Category Archives: New Films by Women

New Shows + Movies by Women — July 1, 2022

We are in a time of shock and the temptation is to normalize it. In the last week, Roe and the right to an abortion was overturned, the ability to enforce Miranda rights was severely limited, Native Americans lost jurisdiction over their land, employees proselytizing in public schools was given the green light, and the EPA was gutted of its regulatory ability (and by extension of the ruling, potentially many other federal agencies). We have a Supreme Court with a 6-3 Republican majority, that has decided to legislate from the bench.

They’ve agreed to hear a case next year that would give state legislatures the ability to override their state’s voting results – something that would have handed a second term in the presidency to Trump in 2020, and that may guarantee we never see a Democratic president again regardless of how large an electoral margin they win by.

The temptation is to think that norms will override this moment, that it can’t happen here, as if the last six years haven’t been a step-by-step guide for how it happens here. The temptation will be to view this fear as radical and unrealistic, the way people worried about Roe being overturned or federal agencies being eviscerated were a very short time ago viewed as radical and unrealistic. It will happen here. It’s about to happen here. We have one election remaining to stop it. We have one year remaining to stop it.

I am more anxious and angry than I was during Bush’s seizure of the 2000 election, or during 9/11, or during Trump’s election. There’s one step left they have to take before erasing any semblance of a democracy here. Please take action. Please get used to taking action every day. Please get others to take action alongside you. So many will suffer if we don’t.

There’s no segue. Art’s still important, maybe even moreso than ever.

NEW SERIES

The Bear (FX, Hulu)
co-showrunner Joanna Calo

A chef with a fine dining background comes back home to Chicago. He’s attempting to save his family’s sandwich shop, but he may be in over his head. “The Bear” has already seized attention as one of the best series of the year.

Joanna Calo showruns with creator Christopher Storer. She’s written and produced on a diverse range of series including “Hacks”, “The Baby-Sitters Club” and “BoJack Horseman”.

You can watch “The Bear” on FX or Hulu. All 8 episodes are available.

Gordita Chronicles (HBO Max)
showrunner Brigitte Munoz-Liebowitz

A reporter reflects on her childhood, growing up in a Dominican family that immigrated to Miami in the 1980s.

Brigitte Munoz-Liebowitz showruns the series created by Claudia Forestieri. Munoz-Liebowitz has written for “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and wrote and produced on “One Day at a Time”. Forestieri wrote on “Good Trouble” and wrote and produced on “Selena: The Series”.

You can watch “Gordita Chronicles” on HBO Max. All 10 episodes are available.

Chloe (Amazon)
showrunner Alice Seabright
directed by Amanda Boyle, Alice Seabright

In this British series, Becky compares her own life to the Instagram profiles she follows on a daily basis. When her favorite Chloe dies, Becky assumes a new identity in order to investigate why.

Creator and showrunner Alice Seabright previously wrote and directed on “Sex Education”. She got her start in the industry working as a script supervisor, assistant director, and editor in 2012.

You can watch “Chloe” on Amazon. All six episodes are available.

NEW MOVIES

Doula (VOD)
directed by Cheryl Nichols

After a couple’s doula dies, they decide to hire her son as a live-in doula.

This is director Cheryl Nichols’s third film.

See where you can rent “Doula”.

Doom of Love (Netflix)
directed by Hilal Saral

In this Turkish film, a man whose ad agency has gone bankrupt starts a relationship with a singer at a yoga retreat. I can’t embed an English trailer for this, but the movie has English translations.

Hilal Saral has long been active directing Turkish TV series. This is her first film.

You can watch “Doom of Love” on Netflix.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

New Shows + Movies by Women — June 10, 2022

I’ve written about review brigading before and the MCU’s newest series “Ms. Marvel” is getting some of the worst in a while. Apparently eight films centered around white actors named Chris and four projects for the Tom H.s of the world isn’t enough to balance out one lone series that represents a quarter of the world’s population.

We’ve had 25 MCU films centered on white characters, three centered on non-white ones, 13 series centered on white characters, 5 on non-white ones (I’m treating “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “Cloak & Dagger” as half a count each).

Nearly 25% of the world’s population is Muslim, but making two-percent of your projects about someone who’s Muslim is too woke and pandering? Who do we think they’re pandering to if 78% of their output centers on a demographic that accounts for only 10-to-20 percent of the world’s population? Because that’s what they’ve done for their white audience. White viewers are overrepresented by a factor of four, while Muslim viewers are underrepresented by a factor of 12, yet this is somehow pandering to Muslims?

The only thing less would be erasure, but that’s the point when this kind of review brigading happens. You might say to ignore it, but a lot of people decide on whether to watch a series by checking the aggregated user scores on Metacritic or IMDB. Right now both have been deflated because some people are offended Muslim people aren’t staying invisible.

I don’t know about you, but when something like that happens, I watch the shit out of whatever they’re brigading. I watched the premiere – it’s a great start to a coming-of-age superhero series and the best premiere among the Disney+ series outside “Loki”.

But that’s not even the point. I mean, we kept the MCU going after extremely subpar films like “Thor: The Dark World” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron”. That we have to prove something like “Ms. Marvel” is exceptional when we don’t even have to prove projects like “Dark World” or “Ultron” are passable – that’s the point. What if it were average? Would that mean it shouldn’t exist? Cause I’ve seen a couple of average pieces come out of the MCU, and what I always hear about them are the arguments for the parts that are good, or how they tie into other projects we’re hopeful for.

