Welcome back to Reel Women, the monthly column 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 documentaries, dramas and the start of Christmas season with festive films.
Charlie’s Christmas Wish – available in cinemas
Written and directed by: Sue Ann Taylor
A war vet with PTSD bonds with adopted shelter dog, Charlie, as his wife struggles to keep the family together at Christmas.
Sue Ann Taylor is a director, writer and producer. Charlie’s Christmas Wish is her second feature film.
When British aid worker Hana (Andrea Riseborough) returns to the ancient city of Luxor, she meets former lover Sultan. As she wanders, haunted by the familiar place, she struggles to reconcile the choices of the past with the uncertainty of the present.
Luxor is Zeina Durra second feature film, and it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema – Dramatic category at Sundance earlier this year.
Looted – available on VOD
Directed by: Rene van Pannevis
Written by: Rene van Pannevis and Kefi Chadwick
Rob (Charley Palmer Rothwell) lives his life at 100mph, carefully balancing carjacking schemes and caring for his dying father. But one risky job could bring it all crashing down.
Kefi Chadwick is a writer and producer. Looted is her first produced feature-length screenplay after previously writing four short films.
Sol – available on VOD
Directed by: Jézabel Marques
Written by: Vincent Cappello, Faïza Guene and Jézabel Marques
Sol (Chantal Lauby), a famous Argentine Tango performer, has lived in Buenos Aires for many years. Behind her excessive temper and her glowing smile, the Diva hides an injury from which she never really recovered: the loss of her only son, Raphaël.
Jézabel Marques and Faïza Guene are both actresses, writers and directors. Sol is their first feature film.
A Place Among the Dead – available on VOD
Directed by: Juliet Landau
Written by: Juliet Landau and Deverill Weekes
An exploration of our cultural obsession with vampires and what they reveal about the human psyche.
Juliet Landau is a director, producer and actress, she starred in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel as Drusilla. A Place Among the Dead is Landau’s first feature film.
Life After the Navigator – available in cinemas
Written and directed by: Lisa Downs
Documentary that not only celebrates the 1986 classic Flight of the Navigator but also looks at the life of its child star, Joey Cramer, and his roller-coaster life since that breakthrough role.
Lisa Downs is a producer, director and editor. She has also directed two other documentaries about classic 80s films and their stars – Life After the Flash about Sam J Jones and Flash Gordon which was released in the UK last year, and Life After Atreyu which is about Noah Hathaway and The Neverending Story which is currently in production.
Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square – available on Netflix
Directed by: Debbie Allen
Written by: Maria S. Schlatter
Rich Regina Fuller (Christine Baranski) returns to her small hometown after her father’s death to evict everyone and sell the land to a mall developer – right before Christmas. However with the help of an Angel (Dolly Parton), she may change her mind.
Debbie Allen is a director, producer and actress. She’s directed of episodes of dozens of TV shows including Grey’s Anatomy, Everybody Hates Chris and That’s So Raven. Maria S. Schlatter is an editor and producer. Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square is her first produced screenplay.
Hillbilly Elegy – available on Netflix
Directed by: Ron Howard
Written by: Vanessa Taylor
A Yale law student drawn back to his hometown grapples with family history, Appalachian values and the American dream.
Vanessa Taylor is a writer and producer. She wrote and produced episodes of Game of Thrones and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay with Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water.
Happiest Season – available in cinemas
Directed by: Clea DuVall
Written by: Clea DuVall and Mary Holland
A young woman with a plan to propose to her girlfriend while at her family’s annual holiday party discovers her partner hasn’t yet come out to her conservative parents.
Clea DuVall is an actress, director and writer. Happiest Season is her second feature film. Happiest Season is Mary Holland’s first produced screenplay, she’s an actress who has starred in multiple films and TV shows including Veep, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and Unicorn Store.
Malibu Road – available in cinemas
Directed by: Montgomery Markland
Written by: Montgomery Markland, Emilia Bogdanova and Ryan Placchetti
Fast living Los Angelenos are targeted by the Central Intelligence Agency during Operation Midnight Climax, part of MKUltra.
Emilia Bogdanova is an actress and producer. Malibu Road is her first produced screenplay.
A Christmas Carol – available in cinemas
Directed by: Jacqui Morris
Written by: David Morris
New animated retelling of the classic story.
Jacqui Morris is a director and producer. In 2013 she was nominated for a Best Documentary BAFTA from McCullin, her first documentary film.
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.