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.
How to Deter a Robber – available on VOD
Written and directed by: Maria Bissell
In a desolate town in Northern Wisconsin, a stubborn young woman and her naïve boyfriend face off against a pair of amateur burglars.
Maria Bissell is a writer, director and producer. How to Deter a Robber is her feature-length directorial debut.
Pray Away – available on Netflix
Directed by: Kristine Stolakis
Ex-leaders and a survivor of the so-called “conversion therapy” movement speak out about its harm to the LGBTQIA+ community and its devastating persistence.
Kristine Stolakis is a documentary director and producer who’s previously directed five short documentary films. Pray Away is her first feature-length documentary and it was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
WE ARE THE GEORDIES – available in cinemas and VOD
Directed by: James DeMarco and Zahra Zomorrodian
Documentary following a group of Newcastle United fans as they experience the joys and pains, as the Magpies, led by the mighty Rafael Benítez, fight to get back into the Premier League.
Zahra Zomorrodian is a director and producer; this is her directorial debut.
All Hands On Deck – available on MUBI
Directed by: Guillaume Brac
Written by: Guillaume Brac and Catherine Paillé
An unlikely oddball trio bond during an impromptu trip to the French countryside on a foolhardy romantic mission.
Catherine Paillé is a screenwriter who has had over a dozen feature-length screenplays produced.
Zola – available in cinemas
Directed by: Janicza Bravo
Written by: Janicza Bravo and Jeremy O. Harris
Based on the viral twitter thread, a stripper named Zola (Taylour Paige) embarks on a wild road trip to Florida.
Janicza Bravo is a writer, director and producer. Zola is her second feature film and she’s directed episodes of such TV shows as Dear White People, Atlanta, and Mrs. America.
The Last Letter from Your Lover – available in cinemas
Directed by: Augustine Frizzell
Written by: Nick Payne and Esta Spalding
A young journalist in London becomes obsessed with a series of letters she discovers that recounts an intense star-crossed love affair from the 1960s.
Augustine Frizzell is an actress, director and producer. The Last Letter from Your Lover is her third film and she’s previously directed three short films and episodes of Euphoria and Sweetbitter. Esta Spalding is a writer and producer. She’s written episodes of over a dozen different TV shows including Masters of Sex, Flashpoint, and On Becoming a God in Central Florida.
Profile – available in cinemas
Directed by: Timur Bekmambetov
Written by: Britt Poulton, Olga Kharina and Timur Bekmambetov
An undercover British journalist infiltrates the online propaganda channels of the so-called Islamic State, only to be sucked in by her recruiter.
Britt Poulton is a writer and director; Profile is her second feature-length screenplay to be produced. Olga Kharina is a writer, director and producer. Profile is her third produced screenplay.
The Fever – available in cinemas and VOD
Directed by: Maya Da-Rin
Written by: Pedro Cesarino, Maya Da-Rin and Miguel Seabra Lopes
Justino (Regis Myrupu), a 45-year-old Desana native, is a security guard at the Manaus harbor. As his daughter prepares to study medicine in Brasilia, Justino is taken over by a mysterious fever.
Maya Da-Rin is a writer, director and producer. The Fever is her third narrative feature and she’s also directed a documentary film.
The Cloud In Her Room – available on MUBI
Written and directed by: Xinyuan Zheng Lu
Zhao Muzi went back to her hometown Hangzhou for spring festival. Her parents divorced years ago, her mother is dating a foreigner now while her father started a new family and had a new kid.
Xinyuan Zheng Lu is a writer, director, editor, and cinematographer. The Cloud in Her Room is her first feature film after previously directing six short films.
I’m Your Man – available in cinemas
Directed by: Maria Schrader
Written by: Jan Schomburg and Maria Schrader
In order to obtain research funds for her studies, a scientist accepts an offer to participate in an extraordinary experiment: for three weeks, she is to live with a humanoid robot, created to make her happy.
Maria Schrader is an actress, writer, and director. I’m Your Man is her fourth feature film and last year she won a Primetime Emmy Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special for her work on Unorthodox.
CODA – available on Apple+ TV
Written and directed by: Sian Heder
As a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) Ruby (Emilia Jones) is the only hearing person in her deaf family. When the family’s fishing business is threatened, Ruby finds herself torn between pursuing her love of music and her fear of abandoning her parents.
