The U.K. is becoming something of a mecca for women directors from other countries. Anna Negri said she came to England because “in Italy, when I said I want to be a film director, they looked at me as if I said I want to drive a spaceship.”

South African Elaine Proctor (“Friends”) got started here; Susan Seidelman is directing “Something Blue” for the BBC; and Maria Giese came all the way from Venice, Calif., to get her break in Sheffield.

What makes Giese all the more remarkable is that her film, “When Saturday Comes,” is a macho sports pic set in thickly accented northern England. “I believe that English companies are a little bit more willing to give women a chance than in Hollywood, or that the kind of projects women get the chance to do are more offbeat,” she said.

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