Category Archives: New Films by Women

New Shows + Movies by Women — Post-Apocalypses, Bees & Elephants

It’s an interesting week for high-concept series and movies. One of the benefits of writing this is that every week I pick out things I want to see that aren’t advertised very widely. I’d have never heard of them if I weren’t doing this article because series and especially films by women do not get the kind of marketing or awards consideration of films by men.

Earlier this week, I wrote a two part series on “The Films the Oscars Forgot”. While I’m happy that “Everything Everywhere All at Once” won and I think the Oscars chose the right film, the wider nominations as a whole leave a lot to be desired. I am a broken record with these stats, but: only four of the last 65 Best Director nominees have been women including zero this year; only one of 10 films up for Best Picture this year was directed by a woman; out of 18 nominees in the two writing categories only two were women; only the third woman was nominated in cinematography in nearly 100 years; and only 20% of Best Editing nominees are women. This dismissal of their work does not reflect the actual output or contribution women filmmakers are making.

If you read me regularly, you’ve probably got sick of me writing this. The one thing I will promise is that you will read me write versions of it so many more times because it is a clear representation of the garbage treatment and double-standards women filmmakers have to endure. That our scope of nominating the best is so narrow is an ethical and artistic failure. It would be a waste of my time as a critic and a waste of yours as a viewer and reader to pretend only half of what’s being made exists. It would be a failure to pretend the newest and most unrepresented perspectives were somehow less worth our time when they’re doing the most to expand what storytelling on screen can be.

If you’re looking for exceptional films that didn’t get the attention they deserved last year, read Part 1 and Part 2 of “The Films the Oscars Forgot”. Seven of the 10 choices are films directed by women. Weekly entries in “New Shows + Movies by Women” go back three years now, and 100% of these selections are showrun or directed by women. I’m not going to pretend this all fixes anything, but hopefully it makes a contribution, hopefully it helps you find things that you love that you might not have known about otherwise. That’s been my own experience researching and writing this feature. It has completely changed and expanded the range of series and films I watch, and made me fall in love with storytelling on film even more than I imagined I could.

New series by women this week come from Australia and the U.S., while new films by women come from Austria, Australia, and the U.S.


Swarm (Amazon Prime)
showrunner Janine Nabers

A young woman becomes obsessed with a pop star. Her path toward the singer involves murder and narrow escapes.

Showrunner Janine Nabers created the show with Donald Glover. Nabers wrote on “UnReal”, produced on “Watchmen”, and wrote and produced on “Atlanta”.

There are a couple names to know on the writers’ staff, including Karen Joseph Adcock, who’s quickly built a phenomenal resume with scripts on “Atlanta”, “The Bear”, and “Yellowjackets”. “Swarm” also sees Malia Obama in her first writers room.

You can watch “Swarm” on Amazon Prime. All 7 episodes are out tomorrow, March 17.

Class of ’07 (Amazon Prime)
showrunner Kacie Anning

Emily Browning stars as Zoe, who attends a class reunion right as an apocalyptic tidal wave turns her high school campus into an island peak. The women left may be one of the few surviving bastions of humanity.

The Australian series is created, written, directed, and showrun by Kacie Anning. The best I can determine, I think the writers room is all women as well.

Anning is an up-and-coming Australian TV director and producer.

You can watch “Class of ’07” on Amazon Prime. All 8 episodes are out tomorrow, March 17.


Rubikon (Hulu)
directed by Magdalena Lauritsch

Earth is covered in a toxic fog. The crew of a self-sufficient space station debates whether to risk going back to the surface to save 300 survivors, or to remain safe where they are.

The English-language Austrian film is directed and co-written by Magdalena Lauritsch. It’s her first time helming a feature. She’s worked more than a decade on camera crews and as a cinematographer.

You can watch “Rubikon” on Hulu starting tomorrow, March 17.

The Magician’s Elephant (Netflix)
directed by Wendy Rogers

An orphan encounters a fortune teller, who informs him he’ll find his lost sister with the help of an elephant. To get the elephant, he must complete a list of impossible tasks.

The film is based on the Kate DiCamillo novel. DiCamillo is a two time Newberry Medal winner for “The Tale of Despereaux” and “Flora & Ulysses”. She also wrote “Because of Winn-Dixie”.

Director Wendy Rogers comes from a visual effects background, with some of her earliest work coming on “Natural Born Killers” and “The Frighteners”. As CGI animation became popular, she shifted into effects supervisor roles on films like “Flushed Away” and “Puss in Boots”. This is her first film as director.