It’s the film directed by Chloe Zhao or the series starring a Muslim woman that have to prove their exceptional nature in order to be granted legitimacy to a group that already lionizes the exceedingly average. The thing is, the parts of the MCU that are new, inclusive, that tackle new ground with characters who haven’t gotten their moment yet – that’s the part of the MCU that still excites me. The crap that worships the average and seeks to repeat it over and over again, that’s the part of the MCU that feels like a bunch of unrewarding homework. That’s the part that needs to prove it’s exceptional, because I’ve already seen 20 movies like that already – if you can’t do something different, include someone you haven’t before, then I’ve seen you already. I haven’t seen anything like “Ms. Marvel”, which gives me a reason to visit the MCU again.

NEW SERIES

Ms. Marvel (Disney+)
showrunner Bisha K. Ali

While attending Avengercon, Kamala Khan discovers that she possesses her own superhero powers.

Creator and showrunner Bisha K. Ali was a data scientist and domestic violence support worker before she shifted into stand-up comedy. She moved into screenwriting on Mindy Kaling’s “Four Weddings and a Funeral”, and worked with the MCU previously as a story editor on “Loki”.

Four of the six episodes are directed by women, with two apiece from “For All Mankind” director Meera Menon and documentary producer Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.

You can watch “Ms. Marvel” on Disney+. The premiere is available now with a new hourlong episode dropping every Wednesday for a total of 6.

Intimacy (Netflix)
showrunners Veronica Fernandez, Laura Sarmiento Pallares

A revenge porn video threatens the career of an up-and-coming politician. This Spanish series follows four women who see their lives upended by similar attacks.

Veronica Fernandez and Laura Sarmiento Pallares are both experienced writers in Spanish film, with Fernandez winning a Goya for “El Bola” and each seeing Iris Award nominations for different series.

You can watch “Intimacy” on Netflix. All 8 hourlong episodes are out.

CW: brief imagery of mass shooting

Queer as Folk (Peacock)
co-showrunner Jaclyn Moore

A new adaptation of the onetime BBC (and then Showtime) series, “Queer as Folk” follows a group of LGBTQ+ friends recovering after a mass shooting incident.

Jaclyn Moore showruns with Stephen Dunn. Moore previously wrote as co-showrunner on “Dear White People”. She famously left that show in opposition to Netflix’s support of Dave Chappelle’s transphobic remarks.

You can watch “Queer as Folk” on Peacock. All 8 hourlong episodes are out.

First Kill (Netflix)
showrunner Felicia D. Henderson

Juliette and Calliope fall in love. The only problem for the two students is that one’s a vampire, the other a vampire hunter. The series is based on a short story by V.E. Schwab.

Showrunner Felicia D. Henderson brings a lot of relevant experience to the table, with a writing and production history that includes “Fringe”, “Gossip Girl”, “The Punisher”, and “Empire”.

You can watch “First Kill” on Netflix. All 8 hourlong episodes are out.

Baby Fever (Netflix)
co-showrunner Amalie Naesby Fick

This Danish dramedy follows Nana, a fertility doctor who drunkenly inseminates herself with her ex-boyfriend’s sperm. This leads to a pregnancy she now has to explain to friends and family.

Obviously, the premise intersects with issues of donor consent and fertility fraud. I don’t know how responsibly the series handles it.

Amalie Naesby Fick created, writes, and directs the show with Nikolaj Feifer.

You can watch “Baby Fever” on Netflix. All 6 half-hour episodes are out.

NEW MOVIES

Trees of Peace (Netflix)
directed by Alanna Brown

In 1994, four women are trapped together during the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. They work together to endure and survive.

Writer-director Alanna Brown has written on “Blindspotting”. This is her first feature.

You can watch “Trees of Peace” on Netflix.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

New Shows + Movies by Women — June 3, 2022

The most exciting thing this week is a new collection of documentaries on athletes by ESPN. All the athletes covered are women and a monthlong series of premieres kicked off with five short films. They’re calling the series “Fifty/50”.

Later in the month, they’ll be premiering “Dream On” (June 15), which chronicles the foundation of the WNBA. On June 18, eight more short documentaries will arrive. June 21 and 28 will see “37 Words”, a four-part documentary on Title IX, which legally codified equal rights for women in education and athletics.

College networks will also see new documentary debuts. June 23 sees “Catch98”, chronicling the career of basketball player Tamika Catchings on SEC Network. “Hidden Dynasty”covers North Carolina’s women’s soccer team, which won 22 national championships. It arrives June 23 on ACC Network.

A range of accompanying digital pieces, reporting, interviews, and podcasts are also part of the effort. ESPNU is also making 75% of their programming this month feature women’s athletics. All of this put together is a lot to choose from, and more than I can cover here, so take a look at the full list.

You can also find past documentaries on women athletes as part of their “30 for 30” and “Nine for IX” series. You need ESPN+ to watch them, but this comes bundled with Disney+, and can be bundled with Hulu. It’s also included in certain cable/satellite subscription plans. These are some of the best documentaries on TV. The “Fifty/50” shorts should also arrive on that page soon.

Let’s get into the new narrative series and films by women this week:

NEW SERIES

Surviving Summer (Netflix)
co-showrunner Joanna Werner
half-directed by Sian Davies, Charlotte George

Summer is a Brooklyn kid who acts out. She’s expelled from school and punished by her family to go live in Australia (I should have acted out more). Once there, she falls in love with surfing.

Joanna Werner showruns with Stuart Menzies. She’s produced on other Australian series such as “The Newsreader” and “Clickbait”.

You can watch “Surviving Summer” on Netflix. All 10 episodes are available immediately.

Tom Swift (CW)
co-showrunners Noga Landau, Melinda Hsu Taylor

“Tom Swift” spins off from the CW’s “Nancy Drew”, folowing a billionaire inventor who delves into a world of sci-fi conspiracies in search of his missing father.

“Nancy Drew” showrunners Noga Landau and Melinda Hsu Taylor are joined by “Empire” writer Cameron Johnson.

