Happy New Year! 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 we’ve got some award contenders, documentaries, dramas and biopics.


3 January

Amanda

Directed by: Mikhaël Hers | Written by: Maud Ameline and Mikhaël Hers

After his sister is brutally killed, David (Vincent Lacoste) finds himself in charge of his 7-year-old niece, Amanda (Isaure Multrier).

Amanda is Maud Ameline’s sixth produced feature-length screenplay. It won the Best Screenplay Award at last year’s Tokyo International Film Festival.


7 January

Cleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters

Directed by: Anthony Bueno | Written by: Anthony Bueno and Claire Bueno

Documentary about the making of Ghostbusters (1984) featuring the cast and crew of the film.

Claire Bueno is a documentary writer and producer. As well as writing Cleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters, she worked as the assistant director, still photographer and producer of the film.


10 January

1917

Directed by: Sam Mendes | Written by: Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns

Two young British soldiers during the First World War are given an impossible mission: deliver a message deep in enemy territory that will stop 1,600 men, and one of the soldier’s brothers, from walking straight into a deadly trap.

Krysty Wilson-Cairns is a British screenwriter who has written five short films and episodes of the TV show Penny Dreadful. 1917 is her first produced feature-length screenplay and her second screenplay Last Night in Soho, which is directed and co-written by Edgar Wright, is expected to be released later this year.

Seberg

Directed by: Benedict Andrews | Written by: Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse

In the late 1960s Hoover’s FBI targets French New Wave icon Jean Seberg (Kristen Stewart) because of her political and romantic involvement with civil rights activist Hakim Jamal (Anthony Mackie).

Seberg is Anna Waterhouse’s fourth produced screenplay. Films she’s previously written include Race (2016) and The Aftermath (2019).

Perfect Nanny

Directed by: Lucie Borleteau | Written by: Lucie Borleteau and Jérémie Elkaïm

French drama about how a nanny’s (Karin Viard) care for her charges develops into an obsession.

Lucie Borleteau is an actress, director and writer. Perfect Nanny is her second feature film and she’s also directed three short films and episodes of the TV show Cannabis.


17 January

Be Natural: The Untold Story Of Alice Guy-Blache

Directed by: Pamela B. Green | Written by: Pamela B. Green and Joan Simon

Documentary about pioneer filmmaker Alice Guy-Blaché, tracing the circumstances by which this extraordinary artist faded from memory and the path toward her reclamation.

Pamela B. Green has worked in the film industry for almost 20 years ad she started out producing the main end titles for films including The Punisher (2004) and The Bourne Supremacy (2004). Be Natural: The Untold Story Of Alice Guy-Blache is her feature-length directorial debut. Be Natural: The Untold Story Of Alice Guy-Blache is Joan Simon’s first writing credit and she also produced the film.

Midnight Traveler

Directed by: Hassan Fazili | Written by: Emelie Mahdavian

When the Taliban puts a bounty on Hassan Fazili’s head, he is forced to flee with his wife and two daughters. Capturing the journey, Fazili shows the dangers facing refugees seeking asylum and the love shared between a family on the run.

Emelie Mahdavian is a director, producer and cinematographer. As well as writing Midnight Traveler, she produced and edited as well.


24 January

The Turning

Directed by: Floria Sigismondi | Written by: Carey W. Hayes and Chad Hayes

A young governess is hired by a man who has become responsible for his young nephew and niece after the deaths of their parents.

Floria Sigismondi is a writer and director. She has directed dozens of music videos from so many different artists including Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry and David Bowie. She’s directed episodes of TV shows including Daredevil, The Handmaid’s Tale and American Gods, and her previous feature film was The Runaways (2010) starring Kristen Stewart.

Present.Perfect.

Directed by: Shengze Zhu | Written by: Shengze Zhu

Millions of Chinese people do live streaming. This documentary looks at how and why people find connections throw the virtual world.

Shengze Zhu is a documentary writer, director and producer. Present.Perfect is her third film.


31 January

A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood

Directed by: Marielle Heller | Written by: Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster

Based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) and journalist Tom Junod (Matthew Rhys).

Marielle Heller is a writer, director and actress. Heller’s directorial debut, The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015) won her numerous awards including Best First Feature at the Independent Spirit Awards in 2016 and her previous film, Can You Ever Forgive Me? was nominated for three Oscars.

Queen & Slim

Directed by: Melina Matsoukas | Written by: Lena Waithe

A couple’s first date takes an unexpected turn when a police officer pulls them over.

Melina Matsoukas has directed dozens of music videos from artists including Kylie Minogue, Ne-Yo and Beyoncé, she’s also directed episodes of TV shows Insecure and Master of None. Queen & Slim is her first feature film. Lena Waithe is an actress, writer and producer. Queen & Slim is her first produced feature-length screenplay.

The Rhythm Section

Directed by: Reed Morano | Written by: Mark Burnell

A woman seeks revenge against those who orchestrated a plane crash that killed her family.

Reed Morano is a director and cinematographer. She won a Primetime Emmy for her direction of the episode “Offred” from The Handmaid’s Tale. The Rhythm Section is her third film and her previous film, I Think We’re Alone Now, won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival in 2018 and it is currently available on Netflix.

Quezon’s Game

Directed by: Matthew Rosen | Written by: Janice Y. Perez and Dean Rosen

In 1938, Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon (Raymond Bagatsing) agrees to welcome Jewish refugees from Germany in the Philippines.

Janice Y. Perez is a writer, producer and director. Quezon’s Game is her first produced feature-length screenplay.


That’s thirteen films made by women released this month. As always, we’d love to hear what you think of any of these films if you get the chance to see them. I hope your 2020 is full of interesting films from a diverse range of filmmakers!