 2008 . Cannes, France Photo ® Matt Baron/BEImages

Wong Kar-wai flanked by the cast of “Gomorra” at the film’s 2008 Cannes Film Festival premiere

Matt Baron/BEI/REX/Shutterstock

The sunglass wearing auteur — with his glamorous casts and visually scrumptious, ephemeral films that are as postmodern cool as they are personal — is the very essence of the international star director Cannes loves to feature. While one of the leaders of Hong Kong’s second wave was building an incredibly deep and fascinating body of work in the late-1980s and throughout the ’90s, it wasn’t until 1997 with “Happy Together” that he “arrived” globally with the recognition of a Cannes competition invite. Since then, his output in the 21st Century has slowed and his larger canvas films have become the type of highly anticipated red carpet events Cannes loves, with “In the Mood for Love,” “2046,” and “My Blueberry Nights” all premiering in competition, while Wong served as the President of the Cannes Jury in 2006. —Chris O’Falt 

22. Xavier Dolan

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shayne Laverdiere/Metafilms/Sodec/Sons Of Manual/Super Ecran/Telefilm Canada/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5880903h) Anne Dorval, Xavier Dolan Mommy - 2014 Director: Xavier Dolan Metafilms/Sodec/Sons Of Manual/Super Ecran/Telefilm Canada CANADA On/Off Set Drama

Anne Dorval and her “Mommy” director Xavier Dolan on the film’s set in 2014

Shayne Laverdiere/Metafilms/Sodec/Sons Of Manual/Super Ecran/Telefilm Canada/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Xavier Dolan is only 29 years old, and yet he’s easily one of the most prolific Cannes filmmakers of the last decade. Before competing for the Palme d’Or, Dolan’s breakout “I Killed My Mother” won three prizes at Directors’ Fortnight, while both “Heartbeats” and “Laurence Anyways” found accolades in the Un Certain Regard sidebar. Dolan made his Competition debut with “Mommy” in 2014, which earned the Jury Prize. Dolan won the same award in 2016 with “It’s Only the End of the World.” Few filmmakers this century have had such a consistent and prosperous relationship with Cannes as Dolan has over the last several years. With nearly all of his films premiering in some section at Cannes and winning top prizes, it’s no wonder Dolan has cemented himself as one of the world’s most popular voices. —Zack Sharf

21. Alejandro González Iñárritu

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage Mandatory Credit: Photo by Snap Stills/REX/Shutterstock (2208148e) Alejandro González Iñárritu 21 Grams - 2003

Alejandro González Iñárritu directing “21 Grams” (2003)

Snap Stills/REX/Shutterstock

The innovative Mexican auteur is unafraid to push the emotional and thematic envelope, putting the often ordinary people in his films through extraordinary tests of character. Cannes helped to break out Iñárritu with his debut triptych “Amores Perros” (2000), slotting its three interlocking Mexico City narratives in Critics Week 2000, where the violent movie starring Gael Garcia Bernal as a dogfighter in love with his brother’s wife won the Grand Prize and was nominated for the foreign-language Oscar. With Competition film “Babel” (2006), Iñárritu again resisted ingratiating himself to audiences– his oeuvre has been described as misery porn –as he achieves a level of on-screen intensity rare in current cinema. Exerting imperious control over minute details, the filmmaker puts his sprawling casts through the wringer, drawing out dramatic feats. Sprawling multi-cultural drama “Babel” stars Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael Garcia Bernal and Oscar-nominated actresses Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi in four narratives that culminate with a stunning shot of Kikuchi’s naked deaf teenager cradled her father’s arms on a balcony overlooking Tokyo. The filmmaker returned to Cannes Competition in 2010 with dark Spanish melodrama “Biutiful,” which garnered an Oscar nomination for Javier Bardem, but made a small splash in global arthouses. After that, Iñárritu did not look back as he embraced his own version of mainstream commerciality with Oscar winners “Birdman” and “The Revenant.” —AT

20. Jia Zhangke

Actress Zhao Tao, left, and director Jia Zhangke pose for photographers during a photo call for the film Shan He Gu Ren (Mountains May Depart), at the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France France Cannes Mountains May Depart Photo Call, Cannes, France

“Mountains May Depart” actress Zhao Tao and Jia Zhangke at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival

Lionel Cironneau/AP/REX/Shutterstock

One of China’s leading filmmakers, Jia has been grappling with censorship for years even as he has emerged as the country’s foremost chronicler of changing times. Jia’s generation-defining “Unknown Pleasures” marked his Cannes debut in 2002, and each time he has returned with another trenchant look at the interplay of Chinese personal and national identity through complex ensemble-driven narratives. A great Jia film draws you into one intimate drama of a character working against difficult odds only to change up the perspective in surprising ways that deepen the movie’s themes. His masterful 2013 “A Touch of Sin” (a Cannes screenplay winner) is a staggering, complex undertaking that cycles through several mini-stories of struggling Chinese working class characters whose frustrations with the system lead to violence. The jarring ambition of 2015’s “Mountains May Depart” starts in the country’s past and ends in its future, exploring both family ties and the isolating effect of modern technology with a genre-defying approach (and the best use of a Pet Shop Boys song in a movie, ever). He’s back at the festival with “Ash is the Purest White,” another violent and romantic story about a couple rekindling their bond after one of them does jail time. While many Chinese directors avoid some of the touchier issues facing the country, Jia confronts them head-on, and his movies are bracing statements on a superpower from the inside out. —EK

19. Park Chan-wook

Park Chan-Wook In the Fade Premiere - 70th Cannes Film Festival, France - 26 May 2017South-Korean director Park Chan-Wook arrives for the premiere of 'Aus dem Nichts' (In the Fade) during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival, in Cannes, France, 26 May 2017. The movie is presented in the Official Competition of the festival which runs from 17 to 28 May.

Park Chan-wook at Cannes in 2017 for the premiere of “In the Fade”

Ian Langsdon/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook may not fit the description of your average Cannes — his moral operas are a little pulpier than the average Competition fare, not to mention a lot more fun — but his path to international acclaim has taken him straight through the French Riviera. In fact, it was at the 2004 festival that the world got its first real taste of Park’s singular virtuosity, as Quentin Tarantino’s jury awarded “Oldboy” the Grand Prix. The rest was history, as that undeniable revenge thriller became a fanboy favorite, sparking an interest in Park’s previous work (“Joint Security Area” rules!) and a feverish anticipation for whatever he made next. “Lady Vengeance” never played at the fest (which is dumb, because that movie RULES), but Park returned with his bitingly perverse vampire romance “Thirst,” and made an even bigger splash in 2016 with his sapphic period masterpiece, “The Handmaiden.” Should Park return to the big screen after his upcoming dalliance on the small one, there’s no doubt that Cannes will have a spot in the Competition with his name on it. —David Ehrlich

18. Olivier Assayas

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Prods./Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5880664d) Olivier Assayas, Juliette Binoche, Kyle Eastwood Heure D'Été, L - 2008 Director: Olivier Assayas Mk2 Productions FRANCE On/Off Set Summers Hours

Olivier Assayas with Juliette Binoche and Kyle Eastwood on the set of “Summer Hours” (2008)

