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 documentaries, horror, and films for the whole family! Cinemas are 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.
Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story – available in cinemas
Directed by: Laura Fairrie
Documentary on the trailblazing life of novelist Jackie Collins.
Laura Fairrie is a documentary director, producer and cinematographer. Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story is her fourth feature-length documentary film.
Fear Street Part 1: 1994 – available on Netflix
Directed by: Leigh Janiak
Written by: Phil Graziadei and Leigh Janiak
Based on the cult classic books by R.L. Stine Fear Street Part 1: 1994 is the first part of a trilogy of horror films being released weekly on Netflix in July. A circle of teenage friends accidentally encounter the ancient evil responsible for a series of brutal murders that have plagued their town for over 300 years.
Leigh Janiak is a director, writer and producer. She directed all three films in the Fear Street trilogy and she previously directed episodes of the TV shows Outcast, Scream, and Panic.
Black Widow – available in cinemas and Disney+ Premier Access
Directed by: Cate Shortland
Written by: Eric Pearson
Natasha Romanoff’s (Scarlett Johansson) past catches up with her forcing her to reconnect with old friends.
Cate Shortland is a director and writer. Black Widow is her fifth feature-length film after previously directing three short films and episodes of the TV shows The Secret Life of Us and SMILF.
The Water Man – available on Netflix
Directed by: David Oyelowo
Written by: Emma Needell
A boy sets out on a quest to save his ill mother by searching for a mythic figure said to have magical healing powers.
Emma Needell is a writer, director and producer. The Water Man is her first feature-length screenplay after previously writing and directing two short films.
Fear Street Part 2: 1978 – available on Netflix
Directed by: Leigh Janiak
Written by: Leigh Janiak and Zak Olkewicz
Shadyside, 1978. School’s out for summer and the activities at Camp Nightwing are about to begin. But when another Shadysider is possessed with the urge to kill, the fun in the sun becomes a gruesome fight for survival.
First Cow – available on MUBI
Directed by: Kelly Reichardt
Written by: Jonathan Raymond and Kelly Reichardt
A skilled cook has travelled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon, though he only finds true connection with a Chinese immigrant also seeking his fortune. Soon the two collaborate on a successful business.
Kelly Reichardt is a writer, director and editor. First Cow is her eighth feature film.
Space Jam: A New Legacy – available in cinemas
Directed by: Malcolm D. Lee
Written by: Juel Taylor, Tony Rettenmaier, Keenan Coogler, Terence Nance, Jesse Gordon and Celeste Ballard
Basketball superstar LeBron James teams up with the Looney Tunes gang to defeat the Goon Squad and save his son.
Celeste Ballard is an actress, writer and producer. Space Jam: A New Legacy is her first feature film credit and has written episodes for almost a dozen different TV shows including Never Seen It, Sweet/Vicious, and Wrecked.
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions – available in cinemas
Directed by: Adam Robitel
Written by: Will Honley, Maria Melnik, Daniel Tuch and Oren Uziel
Six people unwittingly find themselves locked in another series of escape rooms, slowly uncovering what they have in common to survive. Joining forces with two of the original survivors, they soon discover they’ve all played the game before.
Maria Melnik co-wrote the first Escape Room screenplay and has written episodes of American Gods and Counterpart.
Fear Street Part 3: 1666 – available on Netflix
Directed by: Leigh Janiak
Written by: Phil Graziadei, Leigh Janiak and Kate Trefry
The origins of Sarah Fier’s curse are finally revealed as history comes full circle on a night that changes the lives of Shadysiders forever.
Kate Trefry is an art director and screenwriter. Fear Street Part 3: 1666 is her first feature-length screenplay credit after previously writing two short films and episodes of Stranger Things.
Two of Us – available in cinemas and VOD
Directed by: Filippo Meneghetti
Written by: Malysone Bovorasmy and Filippo Meneghetti
Pensioners Nina (Barbara Sukowa) and Madeleine (Martine Chevallier) have hidden their deep and passionate love for many decades, but their bond is put to the test when they are suddenly unable to move freely between each other’s apartments.
Two of Us is Malysone Bovorasmy’s first produced feature-length screenplay and she’s also written a couple of episodes of the TV show Nina. Two of Us was nominated for four awards, including Best Original Screenplay, at the César Awards earlier this year and it won the award for Best First Film. It was also nominated for Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language at this years Golden Globes.
Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans – available on Netflix
Directed by: Johane Matte, Francisco Ruiz-Velasco and Andrew L. Schmidt
Written by: Marc Guggenheim, Dan Hageman and Kevin Hageman
The heroes from the Trollhunters series team-up on an epic adventure to fight the Arcane Order for control over the magic that binds them all.
Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans is Johane Matte feature film directorial debut after previously directing episodes of the TV shows Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia and 3Below: Tales of Arcadia. Matte original started out working out in the art and animation departments on films such Rise of the Guardians and How to Train Your Dragon 2 as a storyboard artist.
