Welcome back to Reel Women, the monthly feature that highlights the films being released in the UK that are written and/or directed by women. This month there’s a whole host of films made my women coming to the UK – in fact, I’m pretty sure this is the most amount of films made by women released in one month for a while. There’s documentaries, horror films, comedies and dramas, as well as a few foreign language films too.

 


1 May

Knock Down The House
Directed by: Rachel Lears

Having its global premier on Netflix, Knock Down The House is a documentary following Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush and Paula Jean Swearengin on the campaign trail as they run for office in the 2018 midterm elections.

Knock Down The House won the Audience Award: U.S. Documentary and the Festival Favorite Award at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. It is Rachel Lears’ third feature-length documentary and as well as directing it, she was also the cinematographer and one of the producers.

 

 

2 May

The Isle
Directed by: Matthew Butler-Hart
Written by: Matthew Butler-Hart and Tori Butler-Hart

When their boat sinks, three men make it to an Isle they’ll wish they had never found.

Toru Butler-Hart is an actress, writer and producer. The Isle is her third produced feature-length screenplay. Fiona recently interviewed the couple about The Isle and you can check it out right here.

 

3 May

Long Shot
Directed by: Jonathan Levine
Written by: Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah

As Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) prepares to run for Presidency she reunites with Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen), a guy who she used to babysit, and hires him to be her speechwriter. As they work together sparks begin to fly.

Long Shot is Liz Hannah’s second produced feature-length screenplay. Her first was The Post which was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay.

 

 

The Curse of La Llorna
Directed by: Michael Chaves
Written by: Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis

A social worker (Linda Cardellini) and her two young kids are drawn into frightening circumstances as a ghostly woman wants to take the children.

The Curse of La Llorna is Mikki Daughtry’s second produced screenplay. Her first was Five Feet Apart which was released earlier this year.

 

 

A Dog’s Journey
Directed by: Gail Mancuso
Written by: W. Bruce Cameron, Maya Forbes, Cathryn Michon and Wallace Wolodarsky

The sequel to A Dog’s Purpose follows the life of a dog as it sets out to look after a young girl.

Gail Mancuso has directed dozens of episodes of different TV shows including Gilmore Girls, 30 Rock and Modern Family. Maya Forbes is a writer, producer and director who has been Primetime Emmy nominated four times. Her latest film, The Polka King, is currently on Netflix. A Dog’s Journey is Cathryn Michon’s third produced screenplay.

 

 

A pesar de todo
Directed by: Gabriela Tagliavini
Written by: Eugene B. Rhee, Helena Rhee, Gabriela Tagliavini and Eric Charles Wilkinson

Four sisters with very different personalities come together at their mother’s funeral where they discover the man they’ve called “dad” throughout their lives, isn’t their biological father.

Arriving on Netflix, A pesar de todo is Helena Rhee’s first produced screenplay. Gabriela Tagliavini is a writer, director and producer, A pesar de todo is her eighth feature film.

 

 

The Last Summer
Directed by: William Bindley
Written by: Scott Bindley, William Bindley and April Prosser

A group of friends in Chicago come together during the summer before they head off to college.

The Last Summer is April Prosser’s first produced screenplay.

 

 

10 May

High Life
Directed by: Claire Denis
Written by: Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau and Geoff Cox

A father and his daughter struggle to survive in deep space where they live in isolation.

Claire Denis is a French director and writer whose previous films include Chocolat which was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival. High Life is her thirteenth film.

 

 

The Hustle
Directed by: Chris Addison
Written by: Stanley Shapiro, Paul Henning, Dale Launer and Jac Schaeffer

Two female scam artists, one high class (Anne Hathaway) and the other low rent (Rebel Wilson), team up to take down the men who have wronged them.

Jac Schaeffer is a writer, director and producer. The Hustle is her second produced screenplay and she’s currently working on Black Widow for Marvel Studios.

