Welcome back to Reel Women, the monthly column that highlights new releases that are written and/or directed by women. This month we’ve got something for everyone with comedies, documentaries, dramas and horror! Cinemas are still open, so we have a mixture of films getting the big screen treatment and those that are available to watch in the comfort of your own home.
Carnaval – available on Netflix
Directed by: Leandro Neri
Written by: Audemir Leuzinger, Luisa Mascarenhas and Leandro Neri
After a breakup, an influencer takes her friends on a free trip to Bahia’s vibrant Carnival, where she learns life’s not just about social media likes.
Carnaval is Luisa Mascarenhas’ first produced screenplay.
Dancing Queens – available on Netflix
Directed by: Helena Bergström
Written by: Helena Bergström and Denize Karabuda
The story of Dylan Pettersson (Molly Nutley), a 23-year-old girl from a small island in the Swedish archipelago with big dancing aspirations.
Helena Bergström is a writer, director and actress. Dancing Queens is her sixth feature film. Denize Karabuda is an actress and writer; Dancing Queens is her second feature-length screenplay to be produced.
Land – available in cinemas
Directed by: Robin Wright
Written by: Jesse Chatham and Erin Dignam
A bereaved woman seeks out a new life, off the grid in Wyoming.
Robin Wright is an actress who was Primetime Emmy nominated eight times for her role in House of Cards. Land is her first feature film after previously directing a short film and ten episodes of House of Cards. Land is Erin Dignam’s sixth feature-length screenplay.
Raya and the Last Dragon – available on Disney+ and in cinemas
We have no less than THREE Raya-related interviews on the site!
Directed by: Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada
Written by: Adele Lim and Qui Nguyen
In a realm known as Kumandra, a re-imagined Earth inhabited by an ancient civilization, a warrior named Raya (Kelly Marie Tran) is determined to find the last dragon.
Adele Lim is a producer and writer. She co-wrote megahit Crazy Rich Asians and has written episodes for a dozen different TV shows including Lethal Weapon, Reign and One Tree Hill.
Ahead of the Curve – available on VOD
Directed by: Jen Rainin and Rivkah Beth Medow
Documentary about Franco Stevens who launched Curve, a bestselling lesbian magazine, to help serve the community of queer women.
Jen Rainin is an actress and producer – Ahead of the Curve is her directorial debut. Rivkah Beth Medow is a writer, director, and producer; Ahead of the Curve is her third feature-length documentary and she’s also directed two short films.
Me, Myself And Di – available in cinemas and VOD
Directed by: Chris Green
Written by: Samantha Lloyd
When Janet (Katy Clayton) wins the trip of a lifetime, she’s convinced by her best friend to pretend to be the opposite of who she actually is, in the hope of finding love.
Me, Myself And Di is Samantha Lloyd’s first produced screenplay and she also produced the film.
Tragic Jungle – available on Netflix
Directed by: Yulene Olaizola
Written by: Rubén Imaz and Yulene Olaizola
To escape an arranged marriage, a woman flees into the depths of the Mayan jungle, where untamed nature merges the human and the supernatural.
Yulene Olaizolais a writer, director, editor, and producer. Her first film, the documentary Shakespeare & Victor Hugo’s Intimacies received more than thirty awards. At the Venice Film Festival last year Tragic Jungle won the Sorriso Diverso Venezia Award for Best Film in a Foreign Language.
Shiva Baby – available on MUBI
Written and directed by: Emma Seligman
At a Jewish funeral service with her parents, a college student runs into her sugar daddy.
Emma Seligman is a writer, director, and producer. Shiva Baby is her first feature film and she adapted it from her short film of the same name which was released in 2018.
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt) – available on VOD
Written and directed by: Monica Zanetti
17-year-old Ellie (Sophie Hawkshaw) is struggling to find the courage to ask her classmate, Abbie (Zoe Terakes), to the formal. Luckily her Aunt Tara (Julia Billington), a lesbian who died in the 80’s has shown up as a “Fairy Godmother” to dish out advice, whether Ellie wants it or not.
Monica Zanetti is a director, writer and producer. Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt) is her feature-length directorial debut after previously writing episodes of the TV shows Sisters and My Life is a Murder as well as four short films.
Skater Girl – available on Netflix
Directed by: Manjari Makijany
Written by: Manjari Makijany and Vinati Makijany
When a teen in rural India discovers a life-changing passion for skateboarding, she faces a rough road as she follows her dream to compete.
Manjari Makijany is a producer, writer and director. Skater Girl is her first feature-length film and has previously directed three short films. Vinati Makijany is a producer, actress and writer; Skater Girl is her first produced screenplay.
Gunda – available in cinemas
Directed by: Viktor Kosakovskiy
Written by: Viktor Kosakovskiy and Ainara Vera
Documentary looks at the daily life of a pig and its farm animal companions: two cows and a one-legged chicken.
Ainara Vera is a documentary writer, director, cinematographer, and editor. Gunda is her second documentary screenplay and she also edited the film.
In the Heights – available in cinemas
Directed by: Jon M. Chu
Written by: Quiara Alegría Hudes
Musical about a bodega owner who has mixed feelings about closing his store and retiring to the Dominican Republic after inheriting his grandmother’s fortune.
Quiara Alegría Hudes is a playwright, lyricist and essayist. She wrote the book for the stage musical, In the Heights and has adapted her work for the screen. She was also one of the producers for the film.
Fatherhood – available on Netflix
Directed by: Paul Weitz
Written by: Dana Stevens and Paul Weitz
A father (Kevin Hart) brings up his baby girl as a single dad after the unexpected death of his wife who died a day after their daughter’s birth.
Dana Stevens is a writer, producer and actress. Her previous writing credits include The Nightingale, Safe Haven, and City of Angels.
One in a Thousand – available on VOD
Written and directed by: Clarisa Navas
Awkward teenager Iris (Sofia Cabrera) falls for an older, mysterious woman until rumours about her past threaten to come between their tentative romance.
Clarisa Navas is a writer, director, and producer. One in a Thousand is her second feature film.
Good on Paper – available on Netflix
Directed by: Kimmy Gatewood
Written by: Iliza Shlesinger
After years of putting her career first, a stand-up comic meets a guy who seems perfect: smart, nice, successful and possibly too good to be true.
Kimmy Gatewood is an actress (she’s starred in the shows GLOW and Atypical), director, producer and writer. Good on Paper is her first narrative feature after previously directing episodes of almost a dozen different TV shows including Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Baby-Sitters Club and Girls5eva. Iliza Shlesinger is a writer, actress, producer and comedienne; Good on Paper is her third feature-length screenplay.
Censor – available in cinemas
Directed by: Prano Bailey-Bond
Written by: Prano Bailey-Bond and Anthony Fletcher
After viewing a strangely familiar video nasty, Enid (Niamh Algar), a film censor, sets out to solve the past mystery of her sister’s disappearance, embarking on a quest that dissolves the line between fiction and reality.
Prano Bailey-Bond is an editor, writer and director. Censor is her first feature-length film having previously directed four short films.
That’s sixteen films made by women being released online this month. As always, we’d love to hear what films you’ve watched recently that are made by women and do take care if you decide to venture out to the cinema.