Sian Heder is an actress, writer and director. CODA is her second feature film. Her first, Tallulah, is available on Netflix and she’s also directed episodes of GLOW and Orange Is the New Black.
Wildland – available in cinemas
Directed by: Jeanette Nordahl
Written by: Ingeborg Topsøe
Ida (Sandra Guldberg Kampp) moves in with her aunt and cousins after the tragic death of her mother in a car accident. The home is filled with love, but outside of the home, the family leads a violent and criminal life.
Wildland was nominated for the Best First Feature Award at last years Berlin International Film Festival. Wildland is Jeanette Nordahl’s first feature film after previously directing two short films working as an assistant director on TV shows and films like Department Q: The Keeper of Lost Causes. Ingeborg Topsøe is an actress and writer who has previously written five short films.
Josee, the Tiger and the Fish – available on VOD
Directed by: Kôtarô Tamura
Written by: Sayaka Kuwamura
Josee, named after the heroine in Françoise Sagan’s Wonderful Clouds, spends most of her days reading and painting until by chance she encounters Tsuneo, and decides it’s time to face the real world.
Josee, the Tiger and the Fish is Sayaka Kuwamura’s fourth feature-length screenplay.
Snake Eyes – available in cinemas
Directed by: Robert Schwentke
Written by: Evan Spiliotopoulos, Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse
Origin story of the G.I. Joe character Snake Eyes, a skilled assassin.
Anna Waterhouse is a writer and producer. Snake Eyes is her sixth feature-length screenplay and her previous writing credits include Seberg, Rebecca, and The Aftermath.
Reminiscence – available in cinemas
Written and directed by: Lisa Joy
A scientist discovers a way to relive your past and uses the technology to search for his long-lost love.
Lisa Joy is a writer, director and producer. Reminiscence is her first feature film and she has three Primetime Emmy nominations for her work on Westworld.
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.
The Man Who Sold His Skin – available in cinemas
Written and directed by: Kaouther Ben Hania
His own body turned into a living work of art and promptly exhibited in a museum, Sam (Yahya Mahayni), a Syrian refugee, will soon realize to have sold away more than just his skin.
The Man Who Sold His Skin was nominated for Best International Feature Film at this years Oscars and is Kaouther Ben Hania’s second feature-length narrative film after previously directing four short films and three documentary films.
Underground – available in cinemas
Written and directed by: Sophie Dupuis
Maxime is a miner with a troubled past. After an explosion at his mine, Maxime attempts to find redemption by saving his fellow miners.
Sophie Dupuis is a writer and director. Underground is her second feature film and she’s also written and directed four short films.
The Bright Side – available in cinemas
Directed by: Ruth Meehan
Written by: Ruth Meehan and Jean Pasley
A stand-up comedian’s life changes when she is diagnosed with breast cancer.
Ruth Meehan is a write and director. The Bright Side is he first feature film and she’s also written and directed half a dozen short films. Jean Pasley is also a writer and director and The Bright Side is he third feature-length screenplay.
Lina from Lima – available on MUBI
Written and directed by: Maria Páz González
A woman travels from Peru to work as a housekeeper in Chile.
Maria Páz González is a writer, director and producer. Lina from Lima is her first narrative film after previously directing three documentaries.
Candyman – available in cinemas
Directed by: Nia DaCosta
Written by: Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld and Nia Da Costa
Anthony (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and his partner move into a loft in the now gentrified Cabrini. After a chance encounter with an old-timer exposes Anthony to the true story behind Candyman, he unknowingly opens a door to a complex past that unravels his own sanity and unleashes a terrifying wave of violence.
Nia DaCosta is a writer, director and producer. Candyman is her second feature film, her feature-length debut was Crossing the Line aka Little Woods and her next film is set to be The Marvels, the sequel to the MCU’s Captain Marvel.
Souad – available in cinemas
Directed by: Ayten Amin
Written by: Ayten Amin and Mahmound Ezzat
The story of the relationship between two teenage sisters in one of Egypt’s Nile Delta cities and one of them holds a secret life in the virtual world.
Ayten Amin is a writer and director. Souad is he first produced screenplay and first narrative feature after previously directing a documentary and a short film. Souad was screened at las years Cannes Festival and at Berlinale this year.
That’s twenty-two films made by women being released in the UK this month – beating July’s total of twenty-one!
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.