Prods./Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

At this point, Olivier Assayas is as much of a staple at Cannes as tuxedoes and red carpets. The brilliant French modernist has premiered seven different features at the festival since the turn of the millennium, from the overlooked “Sentimental Destinies” in 2000, to the masterful “Personal Shopper” in 2016 (and that’s not even counting his vital contributions to anthologies like “Paris, Je T’Aime” and “To Each His Own Cinema”). Assayas has been linked to Cannes since the very early days of his career, when his script for André Téchiné’s “Rendez-vous” earned him a walk down the Croisette in 1985. But the last 18 years have seen him a force of nature at the festival, whether premiering films Out of Competition (e.g. “Carlos”), or in (“Clouds of Sils Maria”). We were disappointed to learn that his latest work, “Non-Fiction,” won’t bow there in 2018, but it surely won’t be long until Assayas is back where he belongs. —DE

17. Lars von Trier

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Zentropa/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5882172c) Kiefer Sutherland, Kirsten Dunst, Lars Von Trier, Alexander Skarsgard, Charlotte Gainsbourg Melancholia - 2011 Director: Lars Von Trier Zentropa DENMARK On/Off Set Drama

Lars von Trier directs a scene from the 2011 film “Melancholia” featuring Kiefer Sutherland, Kirsten Dunst, Alexander Skarsgård, and Charlotte Gainsbourg 

Zentropa/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Thousands of Cannes press attendees weeped through the musical-tragedy “Dancing in the Dark” (2000), which took home both the Palme d’Or and Best Actress. That film is now more remembered for Original Song Oscar-nominee Bjork’s #MeToo claims against her director than its groundbreaking mise en scène. The bad boy of Danish cinema is back at Cannes with out-of-competition “The House that Jack Built,” seven years after “Melancholia,” another great film tarnished by his behavior. At the notorious “Melancholia” press conference, the puckish writer-director jokingly called himself a Nazi as Kirsten Dunst squirmed. (She took home Best Actress.) In the days to follow Von Trier apologized repeatedly for the “stupid, idiotic” comments that led to his banishment from the festival. “It was completely stupid, completely stupid,” he told me on his last day in Cannes, “but I am not a Nazi.” Cannes had supported the auteur from the start, pushing him right into Competition in 1984 with “The Element of Crime,” followed by “Epidemic” in 1987 in Un Certain Regard. After that he was in Competition all the way with stylish black-and-white film noir “Europa” (1991) (which he blames Harvey Weinstein for mishandling), English-language tearjerker “Breaking the Waves” (1996), starring Best Actress nominee Emily Watson and Stellan Skarsgard; provocative Dogme entry “The Idiots” (1998), mob drama “Dogville” (2003), starring Nicole Kidman, stagey over-the-top slave tale “Manderlay” (2005), intense psychodrama “Antichrist” (2009) and brilliant end-of-the-world tragicomedy “Melancholia” (2011). Who else would plop gorgeous bride Kirsten Dunst in a moonlit field to pee in her wedding dress? —AT

16. Yorgos Lanthimos

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Bfi/Irish Film Board/Canal+/Cnc/Greek Film Center/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5874595b) Yorgos Lanthimos The Lobster - 2015 Director: Yorgos Lanthimos Bfi/Irish Film Board/Canal+/Film4/Cnc/Greek Film Center GREECE/UK/IRELAND/NETHERLANDS/FRANCE On/Off Set Scifi The Lobster

Yorgos Lanthimos on the set of “The Lobster” (2015)

Bfi/Irish Film Board/Canal+/Cnc/Greek Film Center/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

A skilled theater and music video director who helped craft Olympic spectacles in his native Athens, Oscar-nominated Lanthimos has built himself a splendid film career at Cannes and beyond. His unsettling, dark-humored narratives have thus far had whoppers of original conceits: children outlawed from leaving their yard (“Dogtooth,” the festival’s Award of the Youth and Un Certain Regard Award victor in 2009), hotel singletons who will become animals unless they mate with fellow guests (“The Lobster,” a Cannes Jury Prize and Queer Palm – Special Mention recipient in 2016), the son of a dead patient who forces the surgeon to murder a family member (“The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” tied for Best Screenplay on the Croisette in 2017). Curiosity is high for his third English release (“The Favorite” with Emma Stone) an uncharacteristic period piece, and the first Lanthimos feature he did not write himself. —Jenna Marotta

15. Michael Haneke

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Wega Film/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5881781d) Michael Haneke, Emmanuelle Riva, Jean-Louis Trintignant Amour - 2012 Director: Michael Haneke Wega Film AUSTRIA / FRANCE On/Off Set

Michael Haneke gives notes to Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant
on the set of “Amour” (2012)

Wega Film/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Austria’s angriest auteur belongs to one of world cinema’s most exclusive clubs: the two-time Palme d’Or winner. Even more impressive is the fact that those prizes came for back-to-back films, as “The White Ribbon” won in 2009 and “Amour” followed just three years later. Haneke has been a mainstay at Cannes for much of his career, winning prize (Grand Prix, “The Piano Teacher”) after prize (Best Screenplay, “Caché”) on the Croisette long before taking home the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film for “Amour.” His joyless, occasionally didactic style may not be for everyone, but the powers that be at Cannes have long ranked among his most loyal boosters. It’s easy to see why: At his best, Haneke displays a level of control over his material that few others can pull off.—MN

14. Jim Jarmusch

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Lee/Bac Focus Features/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5881448n) Bill Murray, Jim Jarmusch Broken Flowers - 2005 Director: Jim Jarmusch Bac Films, Focus Features USA/FRANCE On/Off Set Comedy/Drama

Bill Murray and Jim Jarmusch on the set of “Broken Flowers” (2005)

David Lee/Bac Focus Features/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Jarmusch has been a repeat figure at Cannes since winning the Camera d’Or for “Stranger Than Paradise” in 1984, the festival’s award for best first feature. The idiosyncratic filmmaker famously wrote to young filmmakers: “Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination.” Jarmusch eschews traditional narrative structure for a minimalist filmmaking more driven by mood than plot, though dark humor makes his films more accessible than typical avant-garde fare. In 2004, he released a compilation of shorts called “Coffee and Cigarettes,” which put the likes of Tom Waits and Iggy Pop in conversation. The Bill Murray vehicle “Broken Flowers” reintroduced Jarmusch to wider audiences in 2005, as did the delightfully raw “Only Lovers Left Alive” in 2013, which cast Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as hipster vampires. Jarmusch keeps experimenting with form throughout the years, layering his considerable wisdom onto an ever-evolving vision—always remaining distinctly Jarmusch. —Jude Dry

13. Apichatpong Weerasethakul

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Anna Sanders/Eddie Saeta/Gff/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5877400g) Apichatpong Weerasethakul Loong Boonmee Raleuk Chat - 2010 Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul Anna Sanders Films/Eddie Saeta/Gff THAILAND/UK/FRANCE/GERMANY/SPAIN On/Off Set Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives A Letter To Uncle Boonmee

Apichatpong Weerasethakul on the set of “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” (2010)

Anna Sanders/Eddie Saeta/Gff/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

There’s no other filmmaker quite like Apichatpong Weerasethakul, whose dreamy masterpiece “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” won the Palme d’Or in 2010. His movies lull you into a hazy, almost oneiric state before jarring you awake with the sight of a monkey ghost or a strange sex scene proving that “Joe” (as he’s affectionately known) was way ahead of the “Shape of Water” curve. Most recently at Cannes with “Cemetery of Splendour,” Weerasethakul previously won the Un Certain Regard prize for 2002’s “Blissfully Yours” and the Jury Prize two years later with “Tropical Malady.” His films are mysterious objects at all hours of the day, and though Joe is a good nickname, the moniker he earned for his big win in 2010 more than justifies his spot on this list: Apichatpalme. —MN