You can watch “Tom Swift” on the CW. The premiere is available, with a new episode arriving every Tuesday.

NEW MOVIES

Hollywood Stargirl (Disney+)
directed by Julia Hart

The sequel to 2020 film “Stargirl” (not to be confused with the 2020 superhero series “Stargirl”) finds the free-spirited musician striking out on her own in Los Angeles. Grace VanderWaal reprises the lead role, with Judy Greer and Uma Thurman also starring.

Writer-director Julia Hart returns. Aside from the YA-oriented “Stargirl” films, she’s helmed some incredibly different movies at the start of her career. This includes a take on superheroes in “Fast Color” and one of my favorite films of 2020, the 70s crime drama “I’m Your Woman”.

You can watch “Hollywood Stargirl” on Disney+.

Nudo Mixteco (HBO Max)
directed by Angeles Cruz

As the Festival of San Mateo unfolds, three indigenous women navigate the restrictions of custom, religion, and tradition when it comes to their sexuality.

The Mexican film is the first feature from writer-director Angeles Cruz.

You can watch “Nudo Mixteco” on HBO Max.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

New Shows + Movies by Women — May 27, 2022

We had a few weeks a month back where we were seeing 10-15 entries a week. Things have cooled off in late May, but it’s not as if major series like “Obi-Wan Kenobi” or “Stranger Things” are afraid to debut new seasons.

Anecdotally, I’d suggest that international, non-English series and films have eased off the last few weeks in the U.S. I’ve also seen a drop-off in straight-to-VOD releases. I know the theatrical approach is for these to find room at the beginning and end of the year. Some of this has to do with grouping around the awards season, when international and indie-styled films get their best chance at a marketing push.

Beyond this, summer tends to be occupied by tentpole franchises. If streaming follows the same logic as theatrical releasing for these, that could explain why major franchises are still debuting new content while there are fewer non-English and indie-styled releases. Summer break has a lot to do with this, as families find series and movies to watch together and, for whatever reason, things like Finnish noir tend not to make that list.

And look, I don’t know a good segue for this, but we’ve seen this week that not all families make it to the summer. In the wake of the Robb Elementary School gun massacre in Uvalde, Texas, attention’s been called to the fact that the leading cause of death among children is now due to guns – surpassing motor vehicles for the first time since the data’s been recorded.

I don’t mean to always make the intro here or commentary in my other articles touch on issues like these, but the U.S. never really left suffering a slow-motion coup. We may have gotten Biden elected and the January 6, 2021 insurrection may have passed, but the Republican party has become one of increasing terrorism. Even in the wake of the Robb Elementary School gun massacre, Senate Republicans voted against the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2022 just yesterday. They don’t want to see gun sales decreased or the white nationalism that feeds their coup impacted. Put plainly: they’d rather that domestic terrorists buy guns than lose a consumer for the gun industry. To see why, you only need look at the list of senators who receive funding from the NRA, starting with everyone’s favorite excuse for a moderate Mitt Romney at $13.6 million.

The right to an abortion, gun regulation, voting rights, single-payer healthcare, combating climate change…we could have these, but it takes an Uvalde to get engagement on our side back up to the levels it consistently hit under Trump. It shouldn’t take disasters like these to get us to fill up congressional voicemails. I’ve coordinated activism, and worked as a legislative aide and campaign manager. If we could manage the level of engagement we’re at now, or during the vote on the ACA a few years ago, we could steamroll Republicans. We could manage unprecedented turnout. It’s difficult and uncomfortable, and requires sacrifice in all of our lives, but better to sacrifice time and effort in our lives than the actual lives of elementary school children and their teachers.

This goes double for men. In every facet of activism, men have a tendency to show up to lead and not to work. Most activist calls to Congress are made by women. As men, we’re conditioned to armchair quarterback how someone else does activist work rather than to do it ourselves, as if we all haven’t complained about that exact same kind of useless manager at some point in our lives. It’s not women’s job to save children, it’s all our job. It’s not women’s job to fight for women’s rights, it’s all our job. It’s not women’s job to stave off a slow-motion coup, it’s all our job. As men, we need to show up, and listen to the voices that are leading activism in order to know what work needs doing. Then we need to actually do it, and we need to get other men to join us in this mentality.

Let’s awkward segue to the new show and film this week:

NEW SERIES

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+)
showrunner Deborah Chow

Obi-Wan Kenobi lives in hiding as the Empire employs special hunters to run the rest of the Jedi down. Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen return from the prequels as Obi-Wan and Darth Vader.

Deborah Chow has directed on “The Mandalorian”, “American Gods, and “Better Call Saul”. She showruns and directs all six episodes of “Obi-Wan Kenobi”.

You can watch “Obi-Wan Kenobi” on Disney+. Two episodes premiere today, with a new one premiering every Friday.

NEW MOVIES

A Banquet (Shudder, AMC+)
directed by Ruth Paxton

Sienna Guillory plays Holly, a widowed mother who tries to cope with her daughter Betsey declaring her body now belongs to a higher power. Betsey refuses to eat, but doesn’t suffer or lose weight, and Holly is forced to contend with who or what this higher power may be.

Ruth Paxton started as a production designer and art director, and has written and directed several shorts that interpret painting and dance. This is her feature-length debut.

You can watch “A Banquet” on Shudder or AMC+, or see where to rent it.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

New Shows + Movies by Women — May 20, 2022

It’s a quieter week, but with a few intriguing new projects. There’s been a surge of new women-led shows over the last month, so it’s also a good opportunity to catch up. The last few weeks have had new series dropping left and right, including Apple’s “The Essex Serpent” and “Shining Girls”, HBO’s “The Staircase”, Hulu’s “Candy”, Netflix’s “42 Days of Darkness” and “The 7 Lives of Lea”, Paramount’s “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” and “The Offer”, PBS’s “Ridley Road”, and Showtime’s “The First Lady” and “The Man Who Fell to Earth”.

