Megan Ellison

Since founding the Annapurna Pictures production company in 2011, Megan Ellison (top right) has become one of the biggest producing names in Hollywood. The daughter of a billionaire, she decided to invest in film-making after studying the craft herself. Through Annapurna she aims to support highly respected directors and writers, including the likes of Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) and Harmony Korine (Spring Breakers). This year, at just 28, she became the first woman ever to be nominated for two Best Picture Oscars in the same year (for Her and American Hustle) and was placed on TIME’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Rory Horne


Kristen Wiig

As a contemporary female comedian, Kristen Wiig has significance and relevance. Comedy has unarguably been a male dominated form of entertainment, that is until recently. The women from Saturday Night Live (Amy Poehler and Tina Fey particularly) seem to have single handedly transformed the environment of comedy into a progressive platform for female comedians. With the hugely successful release of Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig has come to symbolize this movement and changed the sadly common misconception that ‘women aren’t funny’. With Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig created a female heroine that fronted a film that was accessible to a modern day audience of both genders. Her popularity has since paved the way for films such as The Heat and Obvious Child, allowing producers to understand that female-led and centric films have an audience and will perform well in the box office. Martha Julier

Ida Lupino

Beginning work in the cinema industry as an actress in the 1930s, Ida Lupino (middle right) is one of the earliest feminist icons of cinema. She was intent on retaining her morals, and was willing to sacrifice her career in order to keep true to these. Her independent mind lead her to refuse auditions for roles which she felt undermined women, even if this impacted on her success. Eventually, Lupino fell into directing, and had much success in doing so. She was not afraid to shy away from controversy, directing films such as Outrage (1950), one of the first movies focusing on the subject of rape. Flo Lacey

Amy Heckerling

If you have never seen Clueless, you need to. Both written and directed by Amy Heckerling (bottom right), this punchy 90s comedy could be seen as little more than a chick flick about spoilt, image obsessed teenage girls. If you think this, you are wrong – Cher and her entourage are just oh so sassy, and Heckerling’s undeniable wit and satire shines through her strong female characters. It might be fair to say that Clueless is superficially superficial – a female led comedy that glorifies girlhood whilst mocking the stereotypes in a playful way. Heckerling’s script is sharp and quick, and Cher and her gang could teach us all a lesson on loyalty and morality. Flo Lacey