12. Todd Haynes

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Wilson Webb/Killer/The Weinstein Company/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5884215a) Todd Haynes, Cate Blanchett Carol - 2015 Director: Todd Haynes Killer Films/The Weinstein Company USA On/Off Set Drama

Todd Haynes directs Cate Blanchett in “Carol” (2015)

Wilson Webb/Killer/The Weinstein Company/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

People you might know populate Todd Haynes movies – frustrated housewives, put-upon store clerks, accomplished museum employees. Haynes tells their secrets and suppressions, favoring female protagonists who perform 24/7, attempting to meet cultural standards of what a woman should be. It’s apt that his 30-year-old breakout short, “Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story,” starred Barbie dolls. An Oscar-nominated screenwriter (“Far From Heaven”), Haynes won Best Artistic Contribution accolades at Cannes for “Velvet Goldmine” (1998), before bringing a pair of films to the main competition. “Carol” won the Queer Palm prize in 2015; jurors hailed it as “a moment in history” and “the first time a love story between two women was treated with the respect and significance of any other mainstream cinematic romance.” His ambitious follow-up, “Wonderstruck,” was a non-starter at the box office and in the Oscar race, despite magnetic production design and a poignant debut from deaf child actress Millicent Simmonds. —JM

11. Asghar Farhadi

Asghar Farhadi and Shahab Hosseini Palme D'Or Award and Closing Ceremony, 69th Cannes Film Festival, France - 22 May 2016

Shahab Hosseini and Taraneh Alidoosti flank their “The Salesman” director Asghar Farhadi at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival closing ceremony

Alberto Terenghi/Cannes/REX/Shutterstock

The first Iranian filmmaker to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film, Asghar Farhadi is the natural successor to the great legacy of Iranian cinema that began with Iranian New Wave directors such as Abbas Kiarostami and Jafar Panahi. In “A Separation,” Farhadi weaves a complex moral tale out of a seemingly simple narrative, that of a disintegrating marriage. Farhadi used this everyday occurrence to explore issues of class, gender, aging, family, and duty. His next two films, “The Past” and “The Salesman,” both played in competition at Cannes. Farhadi won Best Screenplay for the latter, which cleverly drew inspiration from Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.” Farhadi is now a household name with American cinephiles; “The Salesman” also won Best Foreign Language Film, making Farhadi one of a handful of filmmakers to win the award more than once. His next project, “Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben),” will open the festival this year. Shot entirely in Spanish, the film stars Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz as a married couple on a trip to Spain. —JD

10. Lynne Ramsay

Lynne Ramsay - Best Screenplay - 'You Were Never Really Here' and Joaquin Phoenix - Best Performance by an Actor - 'You Were Never Really Here' Winners photocall, 70th Cannes Film Festival, France - 28 May 2017

Lynne Ramsay and Joaquin Phoenix were both 2017 Cannes winners for “You Were Never Really Here”

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This tells-it-like-it-is Scot has been courting Cannes for almost half her life with churning, multi-sensory work focused on society’s outcasts. “Small Deaths,” her 11-minute graduation short from the UK’s National Film and Television School, won the festival’s Prix de Jury prize in 1996, an award Ramsay won again for “Gas Man.” “We Need to Talk About Kevin” (2011) was her first full-length competition entry. She was a Palme d’Or juror in 2013, and tied for the Cannes screenwriting statuette last year with her fourth feature, “You Were Never Really Here.” That film’s path to the Croisette bewildered the director: her financier submitted a cut without her knowledge, then requested a four-hour meeting with Ramsay; he delivered the good news after causing her much fretting. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, he’s going to pull there plug, there is no more money to shoot this,’” she told a Film Independent at LACMA audience this month. Her lead actor, Joaquin Phoenix, also won top Cannes honors, a casting she willed to happen after setting his portrait as her screensaver. —JM

9. Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan poses with the Palme d'Or award for the film Winter Sleep during a photo call following the awards ceremony at the 67th international film festival, Cannes, southern France France Cannes Awards Photo Call, Cannes, France

Nuri Bilge Ceylan poses with his Palme d’Or award for “Winter Sleep” at Cannes in 2014

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The most acclaimed Turkish filmmaker in contemporary cinema, Nuri Bilge Ceylan nevertheless faces relative obscurity among American moviegoers for a typically superficial reason: His movies are slow, pensive experiences, filled with long pauses and hushed conversations instead of simple exposition. Patient viewers, however, will delight in the opportunity to soak in the complex moods of Ceylan’s elaborate character studies, which have grown to encompass a variety of themes and genres over the last two decades. Ceylan’s evocative romance “Climates” wowed Cannes audiences in 2006, while 2011’s beguiling police drama “One Upon a Time in Anatolia” — a slow march to investigate the discovery of a dead body on one eerie night — solidified the scope of his ambition. Ceylan is one of the few filmmakers capable of applying a slow cinema approach to thrilling genre tropes, and his Palme d’Or winner “Winter Sleep” represents the accumulation of this skill. The Chekhov-Dostoyevsky riff follows a wealthy landowner and former actor who looks down on the poor residents of his neighborhood while grappling with his failed ambitions. At over three hours, it never drags; Ceylan’s movies earn their depth with each involving scene. Back at Cannes 2018 with “The Wild Pear Tree,” another three-hour-plus excursion, Ceylan shows no sign of abandoning his uncompromising technique. —EK

8. Andrea Arnold

Riley Keough, Sasha Lane, Andrea Arnold, Shia LaBeouf 'American Honey' Photocall - The 69th Annual Cannes Film Festival, Cannes, France - 15 May 2016

Riley Keough, Sasha Lane, and Shia LaBeouf surround their “American Honey” director Andrea Arnold at Cannes 2016

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Like Sofia Coppola, so much of Arnold’s still-burgeoning cinematic legacy is tied up in her relationship with the festival, which gave her a major boost in 2006 with a jury prize for her first feature, “Red Road.” In subsequent years, she’s screened two other films in competition, including the Michael Fassbender breakout “Fish Tank” and “American Honey,” both of which speak to her prodigious talent and her ability to noticeably grow with each other project. (And each film has gone on to win its own jury prize, no small feat in an always-crammed competition section.) As Arnold as expanded her oeuvre, Cannes has stayed with her, as she pushes past her own homeland straight into the belly of American poverty, while always keeping her unique point of view. That Arnold often tells stories about impoverished characters — and they still find a home at the chi-chi festival! — is another mark in the festival’s favor. Good is just good, and Arnold’s films (and Cannes’ decision to keep programming them) prove that. Now, about a Palme… —Kate Erbland

7. Jean-Luc Godard

French-swiss Director Jean-luc Godard Receives the the Leenards Foundation Cultural Prize As He Attends the Award Ceremony of the 'Prix Et Bourses Culturels Leenaards 2013' in Lausanne Switzerland 13 November 2013 Switzerland Schweiz Suisse LausanneSwitzerland Culture - Nov 2013

