Welcome back to Reel Women, the monthly feature that highlights films that are written and/or directed by women. Once again, as there is a pandemic and things are constantly changing, these release dates (and how the films are released) could change. This month there’s something for everyone as there’s dramas, documentaries, comedies and horror films – and with twenty-three films made by women being released this month, that’s probably the most we’ve had so far in 2020.

2 October

A Perfectly Normal Family – available in cinemas

Directed by: Malou Reymann

Written by: Malou Reymann, Maren Louise Käehne and Rune Schjøtt

Emma (Kaya Toft Loholt) has a perfectly normal family until one day it turns out her dad, Thomas (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard), is transgender. As Thomas becomes Agnete, both father and daughter struggle to hold on to what they had while accepting that everything has changed.

A Perfectly Normal Family is Malou Reymann’s first feature film after previously writing and directing half a dozen short films, while it is Maren Louise Käehne’s fourth feature-length screenplay.

You’ve Got This – available on Netflix

Directed by: Salvador Espinosa

Written by: Tiaré Scanda and Leonardo Zimbrón

Alex, an advertising creative wants to be a dad at all cost, but his wife is a lawyer on top of her career, and being a mother isn’t part of her plans. An unexpected guest will challenge their love.

Tiaré Scanda is an actress, You’ve Got This is her first produced screenplay.

6 October

The Lie – available on Amazon Prime

Directed by: Veena Sud

Written by: Sebastian Ko, Marcus Seibert and Veena Sud

A father and daughter are on their way to dance camp when they spot the girl’s best friend on the side of the road. When they stop to offer the friend a ride, their good intentions soon result in terrible consequences.

Veena Sud is a producer, writer and director. The Lie is her second feature film and she’s also directed episodes of The Stranger and The Real World.

9 October

Kajillionaire – available in cinemas

Written and directed by: Miranda July

A woman’s life is turned upside down when her criminal parents invite an outsider to join them on a major heist they’re planning.

Miranda July is a writer, director, actress and producer. Kajillionaire is her third feature film, and she’s previously written almost a dozen short films.

Saint Maud – available in cinemas

Written and directed by: Rose Glass

Follows a pious nurse (Morfydd Clark) who becomes dangerously obsessed with saving the soul of her dying patient.

Saint Maud is Rose Glass’s first feature film after previously writing and directing five short films.

I Am Woman – available in cinemas

Directed by: Unjoo Moon

Written by: Emma Jensen

Biopic about Helen Reddy (Tilda Cobham-Hervey), a musician and activist in the 1970s.

I Am Woman is Unjoo Moon’s first feature film after previously directing a short film and the documentary The Zen of Bennett. Emma Jensen is a writer and producer; her first produced screenplay was 2017’s Mary Shelley.

The Forty-Year-Old Version – available on Netflix

Written and directed by: Radha Blank

Radha is a down-on-her-luck NY playwright, who is desperate for a breakthrough before 40. Reinventing herself as rapper RadhaMUSPrime, she vacillates between the worlds of Hip Hop and theatre in order to find her true voice.

Radha Blank is a playwright, producer, director and screenwriter. The Forty-Year-Old Version, which is loosely autobiographical, is her sophomore film.

Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint – available in cinemas

Directed by: Halina Dyrschka

Documentary about the first abstract artist, Hilma Klint, misjudged and concealed, she rocked the art world with her mind-blowing oeuvre.

Halina Dyrschka is a documentary director and producer. Beyond the Visible – Hilma Af Klint is her first feature-length documentary.

14 October

BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky – available on Netflix

Directed by: Caroline Suh

Documentary following the meteoric rise of the South Korean girl group BLACKPINK.

Caroline Suh is a documentary director and producer.

Nocturne – available on Amazon Prime

Written and directed by: Zu Quirke

An incredibly gifted pianist makes a Faustian bargain to overtake her older sister at a prestigious institution for classical musicians.

Nocturne is Zu Quirke’s first feature film having previously written and directed three short films.

Evil Eye – available on Amazon Prime

Directed by: Elan Dassani and Rajeev Dassani

Written by: Madhuri Shekar

A superstitious mother is convinced that her daughter’s new boyfriend is the reincarnation of a man who tried to kill her 30 years ago.

With Evil Eye, Madhuri Shekar adapted her own audio play of the same name.

A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting – available on Netflix

Directed by: Rachel Talalay

Written by: Joe Ballarini

A babysitter embarks on a mission to save a child who’s been abducted by monsters.

Over almost fifteen years, Rachel Talalay has directed episodes of over fifty different TV shows including Doctor Who, The Flash and American Gods. Her third film Tank Girl has become a cult classic.