I’m personally interested in “Angelyne” and “Troppo” this week, and I’m always curious what Belen Rueda’s doing, but a lighter week means that not all tastes will be served. It’s a great opportunity to catch up on what’s been covered in past weeks, too.

For now, let’s look at this week:

NEW SERIES

Angelyne (Peacock)
showrunner Allison Miller
directed by Lucy Tcherniak

Emmy Rossum plays “Angelyne”. Based on the true story of a model who came to prominence in the 80s by buying billboards to promote her punk band, she in many ways presaged our brand-as-content era.

Allison Miller showruns. She’s produced on “Strange Angel” and “Brave New World”. She started her career as an assistant on the “Spartacus” series.

You may not know Lucy Tcherniak as a director, but with multiple episodes each of “The End of the F***ing World”, “Station Eleven”, and “Wanderlust”, she’s the definition of a director to watch out for.

You can watch “Angelyne” on Peacock. All 5 episodes are available immediately.

Troppo (Amazon)
showrunner Yolanda Ramke

In this Australian series, Thomas Jane plays a disgraced ex-cop. He escapes to the Australian tropics and finds himself wrapped up in a private investigative service run by a wanted woman.

Showrunner Yolanda Ramke wrote and directed Martin Freeman-starrer “Cargo”. She’s also directed on “The Haunting of Bly Manor” and wrote on “New Gold Mountain”.

You can watch “Troppo” on Amazon. It’s on one of the app’s sub-channels called Freevee, which means you can watch it as part of your subscription, but with ads. All 8 episodes are available immediately.

NEW MOVIES

The Perfect Family (Netflix)
directed by Arantxa Echevarria

Belen Rueda plays Lucia, a matriarch who disapproves of her son’s girlfriend and their in-laws. If Rueda seems familiar, she was the lead in Spanish horror film “The Orphanage” and drama “The Sea Inside”. There’s no English-translated trailer, but the film will have subtitles.

Arantxa Echevarria directs. She also directed “Carmen & Lola”. She got her start as a trainee assistant director in the 90s, later moving into production managing.

You can watch “The Perfect Family” on Netflix.

13 Minutes (Showtime)
directed by Lindsay Gossling

This drama follows four families on the day a tornado hits their town. Amy Smart, Thora Birch, Paz Vega, and Anne Heche star.

Writer-director Lindsay Gossling previously wrote “Un traductor”. This is her first feature film as director.

You can watch “13 Minutes” on Showtime, or see where to rent it.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

New Shows + Movies by Women — May 13, 2022

Please continue to call your Congresspeople, as well as elected officials at the state level, to support enshrining abortion rights into law. The more states have protections for it, and protections for both abortion providers and their patients, the more difficult it will be for Republicans to push further. Republicans will erode the right to an abortion in states that currently maintain it if given the chance, and it’s much harder to retake rights while you’re still losing them.

If you’re a dude who’s never called your elected officials or who used to but doesn’t anymore, start doing it. A call a weekday means you get five a week for…what, two or three minutes a day? Double that for five minutes a day. That’s it? That’s literally the absolute least we could be doing to support the right to an abortion. Treat it as a first step, but at least take it. Elected officials need to start hearing men in support of the right to an abortion, too.

NEW SERIES

The Essex Serpent (Apple TV+)
showrunner Anna Symon
directed by Clio Barnard

Claire Danes stars as Cora, a widow who moves to Essex. She’s there to investigate reports of a mythical serpent. She bonds with a local pastor played by Tom Hiddleston, but the locals soon believe that she’s the reason for the creature’s presence. This is an adaptation of the novel by Sarah Perry.

Anna Symon’s become an in-demand writer, having scribed recent series “Mrs. Wilson” and “Deep Water”. Director Clio Barnard has been nominated for three BAFTAs, including for “Ali & Ava” as this year’s Outstanding British Film of the Year.

You can watch “The Essex Serpent” on Apple TV+. The first two episodes are available now, with another premiering every Friday for a total of 6.

Candy (Hulu)
Showrunner Robin Veith

Jessica Biel stars as Candy, a housewife in 1980 Texas who’s had enough. The result is a double murder. Melanie Lynskey co-stars. The show is based on real events.

Showrunner Robin Veith has produced on “The Expanse” and “True Blood”. She started out as a writers’ assistant on “Mad Men” before working her way up to executive story editor and staff writer on that show.

You can watch “Candy” on Hulu. It debuted an episode a day this week, making all 5 available now.

42 Days of Darkness (Netflix)
co-showrunner Claudia Huaiquimilla

In this Chilean series, Cecilia searches for her missing sister Veronica. The case balloons as media-hungry detectives and a greedy lawyer complicate an investigation she’ll just have to do herself.

Writer-director Claudia Huaiquimilla showruns with director Gaspar Antillo. This is her first series after writing and directing two feature films.

You can watch “42 Days of Darkness” on Netflix. All 6 episodes are available immediately.

CW: suicide

New Heights (Netflix)
showrunner Marianne Wendt
half directed by Sabine Boss

When Michi’s father commits suicide, he’s forced to choose between a successful career and a shot at keeping their family’s farm running. No English trailer for this one, but the series has subtitles.

The Swiss drama is created and showrun by Marianne Wendt, a writer who usually works in German television. Director Sabine Boss helms half the episodes. She won for Best Film and Best Screenplay at the 2014 Swiss Film Prizes for “I Am the Keeper”, and was nominated in 2003 for Best Film for “Ernstfall in Havanna”.

You can watch “New Heights” on Netflix. All 8 episodes are available immediately.

The Kids in the Hall (Amazon)
half directed by Aleysa Young

The 90s Canadian sketch comedy show returns with the original cast.