Jean-Luc Godard in 2013

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When a Jean-Luc Godard movie goes to Cannes, it is treated as a sacred event. “In Godard, there is god,” moderator Henri Behar said, introducing the filmmaker for his “Notre musique” in 2004. “Godard, forever!” shouted one eager moviegoer in a packed room before “Goodbye to Language” in 2014. A living legend decades ago, Godard’s mystique has only magnified in recent years as the octogenarian continues to make movies that defy categories and push the boundaries of film language. They’re challenging texts that evade easy explanation, and Godard likes it that way — he hasn’t come to Cannes in recent years, allowing his absence to add to the sense of creative mystery surrounding his works. These include the marvelous “Film Socialism,” screened in the Un Certain Regard sidebar for no good reason, which amounts to a hilarious and unpredictable statement on technology and national identity. “Goodbye to Language” played in competition where it belonged. The 3D essay film elicited applause from the crowds as Godard tooled around with the medium, showing that he has lost none of his appetite for experimentation into his late eighties. The French New Wave director isn’t just a survivor; as one of the few major artists of the 20th century producing high-level work into the 21st, he’s a cinematic poet who refuses to quit. With “The Picture Book” heading to Cannes competition in 2018, he remains at the top of his game. —EK

6. Hou Hsiao-hsien

Hou Hsiao-HsienPalm D'Or Winners closing ceremony, 68th Cannes Film Festival, France - 24 May 2015

Hou Hsiao-hsien accepts his Best Director award at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival

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Hou Hsiao-Hsien and his cinematographer Mark Lee Ping-Bing changed Taiwanese cinema and ushered in a New Wave that took films out of the stodgy studio limitations and into a newfound naturalism. Hou’s films are often historical dramas that have an ornate beauty, slow-cinema aesthetic and serve as commentaries on his country’s modern politics. His artistry was first recognized by Cannes in 1993 with a competition invite for “Puppetmaster,” which was a key moment in elevating not only Hou, but a national cinematic movement. Since then, Hou has had six additional titles premiere in Cannes competition, most recently his 2015 detour in martial arts, “The Assassin,” and the incredible “Three Times,” which inspired Barry Jenkin’s unique tryptch structure in “Moonlight.” —CO

5. Sofia Coppola

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover UsageMandatory Credit: Photo by B Rothstein/Focus Features/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (8877346u) Sofia Coppola "The Beguiled" Film - 2017

Sofia Coppola directs a scene from “The Beguiled” (2017)

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Cannes may notoriously struggle with both programming and awarding works from talented female filmmakers — especially when it comes to their competition slate, which is never managed to break a dismal 80-20 split — but there are a few big names that have managed to break through to the other side, including Coppola, who has premiered three of her films at the festival, including two in competition. Coppola’s bonafides were established long before she bowed a film at the festival, as her second feature “Lost In Translation” (which first played at Telluride) had already earned her an Oscar before she ever introduced a film on the Croisette but, over the years, Cannes has become the filmmaker’s most closely aligned festival home. Her contributions to both the event and cinema have been appropriately lauded there, where her specific brand of always-feminine storytelling and whipsmart dialogue has continually broken through the fugue of an often very male lineup. With last year’s “The Beguiled,” Coppola became only the second woman to win the directing prize at Cannes – Russian director Yuliya Solntseva last won back in 1961 for her “Chronicle of Flaming Years” — a move that seemed to only further impress just how much she matters to the festival and, yes, the wider cinephile world at large. —KE

4. Quentin Tarantino

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Universal/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5886262cv)Quentin TarantinoInglourious Basterds - 2009Director: Quentin TarantinoUniversal PicturesUSA/GERMANYOn/Off SetAction/AdventureInglorious Bastards / Inglorious Basterds

Quentin Tarantino directing “Inglourious Basterds” (2009)

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“It would be wonderful to get nice reviews,” veteran French cinephile Pierre Rissient, a longtime adviser to the Cannes Film Festival, told Tarantino as the first reactions to “Inglourious Basterds” (2009) started posting. “But you’re a provocateur. Nice is not always best. You need to shake it up, say ‘fuck you.’” The 46-year-old American auteur took some comfort in Rissient’s words as he found himself the victim of the inevitable: Cannes backlash. No film could have lived up to the hype surrounding his homage to Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns and World War II movies. Tarantino’s fifth Cannes entryafter “Reservoir Dogs,” “Pulp Fiction” (which won the Palme d’Or), “Kill Bill: Volume II,” and “Death Proof” —was doomed to fall short of overloaded expectations. Critics described “Inglourious Basterds”—starring Brad Pitt as the leader of a renegade Nazi-hunting brigade in German-occupied France—as “an obese, pampered adolescent” (The Guardian), “a distinctive piece of American pop art with a Euro flavor” (Variety), “blithely neglectful of basic storytelling tropes in order to indulge his auteurist peccadillos” (Time Out New York), and “a fairytale of unusual and thoughtful daring, a return at last by Tarantino to his combustible and operatic best” (The London Times). “This is nothing new for me,” Tarantino told me at the time, remembering some of the bad reviews he got on 1994’s “Pulp Fiction,” especially. But the Cannes reviews were “frustrating,” he admits, because he has always relied on character and dialogue. “Who says a playwright has too much dialogue?” he asks. “The one time I eschewed dialogue with ‘Kill Bill: Vol. I,’ all the critics complained.” Tarantino has always given his movies more novelistic than cinematic structures. That year, the director, who has long believed in making films slowly to stand the test of time, put “Inglourious Basterds” on a tight schedule with a Cannes deadline. And after three months of editing, he delivered a dripping-wet print to Cannes—a place he considers “Cinema Nirvana,” where “cinema matters, it’s important.” The trick to keeping Tarantino’s movies modern so that they play well going forward, he says, is to always play it risky, not safe. —AT

3. Pedro Almodóvar

Pedro AlmodovarPedro Almodóvar, Cannes, France - 16 May 2017

Pedro Almodóvar at Cannes in 2017

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Pedro Almodóvar has shied away from many opportunities to fashion an English-language movie. He’d rather deploy his considerable visual, comedic and dramatic chops in his native Spain, where he has the freedom to explore the inner lives of women and follow twisty paths Hollywood would never dare. Cannes was slow to embrace the storied auteur, who for years premiered his films at other festivals (Original Screenplay Oscar-winner “Talk to Her” debuted at Telluride). Almodóvar won Best Director for his first Cannes entry “All About My Mother” (1999), which helped to break out Penelope Cruz to global audiences. He took home Best Screenplay for “Volver,” with Cruz front and center, earning her first Oscar nomination. With Out of Competition “Bad Education” (2004), Mexican star Gael Garcia Bernal gave one of his strongest performances — with a Spanish accent. Harrowing show business story “Broken Embraces” (2009) also starred Cruz and played in Competition. The director’s go-to star Antonio Banderas explored creepy surgery in “The Skin I Live In” (2011), and with Almodóvar’s last Cannes entry, “Julieta” (2016), a tough drama adapted from an Alice Munro story, he decided to embrace his inner Hitchcock. “Hitchcock is always present,” he told me. “Even if I don’t think about him, he’s like the mother of the cinema.” While the writer-director, who’s humble about his command of English, opted out of making “Julieta” with Meryl Streep, at home in Spain he was able to add to Munro a “sense of guiltiness” or “awful moral sickness.” Exactly. — AT

2. David Cronenberg

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Caitlin Cronenberg/Prospero/Sentient/Sbs Prods./Integral Film/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5883930s) Mia Wasikowska, Julianne Moore, David Cronenberg Maps To The Stars - 2014 Director: David Cronenberg Prospero Pictures / Sentient Entertainment / Sbs Productions / Integral Film USA / CANADA On/Off Set

David Cronenberg films a scene from 2014’s “Maps to the Stars” with Mia Wasikowska (back to the camera) and Julianne Moore