You can watch “The Magician’s Elephant” on Netflix starting tomorrow, March 17.

American Cherry (VOD)
directed by Marcella Cytrynowicz

This psychological thriller follows a young man who becomes increasingly violent as he films a documentary about his life.

Writer-director Marcella Cytrynowicz comes from a music video direction background. She’s directed and edited MVs for Snoop Dogg and Valentina.

“American Cherry” can be rented on multiple platforms starting tomorrow, March 17.

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 — British Comedy & Perfect Horror

I’ll be posting an article next week about the best films the Oscars overlooked. It isn’t meant to take away from any of the deserving films that are nominated, but the reality is that work by women is incredibly overlooked by the awards circuit. Most of what I’m writing about in that article is directed by women – not because it’s an article about work by women, but because every year, about half of the best films aren’t recognized and they overwhelmingly have one thing in common. Women directed them.

One of 10 films nominated for Best Picture was directed by a woman (Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking”). No woman was nominated for Best Director. Only four of 65 Best Director nominations since 2010 have been women.

Of the 18 writers nominated in the screenplay categories, only two were women. Mandy Walker’s nomination for Best Cinematography makes her only the third woman nominated in the category since 1929. One woman was nominated for editing, a category where only 20% of the nominees since 2000 have been women.

Stating this does not take away from any of the films that are nominated, but these facts do represent what’s constantly taken away from women filmmakers. It is fucking tired, nor should it be an outlier that a man gives a shit. Nobody thinks it’s odd when women or men praise male filmmakers, and no one expects to give them any cookies for doing so. If you’re a man who’s never bothered to seek out half the great work that’s out there or who’s never spoken up for it to be recognized, the only question that’s worth asking is: Why not?

This week, new series by women come from Ireland, the U.K., and the U.S., while new movies by women come from Canada, Germany, Poland, Romania, South Africa, and the U.S.


UnPrisoned (Hulu)
showrunner Yvette Lee Bowser

Kerry Washington plays a therapist and single mother whose father (Delroy Lindo) is released from prison. Having nowhere else to go, he moves in and becomes part of the family.

Showrunner Yvette Lee Bowser also showran “Dear White People” and “Run the World”. She got her start as a story editor and later writer and director on “A Different World”.

Directors include “Queen Sugar” helmer Numa Perrier and “UnReal” director and star Shiri Appleby.

All 8 episodes are out tomorrow, March 10.

Rain Dogs (HBO Max)
showrunner Cash Carraway
half-directed by Jennifer Perrott

Daisy May Cooper stars in what is described as “an unconventional love story between a working-class single mum, her young daughter, and a privileged gay man”. That’s all we know so far.

Showrunner and writer Cash Carraway is known for her 2010s memoir “Skint Estate” about her experiences as a mother in poverty. Jennifer Perrott directs half the episodes, coming over from “Doctor Who” and “Gentleman Jack”.

The first episode is out on HBO Max, with a new one dropping every Monday for a total of 8.

Holding (Acorn TV)
directed by Kathy Burke

Based on a novel by Graham Norton, “Holding” tells the story of an Irish police officer content to do as little work as possible until he’s thrust into a murder investigation.

Showrunner/director Kathy Burke is a career actress in British TV and film who took up directing about 15 years ago.

You can watch all four episodes on Acorn TV.

School Spirits (Paramount+)
co-showrunner Megan Trinrud
mostly directed by women

Peyton List plays Maddie, a teen in the afterlife stuck where she died: high school. She’ll have to solve her own murder if she ever hopes to move on.

Megan Trinrud showruns with Nate Trinrud. “Honor Society” director Oran Zegman helms four episodes, and Hannah Macpherson another two.

You can watch “School Spirits” on Paramount+. The premiere is out, with a new episode arriving every Thursday.


Watcher (Hulu)
directed Chloe Okuno

Julia moves to Bucharest for her husband’s job. With little to do during the day, she notices a man watching her from the apartment across the street. Coupled with news about a local serial killer, she starts investigating when no one around her takes her seriously. “Watcher” stars Maika Monroe, who you may recognize as the lead from “It Follows” and is similarly phenomenal here.

I cannot recommend this movie highly enough. It is a masterpiece of slow burn horror built around everyday threats women experience and the dismissal they meet. It functions as both a traditional giallo and a rage-inducing inversion of horror tropes. Its pace is so deliberate you don’t even notice as it saps the air from the room. “Watcher” is one of my top 5 films for 2022, and it’s incredibly overlooked right now.

