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. Bit of a quiet month again, I guess it is summer so it’s time for all the big blockbusters and (unfortunately) female filmmakers don’t often get the chance to make one of those.
Vita & Virginia
Directed by: Chanya Button | Written by: Eileen Atkins and Chanya Button
The story of the love affair between socialite and popular author Vita Sackville-West (Gemma Arterton) and literary icon Virginia Woolf (Elizabeth Debicki).
Chanya Button is a director, writer and producer. Vita & Virginia is her second feature film. Dame Eileen Atkins is an actress who has starred in dozens of TV shows and films including, Cold Mountain, The Crown and Paddington 2. She created the TV show Upstairs Downstairs and Vita & Virginia is her second feature-length screenplay after 1997’s Mrs Dalloway.
Directed by: Alison Klayman
A fly-on-the-wall chronicle of embattled former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s global mission to spread extreme nationalism.
Alison Klayman is a documentary filmmaker who has previously produced, edited and worked at cinematographer on her films. Two of Klayman’s previous films, Take Your Pills and The 100 Years Show are currently available on Netflix.
Tell It to the Bees
Directed by: Annabel Jankel | Written by: Henrietta Ashworth and Jessica Ashworth
In 1950s small town Britain, a doctor (Anna Paquin) develops a relationship with her young patient’s mother (Holliday Granger).
Tell It to the Bees is Jankel’s fifth film. She’s previously directed TV movies including Skellig and she co-directed 1993’s Super Mario Bros. Twin sisters Henrietta and Jessica Ashworth are both actresses and writers. Together they have written episodes of Killing Eve, Dixi and Fresh Meat. Tell It to the Bees is their first produced feature-length screenplay.
My Friend the Polish Girl
Written & Directed by: Ewa Banaszkiewicz and Mateusz Dymek
A fiction-film told through a female documentarian’s lens, as she manipulates the story of an unemployed Polish actress living in London.
Ewa Banaszkiewicz is a writer, director and producer. My Friend the Polish Girl is her fist feature-length film.
Horrible Histories: The Movie
Directed by: Dominic Brigstocke | Written by: Caroline Norris, Giles Pilbow and Jessica Swale
While the young Emperor Nero (Craig Roberts) must battle his scheming mother Agrippina (Kim Cattrall) for ultimate power, Celt queen Boudicca (Kate Nash) gathers an army in Britain to repel the rotten Romans.
Horrible Histories: The Movie is Caroline Norris’s first writing credit. She’s previously produced episodes for over a dozen different TV shows including Horrible Histories, Raised by Wolves and Tracey Ullman’s Show, which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in 2017. Jessica Swale is an Olivier award-winning playwright, screenwriter and director. Her short film Leading Lady Parts starring a whole host of famous actresses gained a lot of attention on social media last year.
Directed by: Lila Avilés | Written by: Lila Avilés, Juan Carlos Marquéz
Drama about the life of a chambermaid as she works in one of Mexico City’s most luxurious hotels.
Lila Avilés is an actress, writer, director and producer. The Chambermaid is her first feature-length film and it was a nominee in the First Feature Competition at the London Film Festival last year.
That’s six films made by women being released in UK cinemas this month. As always, if you do see any of these films, we’d love to hear what you make of them.