Caitlin Cronenberg/Prospero/Sentient/Sbs Prods./Integral Film/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Many fans consider Cronenberg’s peak to be his freaky ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s output, ranging from the horror of “The Brood” (1979) and “The Fly” (1986) to gonzo works of art such as “Videodrome” (1983) and “Naked Lunch” (1991). But he only got Cannes’ attention as he aged out from provocateur to elder statesman of genre, alongside a shifting tone in his films as they entered a more dramatic realm. Perhaps that’s why his first work In Competition was 1996’s “Crash,” a wild love story about people who derive an erotic thrill from car accidents. After that film won the Special Jury Prize, Cronenberg became a mainstay on the Croisette. “Spider” (2002), a trippy tale of a man who finds himself after leaving a mental institution, was his next film In Competition. Following that was “A History of Violence” (2005), a more mainstream small-town noir featuring a perfectly-cast Viggo Mortensen. Cronenberg saw two of his 2010s films enter In Competition as well, including the experimental Wall Street meditation “Cosmopolis” (2012), and the 2014 Hollywood satire “Maps to the Stars.” Although he has not been awarded the Palme d’Or during his storied career, Cronenberg was able to pivot his legacy from a master of surreal gore to an auteur that could also be considered Cannes-worthy. —William Earl

1. Joel and Ethan Coen

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Alison Cohen Rosa/Universal/Working Title/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5883553t) Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Channing Tatum Caesar! Hail - 2016 Director: Joel And Ethan Coen Universal/Working Title USA On/Off Set Comedy Hail Caesar / Caesar! Hail Ave, César!

Joel and Ethan Coen direct Channing Tatum and his co-stars on the set of “Hail, Caesar!” (2016)

Alison Cohen Rosa/Universal/Working Title/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Joel and Ethan Coen were already Cannes powerhouses at the turn of the century. “Barton Fink” won the Palme d’Or and Best Director honors in 1991, while “Fargo” earned the brothers their second director prize in 1996. They continued their Cannes dominance into the 21st century, winning a historic third director prize for “The Man Who Wasn’t There” in 2001 and earning the Jury Grand Prize for “Inside Llewyn Davis” in 2013. “The Lady Killers” and “No Country For Old Men” also competed for the Palme this century. To this day, the Coen brothers remain the only filmmakers to ever have won three Best Director trophies, which more or less makes them Cannes royalty. —ZS

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The 21 Most Overlooked Directors in Oscar History, From Ingmar Bergman to Alexander Payne

Prior to next month’s Academy Awards, IndieWire looks back at directors who were nominated at least three times, but never gave an acceptance speech.

It’s not easy to land a Best Director Oscar nomination — even for a white man. Of the hundreds of filmmakers recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in nine decades, just 10 have been African American or women — which is why 2018 nominees Jordan Peele and Greta Gerwig are so rare. Not one black Best Director has won since John Singleton became the first nominee with “Boyz in the Hood” in 1991. Kathryn Bigelow is the only woman to ever take home a gold statue, for 2009’s “The Hurt Locker.” The only Asian director asked to accept top honors is Ang Lee, who prevailed for both “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi.”

Many great directors have been nominated without ever winning the Oscar — and more of Hollywood’s finest have never been invited to the party at all, including the likes of Wes Anderson, Tim Burton, John Cassavetes, David Cronenberg, Terry Gilliam and Rob Reiner.

Here’s IndieWire’s list of the most-lauded Best Director nominees who never won. Why were these men repeatedly nominated but routinely cast aside, notching losses in three or more separate years? Our gleanings yielded some trivia nuggets. For example, both Norman Jewison and Arthur Penn were bested by Mike Nichols in 1968, while Alexander Payne has opposed Martin Scorsese all three times he’s been nominated.

Check out our assessment of these 21 Oscar-denied filmmakers, from the great to the (almost) forgotten.

Three-Time Nominees

Ingmar Bergman 

- INGMAR BERGMANVARIOUS

Ingmar Bergman

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Swedish auteur Ingmar Bergman earned nine Oscar nominations throughout his one-of-a-kind career, including two for directing. He didn’t take home a statuette for either “Face to Face” or “Fanny and Alexander” — John G. Avildsen and James L. Brooks were honored instead — but his reputation hasn’t exactly suffered as a result. One of the most influential filmmakers of all time, Bergman’s presence can be felt in the art house to this day. He made more all-timers than most other directors make movies (if you haven’t seen “Persona” or “The Seventh Seal,” why haven’t you seen “Persona” or “The Seventh Seal”?), prompting the Academy to give him the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award — an honorary Oscar that, like most such prizes, was really a consolation prize to a master who deserved far more. —Michael Nordine

Richard Brooks

Robert Blake, Richard Brooks, Scott Wilson At right, director Richard Brooks, makes a point while talking to movie actors Scott Wilson, left, and Robert Blake, center, during filming of the adaptation of the book, "In Cold Blood", Kansas City, Kan. Wilson portrays the character, Eugene Hickock and Blake plays the part of Perry Smith, the two who murdered the Clutter family in western Kansas. In real life, Smith and Hickock were executed for the killings after their trial at Garden City, KanRobert Blake 1967, Kansas City, USA

Richard Brooks directs Scott Wilson and Robert Blake in the 1967 film “In Cold Blood”

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One of the most celebrated auteurs of the ’50s and ’60s, Brooks’ first major triumph was the 1955 inner-city school drama “Blackboard Jungle,” a bold rock-and-roll film that was a huge showcase for a little-known Sidney Poitier. It earned Brooks his first overall Oscar nomination, for Best Writing of an Adapted Screenplay. His first directing nod would come with 1958’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” which also earned him recognition for Adapted Screenplay. The Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman drama was a sensation, but Brooks was trumped at the Oscars by Vincente Minnelli’s work directing the musical “Gigi.” Brooks finally won an Oscar, this time for Best Writing of an Adapted Screenplay, for the 1960 Burt Lancaster drama “Elmer Gantry,” but missed the directing nod for that outing. Brooks received two additional pairs of nominations — for both directing and adapted screenplay for 1966’s “The Professionals” and 1967’s “In Cold Blood.” But the directing statues went to Fred Zinnemann (“A Man for All Seasons”) and Mike Nichols (“The Graduate”). —William Earl

James Ivory

James Ivory'Call Me By Your Name' film screening, Arrivals, New York, USA - 16 Nov 2017

James Ivory at a “Call Me By Your Name” screening in 2017

Stephen Lovekin/REX/Shutterstock

When it comes to Ivory, two important truths must be noted: There’s no Ivory without Merchant (producer Ismail Merchant was Ivory’s long-time partner, both in their personal and professional lives), and Merchant Ivory Productions’ impact on both the international film scene and the movie public’s affection for period films is hard to overstate. It’s also difficult to quantify in terms of the Academy Awards, for which Ivory was nominated as director for three (two were back to back). Ivory’s artistry is paramount, along with his deep affection and understanding for his characters. Other movies just don’t look like Merchant Ivory movies, they don’t move like them or feel like them, and that’s because of the tremendous care Ivory spent on them. He’s one of the true giants of modern cinema — and, at age 89, he’s still doing it, earning a 2018 Oscar nomination for writing “Call Me by Your Name.” While an Oscar would sure put a nice cherry on top of his decade-spanning career, one gets the sense it’s hardly required at this point. He’s made his mark. —Kate Erbland

Norman Jewison

Norman Jewison'Yesterday's Loner Steve McQueen' Film Series Screening of The Thomas Crown Affair, New York, America - 21 May 2009 The Film Society of Lincoln Center's 'Yesterday's Loner Steve Mcqueen' film series screening of Norman Jewison's The Thomas Crown Affair, Walter Reade Theater.

