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. This month there’s documentaries, comedies, dramas and a musical to.
Directed by: Sophie Hyde
Written by: Emma Jane Unsworth
Laura (Holliday Grainger) and Tyler (Alia Shawkat) struggle with the concept of settling down and “acting their age”. Hyde is a director, writer and producer whose previous film 52 Tuesdays won the Directing Award (World Cinema – Dramatic) at Sundance Film Festival in 2014. Animals is Unsworth’s first screenplay after she adapted her own novel for screen. (You can find our review here)
Directed by: Cindy Chupack
Written by: Mark Andrus and Cindy Chupack
Three friends and mothers (Patricia Arquette, Angela Bassett and Felicity Huffman) decide to drive to New York City to reconnect with their adult sons and in the process, they realise their sons are not the only ones whose lives need to change. Coming to Netflix, Otherhood is Cindy Chupack’s feature film directorial debut. She’s a writer and producer who has worked on dozens of TV shows including Modern Family, Everybody Loves Raymond and Sex and the City.
Blinded by the Light
Directed by: Gurinder Chadha
Written by: Paul Mayeda Berges, Gurinder Chadha and Sarfraz Manzoor
In 1987 during the austere days of Thatcher’s Britain, a teenager learns to live life, understand his family and find his own voice through the music of Bruce Springsteen. Gurinder Chadha is a writer, director and producer whose probably best known for Bend It Like Beckham which earnt her her second BAFTA nomination. Blinded by the Light is her eighth film. (You can find our review here)
The Sun Is Also a Star
Directed by: Ry Russo-Young
Written by: Tracy Oliver
When Daniel (Charles Melton), a hopeless romantic ambivalent about his future in medical school, falls for a hard-luck Natasha (Yara Shahidi) who doesn’t believe in love, she gives him one day to get her to fall in love with him. Russo-Young is a writer, editor and director. Her previous film, Before I Fall, is currently available on Netflix. Oliver is a writer and producer whose work includes Girls Trip and Little.
Directed by: Deniz Gamze Ergüven
Written by: Deniz Gamze Ergüven
Kings follows the life of a foster family in South Central Los Angeles, a few weeks before the city erupts in violence following the verdict of the Rodney King trial. Ergüven is an actor, writer and director. Her first film Mustang won the BAFTA for Best Film not in the English Language and it was also nominated for an Oscar.
Directed by: Kelly Asbur
Written by: Alison Peck
An animated adventure about UglyDolls who try and find a place to belong. UglyDolls is Peck’s first produced screenplay.
Directed by: Kirill Serebrennikov
Written by: Mikhail Idov, Lili Idova, Ivan Kapitonov and Kirill Serebrennikov
A love triangle emerges around a rock and roll musician, his protege and his wife in 1980s Russia. Leto is Idova’s first produced feature-length screenplay after writing a few episodes of TV shows The Optimists and Londongrad.
Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy
Directed by: Justin Kelly
Written by: Justin Kelly and Savannah Knoop
A young woman named Savannah Knoop (Kristen Stewart) spends six years pretending to be the celebrated author JT LeRoy, the made-up literary persona of her sister-in-law. Knoop wrote the screenplay for Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy based on her own memoir and produced the film. It is her first produced screenplay.
Directed by: Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
This Netflix documentary takes a deep dive into a post-industrial Ohio, where a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant and hires two thousand blue-collar Americans. Julia Reichert is a documentary director and producer. She has been nominated for an Oscar three times and her work spans over 40 years. American Factory is her eighth feature-length documentary.
Directed by: Penny Lane
Documentary looking at the quick rise and influence of the controversial religious group known as The Satanic Temple. Lane is a documentary writer, editor, producer and director. She’s directed a dozen documentary films, both short and feature-length. (You can find our review here)
Directed by: Martin Owen
Written by: Seth Johnson, Elizabeth Morris, Martin Owen
A support group of killers is held regularly where the participants sit in a circle of trust and share their transgressions. Morris is a writer and actor. Killers Anonymous is her third produced screenplay.
Falling Inn Love
Directed by: Roger Kumble
Written by: Hilary Galanoy and Elizabeth Hackett
When Gabriela’s (Christina Milian) San Francisco design firm folds the week of her break-up, she ends up entering (and winning) an online contest to “Win an Inn” overlooking New Zealand’s countryside. Wine was involved. After she travels thousands of miles to see her new business, she’s keen to renovate it and sell it fast. But there she meets Jake (Adam Demos) and through her time with him and the inviting community she reluctantly becomes a part of, she becomes hesitant to leave.
Galanoy and Hackett have previously worked together on Disney Channel Original movie Geek Charming and Nickelodeon’s Rags: The Movie. Falling Inn Love is their fourth produced screenplay.
A Million Little Pieces
Directed by: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Written by: Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Sam Taylor-Johnson
A young drug-addled writer approaching the bottom of his descent submits to two months of agonizing detox at a treatment centre in Minnesota. Taylor-Johnson is a director, writer and producer. Her work has been nominated for a BAFTA three times, including Nowhere Boy which was nominated for Best British Film.
Directed by: Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre
Written by: Mona Fastvold, Brock Norman Brock and Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre
The story of Roman Coleman (Matthias Schoenaerts), a violent convict, who is given the chance to participate in a rehabilitation therapy program involving the training of wild mustangs. Fastvold is an actor, writer and director. The Mustang is her third produced screenplay.
A Bump Along the Way
Directed by: Shelly Love
Written by: Tess McGowan
A boozy 44-year-old single mother becomes pregnant from a one-night-stand, much to the shame of her buttoned-up teen daughter. A Bump Along the Way is Love’s first feature film and it is McGowan’s first screenplay.
Directed by: Joanna Hogg
Written by: Joanna Hogg
A young film student in the early ’80s becomes romantically involved with a complicated and untrustworthy man. Hogg is a writer and director. The Souvenir is her fourth feature film and it won the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema – Dramatic category at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. (You can find our review here)
That’s sixteen films (more than last month’s offerings!) made by women being released in the UK this month, both in cinemas and on Netflix. As always, if you do see any of these films, we’d love to hear what you make of them.
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