Aleysa Young directs the first five episodes. She directed “Baroness Von Sketch Show” and on “Kim’s Convenience”.

You can watch “The Kids in the Hall” on Amazon.

NEW MOVIES

The Stylist (Shudder, AMC+)
directed by Jill Gevargizian

A hair stylist obsesses over her clients’ lives. In an attempt to make her own relevant to theirs, she begins murdering them.

Writer-director Jill Gevargizian has mostly directed short films and in horror anthologies. This comes from starting a monthly showcase for indie and amateur filmmakers in her town. “The Stylist” is an expansion on a short film she directed in 2016, and comes from the experience of working as a hair stylist for more than a decade.

You can watch “The Stylist” on Shudder, or AMC+.

Sneakerella (Disney+)
directed by Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum

A sneaker designer dreams of getting his designs seen by the most famous brand. He hopes to make it to SneakerCon and impress, but can he escape the endless list of chores and expectations at home?

Director Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum has helmed on shows like “Dead to Me” and “Empire”.

You can watch “Sneakerella” on Disney+.

Faye (Hoopla)
directed by Kd Amond

Faye is an author of self-help books. She goes to a cabin to finish her next book and try to find some peace after the death of her husband. Needless to say, creepy things ensue.

This is writer-director Kd Amond’s third film. She’s produced and edited a large number of short films in the last several years.

You can watch “Faye” on Hoopla, or see where you can rent it.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

New Shows + Movies by Women — May 6, 2022

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s leaked opinion draft that would end Roe v. Wade, I want to repeat some things shared in the April 15 article. Please get involved – this is especially true for men reading this. I’ve done a good deal of organizing in activist spaces, and men showing up to do the work is not terribly common. We need to be involved, show up as allies, and consistently do the nitty-gritty work that helps everyone fight this.

Time and again, I’ve seen fellow men show up, realize they’re not going to be gifted a leadership position, and then fade away until it’s mostly women working to protect people. We have this mythology of ourselves as men that we show up to do work and protect others, but I’ve seen little evidence of that. From what I’ve seen, we tend to show up to be congratulated for showing up. We tend to armchair quarterback the people actually putting in the work, and pretend that doing that is somehow work. That’s some bullshit. We need to do far more than that.

We’re supposed to be allies. That means contacting elected officials, putting our weight into politically pressuring them. That means volunteering, marching, donating, and doing the routine, daily jobs that come up in the course of activist efforts regardless of whether they’re tough or thankless. We’re not here to be thanked. We’re here to give help. So give it.

Knowing what we’re up against is crucial – Washington Post has a good resource for the types of state bills that have been passed and introduced, including trigger bans that would go into effect the minute Roe v. Wade is overturned. It explains each type of bill in turn, and shows which phases each state is at.

Securing the right to an abortion is crucial in states that support the right to choose. This is being done at the state level in many states, either through law or, even more firmly, through amendment to the state constitution.

For instance, the Connecticut General Assembly has recently approved a bill that protects providers of care and patients seeking care in Connecticut, regardless of which state the patient comes from. It would ensure that information cannot be turned over to another state, and CT Governor Ned Lamont has vowed to sign it into law. The right to an abortion must not only be protected by law, but we need to make sure those laws protect people providing and seeking such medical care.

Right now, Republicans hide behind the perception that this is an issue for only half the population. They’ve bet that men aren’t going to show up to fight it, and when we don’t show up, their strategy proves out. We’re not needed to save the day, but we are needed to support those who are already leading. We’re needed to make abortion rights leaders’ jobs easier, we’re needed so that our numbers add enough to overwhelm what Republicans anticipated.

Our job isn’t to assess whether others are resisting appropriately; our job is to ensure the way they’ve chosen to resist has our numbers and support behind it. Allies do work for those they’re allied to, and this is a time we’re needed to do that work. As men, we need to join and support the fight for choice and the right to an abortion.

This week, new series by women come from Canada, Nigeria, the U.K., and the U.S. New films by women come from Argentina, Finland, France, and the U.S.

NEW SERIES

The Staircase (HBO Max)
co-showrunner Maggie Cohn

Based on the real incident, Michael Peterson is a crime novelist whose wife was found dead at the bottom of a staircase. The ensuing judicial battle lasted 16 years. Toni Collette, Colin Firth, Sophie Turner, and Parker Posey star in the biographical crime drama.

Maggie Cohn showruns with Antonio Campos. She brings experience as a producer on “American Crime Story”.

You can watch “The Staircase” on HBO Max. The first three episodes are available immediately, with a new one dropping every Thursday for a total of 8.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Paramount+)
mostly directed by women

The newest “Star Trek” follows Captain Kirk’s direct predecessors on the Enterprise. Returning from well-loved roles in the 2019 season of “Star Trek: Discovery”, Anson Mount, Rebecca Romijn, and Ethan Peck play Captain Pike, Commander Chin-Riley, and a young Lt. Spock. Other original series favorites return, such as Nyota Uhura and Christine Chapel.

Though Henry Alonso Myers and Akiva Goldsman serve as showrunners, six of the 10 episodes look to be directed by women. This includes Amanda Row (“Nancy Drew”), Andi Armaganian (“Smallville”), Sydney Freeland (“Reservation Dogs”), Leslie Hope (“Snowpiercer”), Maja Vrvilo (“Star Trek: Discovery), and Valerie Weiss (“Outer Banks”).

You can watch “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” on Paramount+. New episodes drop every Thursday for a total of 10. Filming on a second season already started in January.

Ridley Road (PBS)
directed by Lisa Mulcahy

Based on the book by Jo Bloom, “Ridley Road” sees a Jewish woman go undercover within the 1960s British neo-Nazi movement.