Norman Jewison in 2009

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Versatile and prolific, Canadian Norman Jewison was thrice nominated for Best Director in three different decades: for still-timely racial drama “In the Heat of the Night,” heartfelt musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” and romantic comedy “Moonstruck.” (That’s his gift— he can do anything.) His best shot at winning was likely “In the Heat of the Night,” which took home Best Picture in 1968 — but he lost to a young guy named Mike Nichols for a little film called “The Graduate.” In 1998, Jewison accepted the Irving G. Thalberg Award recognizing “creative producers, whose bodies of work reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production.” While Jewison’s films err on the side of mainstream entertainment over the avant-garde, his legacy endures. “Moonstruck” is still widely quoted, and “Fiddler on the Roof” is one of the last great Broadway movie adaptations. —Jude Dry

Stanley Kramer

STANLEY KRAMERVARIOUS

Stanley Kramer in 1968

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Kramer, a New Yorker whose mother worked for Paramount Pictures, landed in Hollywood at 19 and toiled as a $22/week stagehand at 20th Century Fox. A string of research, writing, and editing gigs followed at MGM. Then he ventured out as an independent producer of films like war movie “Home of the Brave” and “The Men,” Marlon Brando’s feature debut. A nine-time Oscar nominee, Kramer earned six of those nods as a producer, beginning with “High Noon,” although doubts persist about how involved he was in that project. In his early 40s, he started helming his own films, carving out a reputation for tales with heavy-handed, liberal messages that The Academy appreciated (“The Defiant Ones,” “Judgment at Nuremberg,” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” all resulted in directing nominations). During the McCarthy era, Kramer’s frequent collaborator, Carl Foreman, was blacklisted. Kramer initially derided Foreman’s House Un-American Activities Committee testimony as unhelpful, but then irked many by commissioning another blacklisted writer, Nedrick Young, for a pair of projects. In total, Kramer was behind the camera for 23 Oscar-nominated performances, picking up The Academy’s Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1962. The year after his death, the PGA christened The Stanley Kramer Award, presented annually to a member whose films address social ills. Jordan Peele was the 2018 recipient for “Get Out,” and Norman Lear presented the honor. “Stanley Kramer was my hero,” Lear said. “I couldn’t have admired him more when Stanley Kramer was tackling subjects like Nazis and creationists and nuclear annihilation. Kramer was a nobleman, and a giant in the industry.” —Jenna Marotta 

Ernst Lubitsch

Ernst Lubitsch, German-American motion picture director, Los Angeles. Undated pictureERNST LUBITSCH, LOS ANGELES, USA

Ernst Lubitsch

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Unlike many of the directors on this list, German emigre Ernest Lubitsch was one of the great film artists who was recognized in his time. During the Depression at Paramount, Lubitsch wasn’t just a prominent director; he was a household name. His witty, sophisticated humor was set in Hollywood’s version of European aristocracy. For the first and second Academy Awards ceremonies (1929 and 1930), he received a Best Director nomination for films (“The Love Parade” and “The Patriot”) that were nominated for Best Picture. Although known for witty films that gleefully winked at the audience as they packed a social (and often political) bite, he did make more sincere dramatic comedies like “Shop Around The Corner” and “Heaven Can Wait” (nominated for Best Picture in 1943), but he never won an Academy Award before dying of heart attack in 1947 at age 55. —Chris O’Falt

David Lynch

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Studio Canal+/Les Alain Sarde/Universal/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5880281i) Naomi Watts, David Lynch Mulholland Dr. - 2001 Director: David Lynch Studio Canal+/Les Films Alain Sarde/Universal FRANCE/USA On/Off Set Mulholland Drive

David Lynch directs Naomi Watts in the 2001 film “Mulholland Drive”

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The list of directors who haven’t won an Academy Award for directing is arguably more impressive than the list of actual winners. One case in point is David Lynch, who’s been nominated three times (“The Elephant Man,” “Blue Velvet,” and “Mulholland Drive”) but left the ceremony empty-handed each time — Robert Redford, Oliver Stone, and Ron Howard were honored instead. The fact that Lynch hasn’t made a movie since 2006’s “Inland Empire” and likely never will again all but ensures his fate as an Oscar also-ran, which reflects more poorly on the Academy than it does on him. A singular auteur who’s so out-there that it’s honestly a wonder he’s even been nominated, Lynch will have to make do with being considered one of the most unique cinematic voices ever to make movies. (And hey, there’s always Cannes, which awarded him both the Palme d’Or for “Wild at Heart” and Best Director laurels for “Mulholland Drive.”) —MN

Alexander Payne

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover UsageMandatory Credit: Photo by Merie W. Wallace/Paramount/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (9264044a) Matt Damon, Alexander Payne "Downsizing" Film - 2017

Alexander Payne directs Matt Damon in the 2017 film “Downsizing”

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Alexander Payne did nab a pair of Oscars for adapted screenplays “Sideways” and “The Descendants”— for which he was also nominated for directing, along with “Nebraska” — but he remains unrequited as a director/producer. 2017’s “Downsizing” broke Payne’s four-feature streak of securing acting nominations for the actors playing his alienated male characters — Thomas Haden Church, Jack Nicholson, George Clooney, and Bruce Dern. While accepting a directing prize from the Palm Springs International Film Festival in the early aughts, Payne expressed his frustration with the trajectory of mainstream cinema: “I thank you for this award, though I think there may be a problem with a world in which making small, human and humorous films is ‘an achievement.’ It should be the norm.” —JM 

Universal Sets Eight Directors For ‘Directors Intensive’ Program Promoting Diversity

Universal Filmed Entertainment Group’s recently launched unit, Global Talent Development & Inclusion, has set the first eight directors who will take part in the studio’s new program, “Directors Intensive: Pitch to Premiere.”
The studio, which exclusively sponsors the Sundance Institute FilmTwo initiative and is a sponsoring partner of AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women, will for the first time convene participants from these two programs for a week-long initiative. It is…

Universal Filmed Entertainment Group's recently launched unit, Global Talent Development & Inclusion, has set the first eight directors who will take part in the studio’s new program, “Directors Intensive: Pitch to Premiere.” The studio, which exclusively sponsors the Sundance Institute FilmTwo initiative and is a sponsoring partner of AFI's Directing Workshop for Women, will for the first time convene participants from these two programs for a week-long initiative. It is…

Yes, Damien Chazelle’s ‘La La Land’ Really Will Win Director and Picture Oscars — Here’s Why

Every Oscar-nominated film has a narrative, but the story of “La La Land” is positioned to prevail.

Late in the Oscar season, at the moment when voters actually fill in their ballots (the deadline is February 21 at 5 pm), it all comes down to what movies they have actually seen. What did they love the most, and is freshest in their minds? Which film aligns with the zeitgeist, delivering the message that 6,000 voters want to send?

The five directing nominations tend to line up with the strongest Best Picture contenders, although snubbed director nominee Ben Affleck did win Best Picture win for “Argo.” However, that underdog story became a narrative in itself that drove “Argo” to the win.

This year, the narratives include the aftermath of#OscarsSoWhite and the election of Donald J. Trump. Which will stick?

Here’s how the Best Director and Best Picture races are shaking out.

Gosling and Chazelle.

La La Land” is the magical, romantic, modern-yet-retro musical about artistic passion created by wunderkind Damien Chazelle and his gifted collaborators, which scored a record-tying 14 nominations, and it is sure to collect many Oscars. But will they include Picture and Director?