Director Chloe Okuno also directed a segment on “V/H/S/94” and an episode of “Let the Right One In”.

You can see “Watcher” on Hulu.

The Silent Twins (Amazon)
directed by Agnieszka Smoczynska

“The Silent Twins” tells the story of June and Jennifer Gibbons. Based on real events, the Welsh identical twins would only talk to each other and refused to communicate with anyone else. Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrance star.

The English-language film is helmed by Polish director Agnieszka Smoczynska, who’se also directed on “1983” and “Warrior Nun”. “Laggies” writer Andrea Seigel adapts the screenplay from the book by Marjorie Wallace.

You can watch “The Silent Twins” on Amazon Prime.

Faraway (Netflix)
directed by Vanessa Jopp

In this German film, Zeynep leaves her unhappy life to move to a Croatian island where her late mother owned a house. What she didn’t plan for is Josip, the man who still lives on her mother’s property.

Vanessa Jopp is a prolific German director.

You can watch “Faraway” on Netflix.

Deadly Estate (Tubi)
directed by Sam Coyle

A hotel manager is accused of murdering the new owner’s son. She’s innocent and has to prove it using her experience in the industry.

Sam Coyle directs the Canadian film.

You can watch “Deadly Estate” on Tubi.

Castaways (Tubi)
directed by Ilyssa Goodman

Two women are shipwrecked and fight to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

Ilyssa Goodman writes and directs.

You can watch “Castaways” on Tubi.

Do Your Worst (Netflix)
directed by Samantha Nell

A life of questionable decision-making finally catches up with the struggling actor Sondra.

Samantha Nell directs the South African film.

You can watch “Do Your Worst” 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 — Please Baby, Next Exit, Love Lies

One of the films I’ve been most looking forward to is coming out on streaming. That’d be the campy “Please Baby Please”. I get that Andrea Riseborough’s a controversial topic right now due to her Oscar nomination (“To Leslie”) over Viola Davis (“The Woman King”). That’s a systemic issue with the nominating process and not exactly Riseborough’s fault. There’s no reason to avoid featuring her films here.

There are no new series this week, but new films by women come from Nigeria, Spain, and the U.S.


Please Baby Please (MUBI)
directed by Amanda Kramer

A gang obsesses over Bohemian 1950s newlyweds, thrusting them into a musical exploration of sexual identity. Andrea Riseborough, Harry Melling, and Demi Moore star.

Amanda Kramer is an experimental filmmaker who also directed “Paris Window” and “Ladyworld”.

You can watch “Please Baby Please” on MUBI, or rent it.

Next Exit (Hulu)
directed by Mali Elfman

Two strangers seek roles in a scientific experiment that would send them to the afterlife. They road trip across the U.S. to get there, one with a haunting past, the other literally haunted.

This is writer-director Mali Elfman’s feature debut.

You can watch “Next Exit” on Hulu.

Here Love Lies (Netflix)
directed by Tope Oshin

Amanda is a travel blogger who’s wooed by an American tour guide over social media. She travels to the U.S. so they can meet up, but things quickly go sideways into thriller territory.

The Nigerian film is directed and co-written by Tope Oshin. An established director in Nigeria, Oshin helmed “We Don’t Live Here Anymore” in 2018. It was refused a theatrical release in Nigeria due to its queer characters, but was later picked up by Amazon and earned several wins at the Best of Nollywood Awards.

You can watch “Here Love Lies” on Netflix.

Love at First Kiss (Netflix)
directed by Alauda Ruiz de Azua

(Netflix lacks an embeddable trailer, but there is one on their site.)

A 16 year-old boy discovers he can see the entire future of a romance whenever he kisses someone for the first time.

The Spanish film is directed by Alauda Ruiz de Azua, whose “Cinco Lobitos” earned her a Goya Award (Spain’s Academy Awards) as Best New Director last month.

You can watch “Love at First Kiss” 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 — The Disappearing of Women’s Work

A lot of what you’re seeing the first two months of the year is Netflix debuting work from outside the U.S. I’ve talked about this before, so the quick recap is that while services like HBO have shuttered various co-production offices (such as theirs in Eastern Europe), Netflix has doubled down on a blend of co-producing original films and series and licensing pre-existing ones.

Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are the big players in terms of producing or acquiring content from outside the U.S./Britain/Canada, and they each seem to have their areas of focus. Netflix has been building a serious industry relationship over the last several years with the South Korean film industry, licensing series while increasingly producing their own Korean originals. They also have a pretty successful anime arm, and have started bringing on board Japanese broadcast series. Beyond this, they have productive relationships with the Mexican, Polish, Indian, and Turkish film industries, including enabling a lot of feminist and inclusive work that might not otherwise get produced.

