Maria Giese

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Maria Giese
Born United States
Occupation Film director, screenwriter

Maria Giese is an American feature film director and screenwriter. A member of the Directors Guild of America, and an activist for parity for women directors in Hollywood, she writes and lectures about the under-representation of women filmmakers in the United States.

Early life[edit]

She has a bachelor's degree from Wellesley College and a Masters of Fine Arts in film directing from the University of California, Los Angeles's Graduate School of Film and Technology.[1] While at UCLA, she produced the student film A Dry Heat,[2] for which she won a CINE Golden Eagle Award.[3]


She wrote and directed the 1996 British film When Saturday Comes,[4] produced by Capitol Films, UK, starring Sean Bean, Academy Award nominee Pete Postlethwaite, and Emily Lloyd.[5] She also wrote, directed, and co-produced Hunger,[6] based on Nobel laureate Knut Hamsun's 1890 existentialist novel of the same title.[7] "Hunger" was the first digital film ever made based on a classic work of literature. It starred Joseph Culp and Robert Culp and received two Best Film Awards and a Best Underground Film award.[8]

Giese's other directing work includes, a short doc “A Lotta Lambada,” award-winning short, “Take Your Seat” (aka Jewish Water) which also won a Cine Golden Eagle, and an episode of th TV sitcom “Solo En America” for Columbia TriStar. She rewrote “North Star” from Christophe Lambert, James Caan, and Catherine McCormack; directed by Nils Gaup.

She has taught film & TV production at UCLA Extension,[9] lectures regularly, and writes extensively.

Giese is an active member of the Directors Guild of America since 1999 and currently serves as the Women’s DGA Director Category Rep.[10]


Giese is the recipient of numerous awards including two Golden Cine Eagles, a Kovler Writing Award, a Spotlight Award, First Prize at the American International Film Festival, a Charles Speroni Scholarship, and an MPAA Award of Excellence.


Giese is an activist for women directors and is the co-founder of the globally read web forum, “Women Directors: Navigating the Boys’ Club.”[11] Giese is a member of the Alliance of Women Directors.[12]

She writes prolifically about the under-representation of women directors in America on her blog, Her articles have appeared in Ms Magazine[13] and Indiewire.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Giese lives in Venice, CA



  1. ^ Giese, Maria. "Auteur Directors: Any American Women?". Indiewire. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Maria Giese". Mobile Film School. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "CINE GOLDEN EAGLE FILM& VIDEO COMPETITION 1993 WINNER DIRECTORY" (PDF) (Press release). Cine. Retrieved 2007-02-11. 
  4. ^ Loewenstein, Lael. "Interview with Director Maria Giese". (UCLA). Retrieved 2007-02-12. 
  5. ^ Elley, Derek (1996-03-26). "When Saturday Comes". Variety. Retrieved 2007-02-11. 
  6. ^ "Hunger". Hunger the film. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "Hunger" (Press release). IndieFest. Retrieved 2007-02-11. 
  8. ^ "Hunger the Film". Hunger the Film. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "The Teacher's Guide" (PDF). UCLA. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  10. ^ "About the Women's Steering Committee". Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "Women Directors in Hollywood". Women Directors in Hollywood. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  12. ^ "Alliance of Women Directors Members". Alliance of Women Directors. Retrieved March 18, 2015. 
  13. ^ Giese, Maria. "Lights, Camera, Inaction!". MS Magazine. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  14. ^ Giese, Maria. "DGA Celebrates Women Directors, But What's the Next Move?". Indiewire. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 

External links[edit]