Netflix pledges $5 million to support the Next Generation of Female Storytellers


On International Women’s Day, Netflix is investing in the next generation of female storytellers, pledging $5 million globally towards programs that help identify, train and provide work placements for up-and-coming female talent around the world. The investment is part of Netflix’s newly created Fund for Creative Equity, which will invest $20 million a year for the next five years in building more inclusive pipelines behind the camera.

Representation sits at the heart of Netflix’s content and with this fund, Netflix aims to increase equality of women on and off screen. Through partnerships with local third parties and bespoke programs, Netflix will support a range of initiatives – from workshops to train aspiring female writers and producers on how best to pitch their creative vision, to shadowing opportunities on productions which enable women to gain valuable first hand experience. 

Netflix believes that more people deserve to see their life represented on screen and, globally, has already brought many female firsts to life in front of and behind the camera including the first Indigenous Mexican Academy Award actress nominee; the first Korean female stand-up special and the first Black woman to direct a superhero movie.

Equally, Arab women continue to tell beautiful, complex and nuanced stories and Netflix is partnering with these storytellers to bring their unique perspectives to life. In 2021, Netflix will be launching the first Arabic Original led by Tima Shomali with a full female cast and crew with Al Rawabi School For Girls providing female Arab talent with an international stage. Later in the year, Netflix will launch Finding Ola which will see beloved actress Hend Sabry take the role of Executive Producer for the first time in her career.

While the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity will help create more exciting firsts, celebrate this International Women’s Day by watching films and series from some of the many women who paved the way in entertainment.

Spotlight on Arab female directors

  • Panoptic – directed by Rana Eid from Lebanon
  • Nappily Ever After – directed by Haifa Al Mansour from Saudi Arabia
  • Rock the Casbah – directed by Laila Marrakchi from Morocco 
  • Noura’s Dream – directed by Hinde Boujemaa from Tunisia
  • The Kite – directed by Randa Chahal Sabag from Lebanon
  • Wajib – directed by Anne Marie Jacir from Palestine
  • Papicha – directed by Mounia Meddour from Algeria 
  • Solitaire – directed by Sophie Boutros from Lebanon
  • Whispers – directed by Hana Al Omair from Saudi Arabia

Female first-time directors on Netflix 

  • Amy Poehler made her feature directorial debut with Wine Country 
  • Anvita Dutt made her directorial debut with Bulbbul  
  • Brie Larson made her directorial debut with Unicorn Store
  • Genevieve Nnaji made her directorial debut with Lionheart
  • Jennifer Kaytin Robinson made her feature writing and directing debut with Someone Great
  • Jude Weng made her feature directorial debut with Finding ‘Ohana
  • Lauren Miller Rogen made her directorial debut with Like Father
  • Letizia Lamartire’s first series director job was on the series Baby, and she served as lead director in the final season.
  • Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek made their feature directorial debuts with The Breaker Uppers
  • Nahnatchka Khan made her feature directorial debut with Always Be My Maybe
  • Olivia Newman made her directorial debut with First Match
  • Radha Blank made her directorial debut with The Forty-Year-Old Version
  • Terrie Samundra made her directorial debut with Kaali Khuhi 

Inspiration stories from female firsts across the world

  • Deepika Kumari – the first female archer from India to win the Cadet World Championship (Ladies First)
  • Gunjan Saxena – the first female combat pilot in India (Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl )
  • Lorena Ramírez – the first Tarahumara woman to compete in a European ultra (Lorena Light-Footed Woman)
  • Madam C.J. Walker – the first female self-made millionaire (Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker) 
  • Pat Henschel and Terry Donahue- among the first professional female baseball players (A Secret Love)
  • Roxanne Shante -one of the first female MCs to become popular (Roxanne Roxanne)

For more films directed by women, check out the International Women’s Day collection at 

About Netflix:

Netflix is the world’s leading streaming entertainment service with 204 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.