Activist filmmaker Jessica Sanders showcases an incredible group of 20 accomplished female directors from around the world with the premiere of her inspiring short film “Fox Directors” on Refinery 29. Created in collaboration with Fox’s Inaugural Global Directing Initiative, Sanders’ film is a visual story that challenges the traditional gender-biased concept of “what a director looks like.”
As an Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker and commercial director, Sanders brought her unique first-person insight to illuminate the directors’ work and their motivations as artists. A vast and varied array of creative exploration is perfectly presented with vignettes from their films, along with illustrative face-to-face confessionals.
In light of the ongoing initiatives and conversations about the unequal hiring practices and lack of opportunities for female filmmakers in Hollywood, Sanders’ piece serves to engage, educate and support inclusive filmmaking with so many talented voices and films that the world needs to know about and see.
Furthering her mission to change the gender bias, Sanders has partnered with Refinery29 to direct an original short film for their new programming slate ShatterBox Anthology. Previously Sanders’ comedic short film Bunion was included as part of Refinery29's 2015 New York Fashion Week tentpole event, followed by an exclusive online premiere.
Jessica Sanders enjoyed a career milestone when she was invited to join the Academy’s Class of 2016, a watershed year for the Academy’s inclusion of women and filmmakers of color.  Sanders’ credits include the feature documentaries After Innocence (Sundance winner) and March of The Living. She was nominated for an Oscar for her work as a Producer on Sing, a documentary short which follows a community children’s chorus as it battles massive budget cuts in the arts. Her latest narrative feature film Picking Cotton  based on the New York Times Best Selling book was awarded the Sloan Foundation grant at the Tribeca Film Festival to develop the project.
Watch and Embed the film here
Directors featured in the film: 


  • JENNIFER ARNOLD – The Diplomat, TableTop
  • SHAZ BENNETT – Alaska Is a Drag, Top of the Circle
  • BERT & BERTIE – Worm, Random Acts: Big Dance 2014
  • GABRIELA COWPERTHWAITE – Blackfish, City Lax: An Urban Lacrosse Story
  • MARTA CUNNINGHAM – Valentine Road
  • CHERIEN DABIS – May in the Summer, Amreeka
  • HANNAH FIDELL – A Teacher, We’re Glad You’re Here
  • SYDNEY FREELAND – Drunktown’s Finest
  • RACHEL LEE GOLDENBERG – Love at the Christmas Table, Escape from Polygamy
  • STEPH GREEN – Run & Jump, New Boy
  • MAGGIE KILEY – Dial a Prayer, Brightest Star
  • ISIDORA MARAS – I Am Not Lorena
  • ANJA MARQUARDT – She’s Lost Control
  • MEERA MENON – Farah Goes Bang
  • VANESSA PARISE – The Wedding Chapel, Jack and Jill vs. the World
  • JESSICA SANDERS – After Innocence, March of the Living, Bunion
  • SUSAN YOUSSEF – Habibi Rasak Kharban