Lisa Mulcahy directs off the teleplay by creator Sarah Solemani. She previously directed on British series “Years and Years” and “Blood”.

You can watch “Ridley Road” on PBS. New episodes arrive Sundays, for a total of 4.

The Porter (BET+)
showrunner Marsha Greene

The story of the first Black union is told through the eyes of those who formed it – porters working the railways that cross the U.S. and Canada.

Showrunner Marsha Greene previously produced on “Mary Kills People” and “Coroner”.

You can watch “The Porter” on BET+. All 8 episodes are available immediately.

CW: domestic violence

Blood Sisters (Netflix)
directed by Temidayo Makanjuola

Sarah gets engaged, but her upcoming nuptials hide a secret involving her friend Kemi.

This is the first project recorded for Temidayo Makanjuola, but IMDB can often be incomplete when it comes to Nigerian projects.

You can watch “Blood Sisters” on Neftlix. All 4 episodes are available immediately.

Signora Volpe (Acorn TV)
showrunners Rachel Cuperman, Sally Griffiths

Sylvia becomes disillusioned with her life of spycraft. On a trip to Italy for her niece’s wedding, things go wrong and she puts her skills to use. Perhaps she’ll start a new life as a detective in the Italian countryside.

Showrunners Rachel Cuperman and Sally Griffiths both wrote for “Midsomer Murders”.

You can watch “Signora Volpe” on Acorn TV. New episodes drop every Monday for a total of 3.

NEW MOVIES

Language Lessons (HBO Max)
directed by Natalie Morales

Natalie Morales and Mark Duplass star as a Spanish teacher and an adult student who become friends.

Director and co-writer Morales also helmed last year’s “Plan B”. She’s best known for roles in “Dead to Me” and “Santa Clarita Diet”.

You can watch “Language Lessons” on HBO Max, or see where to rent it.

Inbetween Girl (VOD)
directed by Mei Makino

After her parents divorce, a teenage artist copes by secretly hooking up with the popular boy at school.

This is the first feature from writer-director Mei Makino.

See where to rent “Inbetween Girl”.

Anais in Love (VOD)
directed by Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet

In this French film, Anais is broke and disinterested in her relationship. She falls for a new man, but he leads her to fall for the woman he’s seeing, Emilie.

This is the first feature from writer-director Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet.

See where to rent “Anais in Love” on iTunes or through Spectrum.

Hatching (Hulu)
directed by Hanna Bergholm

In this Finnish horror film, a gymnast finds a strange egg. She hides it from her demanding mother and keeps it safe, waiting for the day it hatches.

This is director Hanna Bergholm’s first feature.

You can watch “Hatching” on Hulu.

Along for the Ride (Netflix)
directed by Sofia Alvarez

Based on the novel by Sarah Dessen, two insomniacs explore their town at night before one heads to college.

Writer-director Sofia Alvarez helms her first film after writing the “To all the Boys” movies.

You can watch “Along for the Ride” on Netflix.

La afinadora de arboles (HBO Max)
directed by Natalia Smirnoff

In this Argentinian film, Clara and her family move to the countryside for a slower pace of life after she wins a world prize for children’s literature. Can’t find an English trailer for this, but there are subtitles for the film.

Director Natalia Smirnoff started out as an assistant director and casting director, including becoming Lucrecia Martel’s go-to casting director. Smirnoff started writing and directing features in 2010.

You can watch “La afinadora de arboles” on HBO Max.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

New Shows + Movies by Women — April 15, 2022

I want to take this week’s intro to talk about the range of new abortion restrictions that are sweeping state to state. As the news focuses on a hundred other things, please don’t lose sight of new abortion restrictions that just passed this week in Florida and Kentucky (this last overriding the governor’s veto). Kentucky’s is in effect, while Florida’s and an earlier ban passed in Arizona both take effect in July. Oklahoma and West Virginia have each passed a ban through one house of their legislature. Idaho’s is signed into law but is temporarily blocked by courts.

Texas-style bans have been introduced in state legislatures in 13 states. Trigger bans that would take effect upon Roe v. Wade being overturned by the Supreme Court have been passed in 12 states and introduced in six others.

Partial bans on abortion pills already exist in Indiana and Texas. New bans on medication abortions have been introduced in eight other states.

In some good news, Maryland overrode a governor’s veto to legislatively protect the right to abortion this week. Many states are in the process of doing so, and some are taking the next step of enshrining the right to abortion within their state constitutions. Some are also considering sanctuary bills that would make it easier for women to travel to their state in order to access an abortion.

Some states have competing bills, with bans and protections both introduced. Washington Post has a useful rundown of the different types of bills being considered, and what stage each is at. Many women are already familiar with this fight. Men read this article, too. I urge other men to join with and support this fight for women’s rights. Our voices don’t need to lead here, but they should encourage other men to support women’s rights, and we should be making those calls to our state legislators and governors that encourage them to protect women’s right to choose.

Most politicians are still men who hire other men, which means these offices habitually dismiss the voices of women. They need to hear men supporting women’s rights and also telling these offices that we expect them to listen to women’s voices and not just ours. If allied men don’t figure women’s rights are worth actively supporting, then assume that allied men with responsibility and positions of power also figure that. They don’t change that attitude unless we do. We need to shoulder more of the work in support of this fight.

Let’s talk about new series by women this week. There are no new films.

NEW SERIES

Roar (Apple TV+)
showrunners Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch
directed by women

The creators of “GLOW” adapt Cecelia Ahern’s collection of short stories in a dark comedy anthology about women’s often overlooked experiences.

Nicole Kidman, Cynthia Erivo, Issa Rae, Alison Brie, and Betty Gilpin all feature at some point in the anthology.

