This year’s festival demographic for female directors has gone up to 46%. That is huge. Here are 10 feature-length narratives by female directors that I am looking forward to catching. Bonus: Most of these films also focus on a female protagonist.
All About Nina
Director: Eva Vives
Writer: Eva Vives
Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Common, Chace Crawford, Clea DuVall, Kate del Castillo, Beau Bridges, Eva Vives
Nina Geld’s passion and talent have made her a rising star in the comedy scene, but she’s an emotional mess offstage. When a new professional opportunity coincides with a romantic one, she is forced to reckon with the intersection of her life and her art
Daughter of Mine (Figlia mia)
Country: Italy, Germany, Switzerland
Director: Laura Bispuri
Writer: Laura Bispuri, Francesca Manieri
Starring: Michele Carboni, Udo Kier, Sara Casu, Alba Rohrwacher, Valeria Golino
On the windswept coast of Sardinia, two women compete for the affections of 10-year old Vittoria: her troubled, alcoholic birth mother Angelica and her doting adoptive mother Tina.
Dead Women Walking
Director: Hagar Ben-Asher
Writer: Hagar Ben-Asher
Starring: and Ashton Sanders, June Carryl, Colleen Camp, Lynn Collins, Dot Marie Jones, Dale Dickey
Nine vignettes depict the stages leading to execution for women on death row in this emotional account of the human toll of the death penalty—on both the inmates and those they encounter in their final hours.
Director: Marianna Palka
Writer: Risa Mickenberg
Starring: Gbenga Akinnagbe, David Alan Basche, Alysia Reiner, Anna Camp, Christina Hendricks
In provocateur Marianna Palka’s sharp and unflinching satire, two couples and a surrogate lay bare the complications, contradictions, heartbreak, and absurdities implicit in how we think about motherhood. Click for tickets
Lemonade (Luna de Miere)
Country: Romania, Canada, Germany, Sweden
Director: Ioana Uricaru
Writer: Tatiana Ionașcu, Ioana Uricaru
Starring: Ruxandra Maniu, Milan Hurduc, Dylan Scott Smith, Steve Bacic, Mălina Manovici
Mara hopes to move her son from Romania to the U.S. and obtain a green card. But bureaucratic processes give way to authoritarian nightmares in this simmering social drama about American immigration and the institutional corruption of power.
Director: Nia DaCosta
Writer: Nia DaCosta
Starring: Tessa Thompson, Lily James, Luke Kirby, James Badge Dale, Lance Reddick, Nia DaCosta
In this dramatic thriller set in the fracking boomtown of Little Woods, North Dakota, two estranged sisters are driven to extremes when their mother dies, leaving them with one week to pay back her mortgage.
Director: Ondi Timoner
Writer: Ondi Timoner
Starring: Mark Moses, McKinley Belcher III, Brandon Sklenar, John Benjamin Hickey, Marianne Rendón, Matt Smith
In the late 1960s, art-school dropout Robert Mapplethorpe moves into the Chelsea Hotel with dreams of stardom. He quickly becomes the enfant terrible of the photography world as the downtown counterculture of 1970s New York reaches its zenith.
Director: Madeleine Sackler
Writer: Stephen Belber
Starring: David Patrick Kell, Boyd Holbrook, Mare Winningham, Theothus Carter, William Fichtner, Jeffrey Wright
An inmate entering the final weeks of a twenty-plus-year sentence must navigate between old loyalties and a new protégé, while he also grapples with the looming uncertainty of his return to life outside bars.
Slut in a Good Way
Director: Sophie Lorain
Writer: Catherine Léger
Starring: Vassili Schneider, Anthony Therrien, Alex Godbout, Romane Denis, Rose Adam, Marguerite Bouchard
Three 17-year-old girlfriends get a job at the Toy Depot for the holiday season and become smitten with the guys who work alongside them in this charming teen sex comedy.
Director: Emma Forrest
Writer: Emma Forrest
Starring: Scott Caan, Jennifer Grey, Alice Eve, Billy Crystal, Ben Mendelsohn, Lola Kirke, Jemima Kirke, Jamie Dornan
Former writing prodigy Andrea tries not to fall for her one-night stand, while her sister Lisa throws herself into a newfound religious zeal (and the arms of her charismatic rabbi) to avoid the truth about her current relationship in this multi-character romantic drama.