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The list of documentary Oscar winners over the past 60 years has included women filmmakers, demonstrating that while the world of feature narrative films remains much too largely a boys’ club, docs have long been a great place where women contribute, compete and win.

With that glass ceiling thankfully long broken, it’s important to note that the first woman to ever garner the documentary feature prize was Nancy Hamilton, a wonderfully creative force who, before scoring the Oscar for her first filmmaking effort, “Helen Keller in Her Own Story,” back in 1955, had already distinguished herself in the worlds of songwriting, acting, playwriting and screenwriting.

Hamilton, lyricist of the American Songbook classic “How High the Moon,” also wrote much-lauded sketches and lyrics for several New York theater productions over the two decades before her Keller documentary was released. Today, few outside the world of academics studying the history of gay and lesbian contributions to entertainment know her name, but every creative in show business would recognize the kindred spirit of determination behind her comment on making your own breaks: “The only way to get a show is to write a show.”