Liz Flahive has written and produced on “Homeland”. Carly Mensch has written and produced on “Weeds” and “Orange is the New Black”. The pair both worked on “Nurse Jackie” and “GLOW”. Halley Feiffer, Janine Nabers, and Vera Santamaria join them as directors on “Roar.”

You can watch “Roar” on Apple TV+. All eight episodes are available immediately.

Swimming with Sharks (Roku)
showrunner Kathleen Robertson

Kiernan Shipka and Diane Kruger star as an assistant and her abusive boss at a Hollywood studio. Shipka’s Lou quickly learns how to outwit the manipulations of her workplace.

Kathleen Robertson starred in “The Expanse”. This is her first time writing and second time producing on a series.

You can watch “Swimming with Sharks” on Roku. All episodes are available immediately.

CW: sexual assault

Anatomy of a Scandal (Netflix)
showrunner Melissa James Gibson
directed by S.J. Clarkson

A sexual assault scandal erupts around a British politician and his wife starts to question all of the stories he’s told her. Sienna Miller stars.

Showrunner Melissa James Gibson wrote on “The Americans” and wrote and produced on the U.S. “House of Cards”. Director S.J. Clarkson has helmed episodes of “Jessica Jones” and “Dexter”.

You can watch “Anatomy of a Scandal” on Netflix. All six episodes are available immediately.

CW: image of man on fire

Verdict (Amazon)
showrunner Paula Knudsen
directed by Anahi Berneri, Marina Meliande

This Uruguayan show involves the investigation of a terrible crime that goes viral on social media. (There’s currently no English trailer, but the series is subtitled.)

Showrunner Paula Knudsen has written on the Brazilian and U.S. versions of “Julie and the Phantoms”. Directors Anahi Berneri and Marina Meliande have each made several South American films.

You can watch “Verdict” on Amazon Prime. All six episodes are available immediately.

Aoashi (Crunchyroll)
directed by Satou Akira

In this anime, Aoi Ashito ruins his chances of being recruited by a quality high school soccer club when he creates on on-field incident. He does catch the eye of one recruiter, though.

This is Satou Akira’s second series as director.

You can watch “Aoashi” on Crunchyroll. New episodes arrive Saturdays.

Hard Cell (Netflix)
showrunner Catherine Tate

Catherine Tate writes, directs, and stars in multiple roles in this British mockumentary that follows inmates and staff at a women’s prison.

Catherine Tate is generally regarded as the best of the “Doctor Who” companions since its reboot. She also starred in “The Catherine Tate Show” and in later seasons of the American version of “The Office”.

You can watch “Hard Cell” on Netflix.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

New Shows + Movies by Women — April 8, 2022

April means the spring anime season is upon us, so get ready for idols, isekai, and mecha. The anime industry drops nearly every premiere within a two-week span toward the start of each season. That means they get much more grouped up than Western shows. This week, there are three new anime series by women, a new K-drama, and new films from Norway and the U.S.

NEW SERIES

Heroines Run the Show (Crunchyroll)
directed by Noriko Hashimoto

Hiyori Suzumi moves to Tokyo to train as a track athlete. The job she gets stuck with is managing a male idol group. It’s difficult for her to balance school, track, work, and free time, especially when the pair she’s managing is in her class.

This is the first series Noriko Hashimoto is directing.

You can watch “Heroines Run the Show” on Crunchyroll. The first episode is available now and new episodes arrive Thursdays.

The Greatest Demon Lord is Reborn as a Typical Nobody (Crunchyroll)
directed by Minato Mirai

Varvatos has grown to become too powerful a sorcerer. The only option left is to travel into the future and become an average kid…who boasts tremendous powers.

Minato Mirai has directed extensively in the “Fate/Stay” universe and helmed last year’s “The Dungeon of Black Company”.

You can watch “The Greatest Demon Lord is Reborn as a Typical Nobody” on Crunchyroll. The premiere is available now and new episodes arrive on Wednesdays.

Tiger & Bunny 2 (Netflix)
directed by Kase Mitsuko

Netflix resurrects a classic anime series where superhumans are sponsored and climb annual rankings for their heroics. Veteran heroes Kotetsu and Barnaby may struggle to stay in the game after all these years.

I normally focus on series premieres and not second seasons, especially because anime universes can grow enough offshoots to make the MCU multiverse look tame, but given that there’ve been no new entries since 2011, this is a bit of a unique case.

Director Kase Mitsuko also helmed “Ristorante Paradiso” and “Saikano”. Her career stretches back to mecha series in the 70s and 80s.

You can watch “Tiger & Bunny 2” on Netflix. The series should be able to stand on its own, but Netflix does have the first season from 2011 if you want to start there. All 13 episodes are available immediately.

Green Mothers Club (Netflix)
directed by Ra Ha Na

In this Korean series, five mothers meet through their children’s school. Despite their different outlooks and experiences, they learn to support each other in ways they can’t find elsewhere.

Ra Ha Na directs. She’s also directed “Tinted with You”.

You can watch “Green Mothers Club” on Netflix. The premiere is available now and new episodes arrive every Wednesday for a total of 16.

NEW MOVIES

Freeland (MUBI)
co-directed by Kate McLean

An elderly, off-the-grid pot farmer sees her business dwindle when cannabis is made legal. She considers what to do next as she harvests her final crop.

Kate McLean writes and directs with Mario Furloni. McLean has primarily worked in documentary films up till now.

You can watch “Freeland” on MUBI, or see where to rent it.

Life After You (VOD)
directed by Sarah T. Schwab

After the death of their 19 year-old son from an overdose laced with fentanyl, a family struggles with who is responsible.

This is the first feature film from director and co-writer Sarah T. Schwab.

See where to rent “Life After You”.

Battle: Freestyle (Netflix)
directed by Ingvild Soderlind

Amalie is torn between love, an absent mother, and going with her dance team to the global finals in France. The Norwegian film is based on the novel by Maja Lunde.

