Welcome back to Reel Women, the monthly feature that highlights the films being released in the UK that are written and/or directed by women. There’s something for everyone this month, there’s biopics, dramas, sci-fi adventures and a rom-com to boot.


1 February

Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Directed by: Marielle Heller
Written by: Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty

When author Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy) falls on hard times as her books aren’t selling, she turns to forging letters from famous dead authors, poets and playwrights in order to make a living.

Marielle Heller is an actress, writer and director, her previous film was the critically acclaimed The Diary of a Teenage Girl. Nicole Holofcener is a writer and director with over 20 directing credits to her name. She and Can You Ever Forgive Me?’s co-writer Jeff Whitty are nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at this year’s Oscars.


Escape Room
Directed by: Adam Robitel
Written by: Bragi F. Schut and Maria Melnik

Six strangers find themselves in a maze of deadly mystery rooms and must use their wits to survive.

Escape Room is Maria Melnik’s first produced feature film and previously she’s written episodes of the TV shows American Gods and Black Sails.


Dear Ex
Directed by: Chih-Yen Hsu and Mag Hsu
Written by: Mag Hsu and Shih-yuan Lu

In this Netflix Original a teenager navigates a bitter feud between his mother and a free-spirited man, who’s the lover and insurance beneficiary of his recently deceased dad.

Mag Hsu is a director and writer who has written dozens of episodes for six different TV shows. Shih-yuan Lu is a writer and producer, Dear Ex is her first produced feature screenplay. Dear Ex won three awards at the Golden Horse Film Festival in Taiwan and was nominated for five more including Best Feature Film and Best Original Screenplay.



6 February

Alita: Battle Angel
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Written by: James Cameron, Laeta Kalogridis and Robert Rodriguez

Cyborg Alita (Rosa Salazar) fights to discover the truth of who she is and find a place in the world.

Laeta Kalogridis is a producer and writer whose previous screenplays include Shutter Island and Terminator Genisys.


14 February

Gully Boy
Directed by Zoya Akhtar
Written by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti

A coming-of-age story based on the lives of street rappers in Mumbai.

Zoya Akhtar is a writer and director whose third film Bombay Talkies was nominated for the Queer Palm award at Cannes Film Festival in 2013. Reema Kagti is a writer, director and producer. Gully Boy is Akhtar and Kagti’s third collaboration.


Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno
Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche
Written by Abdellatif Kechiche and Ghalia Lacroix

Set in 1994, a teen boy comes back to his hometown during summer vacation in search for love.

Ghalia Lacroix is a writer and editor. She adapted Blue Is the Warmest Colour to screen and Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno is her fourth produced screenplay.


15 February

The Breaker Upperers
Directed & Written by Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek

After having its UK Premier at the London Film Festival last year, The Breaker Upperers is coming to Netflix. For the right price, best friends Jen (Jackie van Beek) and Mel (Madeleine Sami) will ruthlessly end any romance. But when one of them grows a conscience, their friendship and business beings to unravel.

Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek are both actors, writers and producers. The Breaker Upperers is Sami’s directorial feature debut and van Beek’s second feature film.



22 February

On the Basis of Sex
Directed by: Mimi Leder
Written by: Daniel Stiepleman

Biopic about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her struggle for equal rights and the early cases of her historic legal career.

Mimi Leder is a producer and director who’s directed episodes of shows including Shameless, The Leftovers, The West Wing and ER, the later of which has won her two Primetime Emmy awards. On the Basis of Sex is her first feature film in almost 20 years.


Directed by: Nadine Labaki
Written by: Nadine Labaki, Jihad Hojeily and Michelle Keserwany

While serving a five-year sentence for a violent crime, a 12-year-old boy sues his parents for neglect.

Capernaum is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year at this years Oscars. Capernaum is Nadine Labaki’s third feature film and as well as the Oscar nomination it’s also earned her a BAFTA nomination for Best Film Not in the English Language. Capernaum is Michelle Keserwany’s first produced screenplay.


Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don’t Know Me
Directed by Olivia Lichtenstein

Documentary about Teddy Pendergrass, the man poised to be the biggest R&B artist of all time until the tragic accident that changed his life forever at the age of only 31.

Olivia Lichtenstein is a documentary producer, writer and director. Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don’t Know Me is her fifth documentary film.


Paris is Us
Directed by: Elisabeth Vogler
Written by: Rémi Bassaler, Paul Saïsset, Souliman Schelfout and Elisabeth Vogler

Dreams and reality collide as a young woman navigates a tumultuous relationship and rising social tensions in Paris.

Getting its global release on Netflix, Paris Is Us is Elisabeth Vogler’s first feature film, her previous film was a documentary, and as well as writing and directing Paris Is Us she was also the cinematographer.


28 February

Isn’t It Romantic
Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson
Written by Erin Cardillo, Dana Fox and Katie Silberman

Getting released on Netflix just about everywhere except in the US, Isn’t It Romantic is about Natalie (Rebel Wilson) who is disenchanted with love but then finds herself trapped in a romantic comedy.

Erin Cardillo is an actress and writer who created the TV show Life Sentence. Dana Fox is a writer and producer whose previous work includes How to be Single and What Happens in Vegas. Kate Silberman is a writer and producer whose previous film, Set It Up, is currently on Netflix.

That’s twelve films made by women released in the UK this month; four of them are Netflix releases, and five of them are not in English. As always, we’d love to hear what you think of any of these films if you get the chance to see them.

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