 

 

Where Hands Touch
Directed by: Amma Asante
Written by: Amma Asante

Leyna (Amandla Stenberg), a biracial teen, struggles to survive in Nazi Germany

Amma Asante is a writer, director and producer. One of her previous films, Belle which won multiple awards, is currently available to watch on Netflix.

 

 

Wine Country
Directed by: Amy Poehler
Written by: Liz Cackowski and Emily Spivey

When a group of longtime girlfriends goes to Napa for the weekend to celebrate their friend’s 50th birthday, tensions from the past boil over.

Amy Poehler is probably best known for her role as Leslie Knope in the TV show Parks and Recreation. Wine Country is the second film she’s directed. Emily Spivey is an actress and writer who has written episodes of TV shows like Community and The Last Man on Earth. Emily Spivey has previously written episodes of Parks and Recreation and won a Primetime Emmy for her writing on Saturday Night Live.

 

 

Dead Good
Directed by: Rehana Rose

Documentary about how people deal with death and the changing way people look after their dead.

Rehana Rose is a writer, director and producer. Dead Good is her first feature-length film after directing five short films.

 

 

Madeline’s Madeline
Directed by: Josephine Decker
Written by: Josephine Decker and Donna di Novelli

A theatre director’s (Molly Parker) latest project takes on a life of its own when her young star (Helena Howard) takes her performance too seriously.

Josephine Decker is an actress, writer and director. Madeline’s Madeline is her fourth feature film and was a part of the Official Selection at Sundance in 2018. Madeline’s Madeline is Donna di Novelli first feature-length produced screenplay.

 

 

 

16 May

Good Sam
Directed by: Kate Melville
Written by: Teena Booth and Dete Meserve

A reporter (Tiya Sircar) finds love as she pursues the story of a mysterious figure who’s leaving bags of money for strangers around New York City.

Kate Melville is a writer and director. Good Sam is her second feature film. Teena Booth has over 30 writing credits to her name after writing dozens of TV movies. Dete Meserve is a producer and Good Sam is her first produced screenplay.

 

 

17 May

Breakthrough
Directed by: Roxann Dawson
Written by: Grant Nieporte

When her 14-year-old son drowns in a lake, a faithful mother prays for him to come back from the brink of death and be healed.

Roxann Dawson has directed episodes of dozens of different TV shows including Heroes, This Is Us and The Americans. Breakthrough is her feature-length directorial debut.

 

 

My Days of Mercy
Directed by: Tali Shalom-Ezer
Written by: Joe Barton

The daughter of a man on death row falls in love with a woman on the opposing side of her family’s political cause.

Tali Shalom-Ezer is a writer and director with My Days of Mercy being her third film.

 

 

Birds of Passage
Directed by: Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra
Written by: Maria Camila Arias and Jacques Toulemonde

During the marijuana bonanza, a violent decade that saw the origins of drug trafficking in Colombia, Rapayet (José Acosta) and his indigenous family get involved in a war to control the business that ends up destroying their lives and their culture.

Birds of Passage is Cristina Gallego’s directorial debut. Maria Camila Arias is a producer and writer who has had three screenplays produced.

 

 

Ferrante Fever
Directed by: Giacomo Durzi
Written by: Laura Buffoni and Giacomo Durzi

Documentary on the “craze” over author Elena Ferrante and what makes her work and persona so captivating.

Ferrante Fever is Laura Buffoni’s first writing credit.

 

 

Pick of the Litter
Directed by: Don Hardy and Dana Nachman
Written by: Dana Nachman

Documentary following a litter of puppies as they begin their quest to become Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Dana Nachman is a documentary writer, producer and director. Pick of the Litter is her fifth feature-length documentary and as well as writing and directing it, she also edited it.

 

 

24 May

The Perfection
Directed by: Richard Shepard
Written by: Eric C. Charmelo, Richard Shepard and Nicole Snyder

When troubled musical prodigy Charlotte (Allison Williams) seeks out Elizabeth (Logan Browning), the new star pupil of her former school, the encounter sends both musicians down a sinister path with shocking consequences.

