According to film critic Joel Poblete, who writes for Mabuse, a cinema magazine, Lucrecia Martel is one of the members of the so-called "New Argentina Cinema" which began c. 1998.
Yet, because one of the film schools she attended closed for lack of funds, she maintains she was self-taught. Martel said, "I watched movies, I read books, I wrote. I was a free mind, because I had to be.
She directed a number of short films between 1988 and 1994. The award winning short film Rey Muerto (Dead King) (1995) was part of Historias Breves I (Brief Tales I).
Her debut film La Ciénaga received several international awards. The Holy Girl was selected for competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004 and The Woman Who Lost Her Head was selected for competition at Cannes in 2008.
She was a member of the Cannes Film Festival Feature Films Jury in 2006.