This is the second feature film from director Ingvild Soderlind.

You can watch “Battle: Freestyle” on Netflix.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

New Shows + Movies by Women — April 1, 2022

We’ve hit an era of shows about con artists. It’s absolutely representative of our current understanding of our world, and I wonder at the wisdom of further celebritizing real-life con artists by casting celebrities in their shoes.

Hulu has “The Dropout” about Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes. Netflix has “Inventing Anna” about swindler Anna Sorokin. NBC has made a comedy out of murderer Pam Hupp in “The Thing About Pam”. Apple TV’s “WeCrashed” follows Adam and Rebekah Neumann behind WeWork (and casts Jared Leto, so let’s please avoid it). Peacock turns con artistry and animal abuse into comedy with “Joe vs. Carole”, a fictional take on the duo at the center of “Tiger King”. “Pam & Tommy”deals with the marketing exploitation of con artistry while becoming a marketing exploitation itself for doing so without Pamela Anderson’s permission or involvement.

(CW: suicide) This week, it’s “The Girl from Plainville”, which centers on Michelle Carter. Her celebrity arises from attempting to justify repeatedly pressuring her boyfriend Conrad Roy to kill himself.

There’s a value to examining con artistry and the celebritizing of the con artist, but that examination is often obsessed with delivering it in star turns (Amanda Seyfried, Julia Garner, Renee Zellweger, Leto and Anne Hathaway, Seth Rogen and Nick Offerman, Elle Fanning). It also has to create a complex enough emotional connection for us to want to continue watching these shows for eight or 10 episodes. Thus, Seyfried evokes empathy for Holmes she doesn’t deserve, Garner’s Sorokin is half-posed as a Robin Hood figure, and Zellwegger turns a murderer into a comedic bit.

Not all of these series are showrun or directed by women, but I think it’s worth discussing in this space because of the difference in how women and male con artists are emotionally portrayed. Certainly, these roles have centered on men for decades, but they also tended not to be particularly empathetic. If anything, they admired the male con artist’s power, but they didn’t necessarily humanize him. The shift toward centering more on women has highlighted a double-standard in our storytelling about villainous protagonists – that we present a woman con artist with empathy and humanization, and present a male con artist with admiration at power and wealth.

Neither is a responsible portrayal. While there’s a discussion that women have better access to mass media con artistry than they’ve had in the past, and there’s an understanding that they may even have more of a right to steal what hasn’t been paid them over the years, the con artistry presented in these stories is unquestionably harmful. That shift toward humanization and empathy is also centered overwhelmingly on white characters. Often they use privilege and take advantage of other women, people of color, the disabled, people with mental health disorders, and those living with medical debt. If the empathy and humanization of these characters isn’t intersectional, then I don’t know that this increased empathy for con artists is a result of anything more than propagating gender stereotypes as a storytelling shortcut. This propagates the argument that suggests women villains have to be played too flawed to be powerful, while male villains must be made too powerful to be undercut by empathy.

Again, this is talking about our general movement of con artist shows. Not all these shows follow the same ethos. Some are more damning of their subject matter than others. Some are (far, far) less interested in the reality of what happened than others. There’s a flood of them this year, though, and I think there’s a crucial conversation that has to be had about the differing presentations of empathy vs. power when it comes to presenting women vs. male con artists. If we’re basing portrayals on harmful and inaccurate gender stereotypes, then I’m not sure we’re taking real people and delivering meaningful portrayals, let alone following through on the responsibility that comes with discussing con artists in an age of con artistry.

As always, the hope is this week’s premiere finds a way to upend this trend.

NEW SERIES

CW: suicide

The Girl from Plainville (Hulu)
co-showrunner Liz Hannah
entirely directed by women

Elle Fanning and Chloe Sevigny star in an adaption of real-life events. Fanning plays Michelle Carter, who encouraged her boyfriend Conrad Roy to kill himself repeatedly through texts. She was subsequently tried for involuntary manslaughter.

Liz Hannah showruns with Patrick Macmanus. She’s written and produced on “Mindhunter” and produced on “The Dropout”.

Directors include Lisa Cholodenko (“High Art”, “Laurel Canyon”), Zetna Fuentes (“The Great”, “Jane the Virgin”), Pippa Bianco, and Hannah herself.

You can watch “The Girl from Plainville” on Hulu. The first three episodes are available immediately. New episodes arrive on Tuesdays.

Julia (HBO Max)
mostly directed by women

Sarah Lancashire stars as Julia Child in a series that also reunites David Hyde Pierce (as husband Paul Child) and Bebe Neuwirth (as Child’s editor Avis DeVoto). The show follows Child’s development of a new form of TV: the cooking show.

Jenee LaMarque, Melanie Mayrom, and Erica Dutton direct a combined 5 of the 8 episodes.

You can watch “Julia” on HBO Max. Three episodes are available immediately. New episodes arrive every Thursday.

NEW MOVIES

Zero Fucks Given (MUBI)
co-directed by Julie Lecoustre

A backstage window into how crew for a low-cost airline act in their off-hours, “Zero Fucks Given” follows a flight attendant who loses her job. The film is told in a combination of English, French, and Romanian.

Julie Lecoustre directs with Emmanuel Marre. This is her first feature as writer or director.

You can watch “Zero Fucks Given” on MUBI.

Night’s End (Shudder)
directed by Jennifer Reeder

A shut-in is stuck in a haunted apartment, and hires an exorcist. Or he’s making it all up to get likes and subscribes on YouTube. Daniel Kyri and Michael Shannon star.

Jennifer Reeder’s a horror director with a skill for neon-hued tones. Her previous film “Knives and Skin” was dripping with atmosphere.

You can watch “Night’s End” on Shudder.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.