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Now Kathryn Bigelow has made history as the first woman to win an Oscar for directing, is this a new era for women film-makers? The figures in the USA suggest otherwise. In this unique international overview, we discover why and how women film directors are breaking through internationally. Highlighting emerging women directors alongside ground-breaking pioneers, this is a one-stop guide to the leading women film directors of the twenty-first century ? and those who inspired them. From the blockbusters of the Hollywood studios to emerging voices from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Laos, we learn of women making films in traditionally male-dominated areas such as action, fantasy and horror. With wide-ranging contributions from countries with mature and nascent film industries, this volume demonstrates that economic and technological changes are creating new opportunities for women film directors everywhere as well as uncovering some surprising facts.