8 Amazing Black Female Directors Who Have Established A Respectable Career Behind The Camera


Dee Rees

Notable Works: Bessie (2015), Pariah (2011)

Impact: She has directed two narrative films, one feature-length documentary and many different shorts in her career. However, her work on Pariah and Bessie brought Rees the most fame. These works highlighted the lives of Black lesbians in a way other films have not. Bessie is her best, showcasing the life of prohibition-era blues singer Bessie Smith. The film aired on HBO recently and became an instant hit for the network.

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Gina Prince-Bythewood

Notable Works: Love and Basketball (2000), Beyond the Lights (2014), The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

Impact: Prince-Bythewood started her career as a writer on the hit 1990s show A Different World. She is a pioneer in Black cinema for creating realistic portrayals of love and showing the complexities of women in the Black community. She is one of the few Black women writing and directing in Hollywood today.