Kimberly Peirce


Twenty years ago, filmmaker Kimberly Peirce came to the 1997 Sundance Directors Lab to workshop her film Boys Don’t Cry. The film is based on the real-life story of Brandon Teena—a trans man from the small town of Falls City, Idaho, portrayed by Hilary Swank—who adopts his male persona among an unaware new group of friends. As he tries to find love and acceptance in his newfound social circle, he begins a relationship with Lana Tisdel (played by Chloë Sevigny), who doesn’t know about his gender history. The intense story eventually culminates with the cruel and violent crimes committed against Brandon by two of his acquaintances. 

Director and writer Kimberly Peirce is pictured above at the Directors Lab at the Sundance Mountain Resort in Provo, Utah, working with actress Summer Phoenix (sister of River and Joaquin) as she workshops the script. Boys Don’t Cry was released two years after her time at the Directors Lab. In 2000, Swank took home both an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award for her performance as Brandon, and Sevigny received nominations for both an Oscar and Golden Globe as well.

© 1997 Fred Hayes for Sundance Institute. Film stills courtesy of Boys Don’t Cry.

Michelle Williams To Star In ‘This Is Jane’

This Is Jane, the true story of a Chicago woman who founded and ran the underground abortion service Jane. Kimberly Peirce is directing, and John Lesher, Williams and Peter Heller are producing.

The drama penned by Dan Loflin is based on Laura Kaplan’s nonfiction book The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service. Jane was run by a group of women who taught themselves how to perform abortions in the years before Roe v. Wade. From 1968-73, they helped more than 11,000 women by providing safe – albeit illegal – services denied by the medical establishment. They also provided health education and counseling. Williams will play the role of Jane founder, known as Jenny.


“Dear Lana, 

By the time you read this, I’ll be back home in Lincoln. I’m scared of what’s ahead, but when I think of you I know I’ll be able to go on. You were right. Memphis isn’t far at all. I’ll be making a trip out on the highway before too long. I’ll be waiting for ya. 

Love always and forever,

Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
dir. Kimberly Peirce

50 Horror Films Directed by Women

Because it’s always nice to remember women in horror. In no particular order.

  1. Near Dark (1987) dir. Kathryn Bigelow
  2. The Babadook (2014) dir. Jennifer Kent
  3. Raw (2016) dir. Julia Ducournau
  4. Pet Sematary (1989) dir. Mary Lambert
  5. American Psycho (2000) dir. Mary Harron
  6. Ghostwatch (1992) dir. Lesley Manning
  7. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) dir. Ana Lily Amirpour
  8. American Mary (2012) dir. Jen & Sylvia Soska
  9. The Slumber Party Massacre (1982) dir. Amy Holden Jones
  10. Revenge (2017) dir. Coralie Fargeat
  11. Trouble Every Day (2001) dir. Claire Denis
  12. Prevenge (2016) dir. Alice Lowe
  13. The Lure (2015) dir. Agnieszka Smoczynska
  14. The Voices (2014) dir. Marjane Satrapi
  15. Jennifer’s Body (2009) dir. Karyn Kusama
  16. The Love Witch (2016) Anna Biller
  17. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) dir. Fran Rubel Kuzui
  18. Another Me (2013) dir. Isabel Coixet
  19. Carrie (2013) dir. Kimberly Peirce
  20. The Hitch-Hiker (1953) dir. Ida Lupino
  21. Goodnight Mommy (2014) dir. Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala
  22. Boxing Helena (1993) dir. Jennifer Lynch
  23. High Life (2018) dir. Claire Denis
  24. Helter Skelter (2012) dir. Mika Ninagawa
  25. The Invitation (2015) dir. Karyn Kusama
  26. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) dir. Rachel Talalay
  27. Dead Hooker in a Trunk (2009) dri. Jen & Sylvia Soska
  28. Blood Bath (1966) dir. Stephanie Rothman
  29. Mirror Mirror (1990) dir. Marina Sargenti
  30. Organ (1996) dir. Kei Fujiwara
  31. XX (2017) dir. Jovanka Vuckovic, Karyn Kusama, St. Vincent, Roxanne Benjamin
  32. Blood Diner (1987) dir. Jackie Kong
  33. The Moth Diaries (2011) dir. Mary Harron
  34. The Bad Batch (2016) dir. Ana Lily Amirpour
  35. Slumber Party Massacre II (1987) dir. Deborah Brock
  36. Ravenous (1999) dir. Antonia Bird
  37. Silent House (2011) dir. Laura Lau & Chris Kentis
  38. Humanoids from the Deep (1980) dir. Barbara Peeters
  39. After.Life (2009) dir. Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo
  40. See No Evil 2 (2014) dir. Jen & Sylvia Soska
  41. Kiss of the Damned (2012) dir. Xan Cassavetes
  42. Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (2005) dir. Mary Lambert
  43. Office Killer (1997) dir. Cindy Sherman
  44. The Bye Bye Man (2017) dir. Stacy Title
  45. Blood and Donuts (1995) dir. Holly Dale
  46. A Night to Disremember (1983) dir. Doris Wishman
  47. In My Skin (2002) dir. Marina de Van
  48. Honeymoon (2014) dir. Leigh Janiak
  49. Pathogen (2006) dir. Emily Hagins
  50. The Countess (2009) dir. Julie Delpy