Jolt – available on Amazon Prime
Directed by: Tanya Wexler
Written by: Scott Wascha
After the first guy Lindy, a bouncer (Kate Beckinsale) with a slightly murderous anger-management problem, has ever fallen for is murdered she goes on a revenge-fuelled rampage to find the killer while the cops pursue her as their chief suspect.
Tanya Wexler is a director and producer. Jolt is her fifth feature film and her previous film, Buffaloed, is currently available on NowTV.
Off the Rails – available in cinemas
Directed by: Jules Williamson
Written by: Jordan Waller
Three fifty-something women set out to repeat the European inter-railing adventures of their youth after their close friend dies leaving them rail tickets, and a final request: to take her 18-year-old daughter with them.
Jules Williamson is a director and producer. Her short film Tattoo was nominated for a BAFTA in 2002 and Off the Rails is her first feature film after previously directing episodes of documentary TV shows.
The World to Come – available in cinemas
Directed by: Mona Fastvold
Written by: Ron Hansen and Jim Shepard
Somewhere along the mid-19th century American East Coast frontier, two neighbouring couples battle hardship and isolation, witnessed by a splendid yet testing landscape, challenging them both physically and psychologically.
Mona Fastvold is an actress, writer, director and producer. The World to Come is her second feature film and it won the Queer Lion Award at last years Venice Film Festival.
Phil Liggett: The Voice Of Cycling – available in cinemas and VOD
Directed by: Nickolas Bird and Eleanor Sharpe
Written by: Eleanor Sharpe
Documentary on life and accomplishments of Phil Liggett, the amateur racer turned global broadcaster who covered 48 Tours de France and 15 Olympic Games.
Eleanor Sharpe is a documentary writer, director, producer and editor. Phil Liggett: The Voice Of Cycling is her sixth documentary film.
Here We Are – available in cinemas and VOD
Directed by: Nir Bergman
Written by: Dana Idisis
Aharon (Shai Avivi) and his autistic son Uri (Noam Imber) live together, but now it might be time for him to live in a specialised home. While on their way to the institution, Aharon decides to run away with his son and hits the road.
Dana Idisis is a writer and director. Here We Are is her first produced feature-length screenplay after previously writing for TV shows including Beauty and the Baker and On the Spectrum.
Resort to Love – available on Netflix
Directed by: Steven K. Tsuchida
Written by: Tabi McCartney and Dana Schmalenberg
Aspiring pop star Erica (Christina Milian) who ends up as the entertainment at her ex-fiancé’s wedding after reluctantly taking a gig at a luxurious Mauritius island resort while in the wake of a music career meltdown.
Dana Schmalenberg is an actress and writer. Resort to Love is her second feature film and it’s Tabi McVartney’s first produced screenplay.
Spirit Untamed – available in cinemas
Directed by: Elaine Bogan and Ennio Torresan
Written by: Aury Wallington
Lucky Prescott’s (Isabela Merced) life is changed forever when she moves from her home in the city to a small frontier town and befriends a wild mustang named Spirit.
Spirit Untamed is Elaine Bogan’s first feature film after previously directing episodes of the animated series Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia, Dragons: Riders of Berk, and 3Below: Tales of Arcadia.
The Most Beautiful Boy In The World – available in cinemas
Written and directed by: Kristina Lindström and Kristian Petri
In 1971, due to the world premiere of Death in Venice, Italian director Lucino Visconti proclaimed his Tadzio as the world’s most beautiful boy. A shadow that today, 50 years later, weighs on Björn Andresen’s life.
Kristina Lindström is a documentary writer, director and producer. The Most Beautiful Boy In The World was nominated for the Grad Jury Prize in the World Cinema – Documentary category at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
The Offering – available in cinemas and on VOD
Directed by: Ventura Durall
Written by: Sandra Beltrán, Ventura Durall, Clara Roquet and Guillem Sala
Jan (Alex Brendemühl), a mysterious character haunted by a deep feeling of guilt, tries to get Violeta (Claudia Riera) back, a youth love he lost 20 years ago, with a sickening plan.
The Offering is Sandra Beltrán’s first produced screenplay. Clara Roquet is a writer and director; The Offering is her fourth feature-length screenplay and she’s also written five short films.
Madison and the Happiness Jar – available on VOD
Written and directed: Chrys Phillips
When a happiness jar lands in Madison’s (Melanie Britton) possession, it unexpectedly leads her to interesting crossroads, new friendships, true love, self-empowerment and ultimately new beginnings.
Chrys Phillips is a screenwriter, author, director, and producer. Madison and the Happiness Jar is her first feature film having previously written and directed episodes of the TV show Counter Play.
That’s twenty-one (!) films made by women being released online and in cinemas this month! That’s the most films made by women released in one month so far this year.
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.