Manchester By the Sea” is the comeback movie from lauded playwright and director Kenneth Lonergan, likeliest to win Best Original Screenplay. The New England family tragedy pulled six nominations, including three superb performances led by frontrunner Casey Affleck.

Both movies come from white directors working with a white ensemble. “La La Land” is an escapist romp through musicals past. More often than not, gravitas tends to win the day with Oscar voters, and that instinct may have greater resonance this year. That’s why “La La Land” award campaigners make sure that the message coming from their acceptance speeches center on art as a connector when artistic freedom is in jeopardy. Or, as Emma Stone said while accepting her best-actress BAFTA February 12, “In a time that’s so divisive, I think it’s really special that we were all able to come together tonight, thanks to BAFTA, to celebrate the positive gift of creativity, and how it can transcend borders and how it can help people to feel a little less alone.”

“Hidden Figures”

Three powerful African-American narratives could also pull votes for a serious movie that would make a statement about race in America.

Moonlight,” with eight nominations including Best Director, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, and Best Supporting Actor, has been slugging it out for months in arthouse cinemas, only breaking wider after the nominations. (Domestic gross: $20.6 million.)

“Fences,” with four nominations including Adapted Screenplay, Actor, and Supporting Actress, is riding a holiday surge. Actors love Denzel Washington’s adaptation of August Wilson’s Tony-winning Pittsburgh play. But there are voters who have resisted watching it; to some, it feels like a homework assignment. (Domestic gross: $54.3 million.)

“Hidden Figures,” with three nominations including Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Actress, is a late-breaking real-life aspirational crowdpleaser that won the SAG Ensemble Award and has a diverse cast led by three African-American women. The true story makes its wide crossover audience feel good. It’s already passed $134 million at the domestic box office, with no end in sight.

Could it sneak up on “La La Land” for the win? It could — if it was the only black drama in the race. But with three contenders splitting the Academy’s vote for inclusion and gravitas, that could leave the Best Picture frontrunner “La La Land” firmly in place.

“La La Land”

“La La Land” (Damien Chazelle)

Breaking out at Telluride, this audacious show-business musical stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling as struggling creative artists. “La La Land” swept the Globes with a record seven wins. For his follow-up to the Oscar-winning “Whiplash,” director Chazelle won the Critics Choice, Golden Globe, DGA, and BAFTA awards. It’s closing on $300 million worldwide.

“La La Land” tied the Oscar nominations record set by “All About Eve” (14 nominations, 6 wins) and “Titanic” (14 nominations, 11 wins). It’s only the third original musical to land a Best Picture nomination, following “All That Jazz” (1979) and “Anchors Aweigh” (1945). (Technically, “An American in Paris” was based on an existing George Gershwin score.) However, the nominations frontrunner doesn’t always win on Oscar night. “La La Land” gained valuable momentum, but Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” scored 12 and won only two, while last year Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “The Revenant” led the field with 12 and took home three.

 

As a musical, PGA-winner “La La Land” could top those “Titanic” winning numbers on Oscar night. (On the other hand, two nominated songs means “Hamilton” star Lin-Manuel Miranda could squeak into EGOT territory with “How Far I’ll Go” from Disney Animation’s “Moana.”) As the only Best Actress nominee who stars in a Best Picture candidate, Golden Globe winner Emma Stone is favored to win Best Actress. (The last time a Best Picture winner also won Best Actress was Hilary Swank in “Million Dollar Baby” in 2004.) DGA-winner Chazelle should easily win Director, and possibly Original Screenplay.

The other ace in the hole for a movie that could follow the like-minded “Birdman,” “All About Eve,” and “The Artist” to a Best Picture win: Academy members, especially actors, respond strongly to this inside-Hollywood story about “the city of stars.”

“Manchester by the Sea” (Kenneth Lonergan)

Breaking out at Sundance 2016 was writer-director Kenneth Lonergan’s intense, four-hankie family drama “Manchester by the Sea,” which Amazon Studios picked up for $10 million. They ran a smart campaign with theatrical partner Roadside Attractions. It’s Amazon’s first Best Picture contender, and Roadside’s second after “Winter’s Bone.”

A frontrunner for Original Screenplay and Best Actor Affleck (it won both at New York Film Critics Circle), “Manchester By the Sea” landed Critics Choice, Globe, DGA, and WGA nominations for Lonergan’s tragic portrait of a New England family dealing with death and loss, and won Original Screenplay and Best Actor BAFTAs.

Lonergan doesn’t believe movies should bypass reality. “I see them sugarcoat and pass over experiences everybody in the world has had,” he told IndieWire. “It annoys me, because it seems like a lie. I don’t have anything I know that other people don’t know — everybody has lost someone, has had terrible pain in their life, and had to live with it. People have different ways of recovering. There’s a whole gamut of things I think it’s nice to see reflected back to you in fictional form.”

But the well-marketed movie — $45 million domestic is a strong number for a grim family tragedy — peaked earlier than contenders “Fences” and “Hidden Figures,” which have the late-breaking advantage in voters’ minds. And frequent award-winner Affleck’s lead is narrowing as popular SAG-winning movie star Denzel Washington surges forward.

Kenneth Lonergan, Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams

Photo by James Shaw/REX/Shutterstock

“Moonlight” (Barry Jenkins)

Barry Jenkins delivered a strong second feature with “Moonlight,” which picked up raves at fall festivals and gained ground by playing well on the specialty circuit, backed by the best reviews of the year.  The $1.5 million Miami coming-of-age drama earned eight Oscar nominations, including two supporting actors, writing, directing, cinematography, and editing, and won Gotham, National Board of Review and New York Film Critics Circle for Jenkins, who also nabbed Critics Choice, Globes, and DGA nominations.

“Right now, people are really hungry for these kind of stories from filmmakers from my background, or even just look the way I do,” Jenkins told IndieWire. “My film is not this thing you can put into a neat package that you can describe in simple terms. It’s still a challenging piece. But people are much more likely to go inside a theater because of the exclusivity of the content.”

Jenkins is the fourth black man nominated by the directors’ branch, following John Singleton (“Boyz n the Hood “), Lee Daniels (“Precious”), and Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”).  “Moonlight” producers Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner of Plan B are the first individual producers to snag Best Picture nominations in four consecutive years (“12 Years a Slave,” “Selma,” “The Big Short”), and smartly took the movie to A24, which didn’t miss a trick (they took “Amy,” “Ex Machina,” and “Room” to three Oscar wins last year.)

But while it’s astonishing the small-scale indie movie did so well through the crafts, the likelihood that it will win Picture or Director is slim. Jenkins should score Adapted Screenplay, and Mahershala Ali Best Supporting Actor.

READ MORE: 2017 Oscar Predictions

“Hidden Figures”

“Hidden Figures”

Director Ted Melfi is in the running with Allison Schroeder to share the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, but did not land a director nomination. That’s partly because he’s not in the directors club; his only prior film was 2014’s “St. Vincent.” Still, there’s a narrative gaining traction that this late-breaking popular hit could push to a Best Picture win. “It has everything in a movie you’re not supposed to do in Hollywood — female leads, math, the female leads are black,” Melfi told IndieWire. “It’s all these things where they say, ‘You’ll never make money.'”