Nicole Snyder is a writer and producer who has worked on TV shows Supernatural and Midnight, Texas.

 

 

Too Late to Die Young
Directed by: Dominga Sotomayor Castillo
Written by: Dominga Sotomayor Castillo

Democracy comes back to Chile during the summer of 1990. In an isolated community, Sofía, Lucas and Clara, face their first loves and fears, while preparing for New Year’s Eve.

Dominga Sotomayor Castillo is a Chilean writer, director and producer. Too Late to Die Young is her third feature-length film.

 

 

27 May

Booksmart
Directed by: Olivia Wilde
Written by: Susana Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins and Katie Silberman

On the eve of their high school graduation, Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) realise they should have worked less and played more and are determined to have one night full of fun.

Olivia Wilde is an actress who has starred in such films as Tron: Legacy, Rush and Her. Booksmart is her feature-length directorial debut. Susana Fogel is a writer, director and producer. Her previous film The Spy Who Dumped Me is currently on Netflix. Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins are producers and writers who have written episodes of Black-ish, Trophy Wife and Good Girls. Katie Silberman is a writer and producer. Two of the films she co-wrote, Isn’t It Romantic and Set It Up, are currently on Netflix.

 

 

31 May

A Vigilante
Directed by: Sarah Daggar-Nickson
Written by: Sarah Daggar-Nickson

Vigilante Sadie (Olivia Wilde) helps people escape their domestic abusers.

Sarah Daggar-Nickson is a writer and director. A Vigilante is her second feature-length film.

 

 

Sunset
Directed by: László Nemes
Written by: László Nemes, Clara Royer and Matthieu Taponier

A young girl grows up to become a strong and fearless woman in Budapest before World War I.

Sunset is Clara Royer’s second produced screenplay. Her first was Son of Saul which won Best Foreign Language Film of the Year at the 2016 Academy Awards.

 

 

Always Be My Maybe
Directed by: Nahnatchka Khan
Written by: Michael Golamco, Randall Park and Ali Wong

Everyone assumed Sasha (Ali Wong) and Marcus (Randall Park) would end up together except for Sasha and Marcus but maybe when they reconnect after 15 years it’ll be the right time?

Nahnatchka Khan is a producer, writer and director who has previously directed episodes of Fresh Off the Boat and Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23. Always Be My Maybe is her first feature film. Ali Wong is a comedian, actress and writer. As well as co-writing Always Be My Maybe she also produced it.

 

 

Freedom Fields
Directed by: Naziha Arebi

Documentary that looks at post-revolution Libya through the eyes of an aspiring all-female soccer team, whose struggle to gain mainstream acceptance mirrors the broader challenges facing women in contemporary Libyan society.

Naziha Arebi is an actress and director. Freedom Fields is her first feature-length documentary and she was the films’ cinematographer as well.

 

 

In Safe Hands
Directed by: Jeanne Herry
Written by: Jeanne Herry

French drama about an unwanted baby boy that social services try and find the perfect home for.

Jeanne Herry is an actress and director. In Safe Hands is her second feature film.

 

 

The Etruscan Smile
Directed by: Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis
Written by: Michael McGowan, Michal Lali Kagan and Sarah Bellwood

Rugged old Scotsman Rory MacNeil (Brian Cox) reluctantly leaves his home on an isolated Hebridean Island to travel to San Francisco to seek medical treatment and reconnect with his estranged son.

The Etruscan Smile is both Michal Lali Kagan’s and Sarah Bellwood’s first produced screenplay.

 


 

That’s twenty-eight films made by women being released in the UK this month, with seven of them being released on Netflix. There are some big films being released in May but we do encourage you to seek out these films if you can and support voices that aren’t always heard in cinema. As always, if you do see any of these films, we’d love to hear what you make of them.