16 October

Herself – available in cinemas

Directed by: Phyllida Lloyd

Written by: Malcolm Campbell and Clare Dunne

The story of young mother Sandra (Clare Dunne) who escapes her abusive husband and fights back against a broken housing system.

Phyllida Lloyd is a theatre and film director. Herself is her third feature film after Mamma Mia! and The Iron Lady. Clare Dunne is an actress, Herself is her first produced screenplay.

Carmilla – available in cinemas

Written and directed by: Emily Harris

An atmospheric, coming-of-age love story steeped in eerie mystery and inspired by the gothic novel of the same name by Sheridan Le Fanu.

Emily Harris is a director, editor, writer and producer. Carmilla is her eighth directing credit.

21 October

Rebecca – available on Netflix

Directed by: Ben Wheatley

Written by: Jane Goldman, Joe Sharpnel and Anna Waterhouse

A young newlywed arrives at her husband’s imposing family estate on a windswept English coast and finds herself battling the shadow of his first wife, Rebecca, whose legacy lives on in the house long after her death.

Jane Goldman and Anna Waterhouse are both writers and producers. Goldman’s previous screenplays include Stardust, X-Men: First Class and Kingsman: The Secret Service, while Waterhouse’s include Frankie & Alice, The Aftermath and Seberg.

23 October

On the Rocks – available on Apple TV

Written and directed by: Sofia Coppola

A young mother (Rashida Jones) reconnects with her larger-than-life playboy father (Bill Murray) on an adventure through New York.

Sofia Coppola is a writer, director and producer. In 2004 she won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Lost in Translation. She was also nominated for Best Director.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan – available on Amazon Prime

Directed by: Jason Woliner

Written by: Peter Baynham, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jena Friedman, Anthony Hines, Lee Kern, Dan Mazer, Erica Rivinoja and Dan Swimer

Kazakh television journalist Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen) returns to find a husband for his daughter.

Jena Friedman and Erica Rivinoja are both screenwriters and producers. Rivinoja has written episodes of Bad Teach, The Last Man on Earth and Marry Me, while Friedman has written episodes of The Conners and the Late Show with David Letterman.

A Call to Spy – available in cinemas

Directed by: Lydia Dean Pilcher

Written by: Sarah Megan Thomas

In the beginning of WWII, with Britain becoming desperate, Churchill orders his new spy agency – SOE – to recruit and train women as spies.

Lydia Dean Pilcher is a producer and director. She’s had three Primetime Emmy Awards and in 2014 the documentary Cutie and the Boxer was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Sarah Megan Thomas is an actress, writer and producer. A Call to Spy is her third produced screenplay.

Cordelia – available in cinemas

Directed by: Adrian Shergold

Written by: Antonia Campbell-Hughes and Adrian Shergold

Following an incident in her past, Cordelia (Antonia Campbell-Hughes) now lives with her twin sister, Caroline (Antonia Campbell-Hughes) in their late father’s basement flat.

Antonia Campbell-Hughes is an actress and writer. She’s starred in the TV series Lead Balloon and Mr Blue Sky and one of her documentary shorts featured in the anthology The Uncertain Kingdom.

28 October

Holidate – available on Netflix

Directed by: John Whitesell

Written by: Tiffany Paulsen

Sloane (Emma Roberts) and Jackson (Luke Bracey) hate being single on holidays where they face constant judgment from their meddling families. So, when these two strangers meet, they pledge to be each other’s “holidate” for every festive occasion in the year ahead.

Holidate is Tiffany Paulsen’s fifth produced screenplay and she was also one of the film’s executive producers.

The Craft: Legacy – available on VOD

Written and directed by: Zoe Lister-Jones

Remake/sequel to the 90s cult classic, The Craft: Legacy sees four high school girls form a coven of witches.

Zoe Lister-Jones is a writer, director, producer and actress. The Craft: Legacy is her second feature film.

30 October

Shirley – available in cinemas

Directed by: Josephine Decker

Written by: Sarah Gubbins

Famous horror writer Shirley Jackson (Elizabeth Moss) finds inspiration for her next book after she and her husband take in a young couple.

Josephine Decker is a writer, director, editor and actress. With Shirley she won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Shirley is Sarah Gubbins’ first feature film after previously writing episodes of the TV shows Better Things and I Love Dick.

Relic – available in cinemas

Directed by: Natalie Erika James

Written by: Natalie Erika James and Christian White

A daughter, mother and grandmother are haunted by a manifestation of dementia that consumes their family’s home.

Natalie Erika James is a writer, director and editor. Relic is her first feature film after previously writing and directing four short films.

As always, we’d love to hear what films you’ve watched recently that are made by women, and if you do venture out to the cinema – stay safe and look out for one another.