Here’s the problem. It’s up for only three Oscars, and Viola Davis is sure to beat her old “The Help” rival, Octavia Spencer, for the win this time for “Fences.” Adapted Screenplay will likely go to “Moonlight,” which boasts eight nominations. “Hidden Figures” is at 74% on Metacritic, which does not usually line up with an Oscar Best Picture win. (Yes, “Crash” was at 69% when Academy steak eaters robbed “Brokeback Mountain.”)

Many Academy voters do want to send a message, and they will vote for an unprecedented number of people of color for the win this year. But there are three movies vying for the “message” slot. I’d bet that “Moonlight,” with support through the categories including Best Editing, will land the most votes, followed by mainstream crowdpleaser “Hidden Figures.” And the dominant actors’ branch will lean into “Fences” for Best Actor Washington and Supporting Actress Davis.

Denis Villeneuve

Denis Villeneuve

Daniel Bergeron

Arrival” (Denis Villeneuve)

Gorgeous sci-fi drama “Arrival” (a Paramount pickup from Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps, FilmNation, and Lava Bear) landed eight nods, including Adapted Screenplay, Directing and Editing — a sign of strength for a Best Picture contender. “Arrival” is a brainy sci-fi mind-twister in the mold of Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar,” ably carried by five-time nominee Amy Adams, who lost her slot in the most competitive Best Actress race in decades, presumably to Ruth Negga.

Montreal filmmaker Villeneuve, who has charted his own course from the Oscar-nominated “Incendies” to English-language thrillers “Prisoners” and “Sicario,” was very much responsible for this unusual hybrid genre movie, which launched at the fall festivals and was embraced — in all its strangeness — by audiences and critics alike. The unpredictable movie infuses a non-linear and cerebral story with a dramatic ticking-clock narrative, enhancing an emotional thread: a mother’s feelings for her daughter. “The movie is based on the tension of a cultural exchange,” Villeneuve told me. “The movie takes the time to explore the limits of language. I’ve traveled a lot in my life, come in contact with cultures where the only way to communicate is through intuition.”

See more ‘Arrival’: How DGA Nominee Denis Villeneuve Shaped His Unique Oscar Contender

Global audiences were responsive ($193 million worldwide), but oh-so-serious Academy voters are notoriously unsupportive of sci-fi. Coming closest to a Best Picture win was Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity,” which took home seven Oscars including Best Director. But over the last two decades, “Ex Machina,” “Avatar,” “Interstellar,” “Star Trek,” and “The Matrix” all had to settle for tech nods.

“Arrival”

“Hacksaw Ridge” (Mel Gibson)

Lionsgate gave the $40-million World War II action drama a classy European launch at the Venice Film Festival, where good reviews started rolling out, followed by a robust November 4 commercial release.

The movie is oddly structured, with a long lead-up to the young pacifist enlisting to go to the front lines for his country, not to fight as a soldier but to save lives as a medic. The second half is devoted to the brutal cliffside onslaught during the Battle of Okinawa where he proves his valor, saving more than 50 soldiers, hoisting them down that cliff and later winning the Medal of Honor. That sequence is also, in typical Gibson fashion, so bloody violent that some Oscar voters will not watch it.

The film has earned strong reviews, good box office, an AFI Top 10 slot, and Critics Choice and Golden Globes nominations and $156 million worldwide. The Academy offered a major surprise by not only honoring the film with nominations for Best Actor Andrew Garfield, Editing, Sound Editing, and Mixing, but also for Director and Best Picture, signaling that scandal-tainted Mel Gibson, who directed “Braveheart” to five Oscar wins including director and picture back in 1996, made such a strong movie that the Academy couldn’t deny him. While Gibson is back in contention for studio assignments, the likeliest Oscar wins for “Hacksaw” are for Sound Editing or Editing.

 

Check out my Oscar rankings below.

Best Director Contenders

1. Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”)
2. Kenneth Lonergan (“Manchester by the Sea”)
3. Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”)
4. Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”)
5. Mel Gibson (“Hacksaw Ridge”)

Best Picture Contenders

1.”La La Land”
2. “Moonlight”
3. “Manchester By the Sea”
4. “Hidden Figures”
5. “Arrival”
6. “Fences”
7. “Lion”
8. “Hacksaw Ridge”
9. “Hell or High Water”

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Directing Nominees Confess Biggest Hurdles, On-Set MVPs

With five such different cinematic visions represented, what do this year’s Oscar nominees for director have in common? It depends on whom you ask. Kenneth Lonergan, nominated writer-director of “Manchester by the Sea,” links the final five this way: They each “focus on deep connective tissue on a human level, even though they are all… Read more »

With five such different cinematic visions represented, what do this year’s Oscar nominees for director have in common? It depends on whom you ask. Kenneth Lonergan, nominated writer-director of “Manchester by the Sea,” links the final five this way: They each “focus on deep connective tissue on a human level, even though they are all... Read more »

Oscars So Male: Why the 2017 Oscar Race For Best Director Has a Gender Problem

Women are not looking strong in the Best Director race. We offer up some candidates.

While 2017 is shaping up as an Oscar race with many more diverse contenders than last year, people are starting to notice a familiar trend. Where are the women?

On Oscar prediction website Gold Derby, all 23 Oscar “experts,” including me, offer five director nominees who are male. Looking at movies that have pulled strong critical support, none seem to be gaining buzz that an Oscar contender needs to build momentum and become a must-see.

The strongest candidate is writer-director Rebecca Miller’s sixth feature, sophisticated New York comedy of manners “Maggie’s Plan,” which earned strong kudos at Toronto and Sundance but scored modestly on the specialty circuit ($3.5 million). Can Sony Pictures Classics bring the movie back to Academy voters? They’ve send out early screeners, but I fear — Woody Allen aside — relationship comedies do not often compute with Academy voters.

Lupita Nyong'o with David Oyelowo at the 'Queen of Katwe' premiere

Lupita Nyong’o with David Oyelowo at the “Queen of Katwe” premiere

Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock

Similarly, Disney heart-tuggers with a female empowerment theme like “Queen of Katwe,” no matter how much director Mira Nair was praised by critics, simply won’t be sampled by many voters who think they know what the movie is without watching it. And Disney’s marketing failed to lure audiences; it has grossed $6 million so far.

What other women directors are in the running? It’s a question of making films must-sees by Oscar voters.

New Yorker profile subject Andrea Arnold’s Cannes prize-winner “American Honey” (A24) has scored strong reviews, but the immersive road movie starring Shia LaBeouf is still likely to play best with the arthouse crowd, along with Maren Ade’s deliciously hilarious but nearly three-hour German Oscar submission “Toni Erdmann” (Sony Pictures Classics) and French director Mia Hanson-Love’s brilliant Isabelle Huppert vehicle “Things to Come” (IFC/Sundance Selects).

All three films will get boosts from critics at year’s end. But they still have to play for the Academy directors—whose tastes are more eclectic and international than the Academy mainstream. Think past nominees Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”), Damien Chazelle (“Whiplash”), Mike Leigh (“Secrets and Lies”) and Michael Haneke (“Amour”).

"Toni Erdmann"

“Toni Erdmann”

But as we all know, the Academy directors rarely nominate a woman. Only Lena Wertmuller (“Seven Beauties”), Sofia Coppola (“Lost in Translation”), Jane Campion (“The Piano”) and the sole woman Oscar-winner Kathyrn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”) have that distinction —and none have repeated in the category. The Academy has been adding women to the branch, so maybe there’s hope for change there.

Finally, the likeliest women directors to walk onstage Oscar night will be winners in the foreign language, documentary, and animation categories, where Maren Ade and Ava DuVernay (“13th”) might make the final five.