Hulu has some productive anime co-licensing and is trying to get more into South Korean series, doubtless after seeing Netflix’s success with it. They’re also pretty good bringing in Western European (French, Spanish) work.

Amazon’s reach means they bring a broad range of international work in, and they’ve produced a good amount of Indian work.

Obviously, other sites with more focused ranges fit this description, too. Crunchyroll is still the powerhouse in anime. Kanopy’s focus on film history means they’ve got work from around the world, accessible with student credentials or many public library cards. MUBI’s rolling film library based on limited licensing has quick turnover on newer work, but often gets some of the most interesting films. FilmDoo is a remarkable resource for many countries not featured elsewhere – I’m fond of its Mongolian section.

Part of why I bring this up is that not every country’s industry regularly funds and supports women filmmakers. The best (or worst) example of this is India, where fights over government censorship have targeted the work of women filmmakers. Netflix and Amazon have engaged in a game of brinksmanship with the Indian government over future production, and there is a lot of work out there that probably wouldn’t get made or would look completely different without these platforms. This doesn’t absolve these platforms or companies of other issues they have, but the branches fighting for artists in India aren’t the ones making top-down decisions either.

Most streaming services are experimenting with “erasing” their original content from access right now. According to Variety, Showtime has removed two 2022 series, “American Gigolo” and “Let the Right One In”, from streaming entirely. This includes episodes that only debuted three or four months prior. Other recent shows, such as “Kidding” and “On Becoming a God in Central Florida” have been removed entirely from the platform. Paramount+ removed several titles including Jordan Peele’s recent “The Twilight Zone”. Hollywood Reporter highlights that HBO has done the same to “Westworld”. This is often due to tax breaks, saving on licensing, and/or avoiding paying out residuals to cast and crew. Some will be shopped to other services (HBO is looking for an ad-based one for “Westworld”), while others will simply remain inaccessible.

I bring this up here because the work that’s most susceptible to being erased is the work that doesn’t get much support starting out – women get less funding and less platforming than men. When HBO killed off their Central and Eastern European production last year, they also cut access to many new shows by women, several of which were featured here. Their argument was that these were lesser searched and seen, as if the failure to platform work by women at the same level as men has nothing to do with this.

It’s not just a case of these shows being cut off, either. The women who produced these series had made licensing deals with HBO, foregoing other potential licensing deals with other services. HBO then cut access to their work as a cost-saving strategy. Not only did these women lose out on another deal that could have continued to show their work, but their revenue through licensing was also then cut off early after that opportunity had passed. That also means the revenue of cast and crew through residuals was cut off.

It’s an ugly and disgusting new strategy that most streaming services are now testing. If the value proposition of these platforms is their original content and ability to license new and interesting work, and they pull the rug out from under these, then what value remains? Which artists do you think will be the first on the chopping block? The work of women, international artists, and artists of color will be the most erased. Those artists will suffer the most financial loss. It’s something that should not be normalized.

Remember, nearly every streaming service has a comment section where you can request a title or lodge a criticism, and most still have a customer service number where a real person picks up pretty quickly. I’ve had reason to test that here and there. Stand up for the work you want to see. If you’re reading this, chances are good you want to see the work of women. So let’s get to it:

New series come from Mexico, South Korea, and the U.S., and new films from Catalonia in Spain.


The Consultant (Amazon)
mostly directed by women

Christoph Waltz plays an abusive, sociopathic boss who pushes employees to absurd lengths to see how far they’ll go.

Five of the eight episodes are directed by women. Charlotte Brandstrom (“LOTR: The Rings of Power) and Alexis Ostrander (“Cruel Summer”) each direct two episodes. Horror director Karyn Kusama (“Halt and Catch Fire”) directs another.

You can watch “The Consultant” on Amazon Prime. All 8 episodes are out on Friday.

Summer Strike (Netflix)
showrun/directed by Lee Yoon Jung

Despite professional success, Lee Yeo Reum is burned out and struggling with misfortune and loss. She quits her job and moves to the seaside, in pursuit of doing nothing. There she meets An Dae Beom, a librarian who was once a math prodigy but turned away from academic life. The pair both need to heal, and connect despite their caution.

“Summer Strike” is a South Korean show written and directed by Lee Yoon Jung. She’s known for similar dramas like “Coffee Prince” and “Heart to Heart”.

You can watch “Summer Strike” on Netflix. All 12 episodes are out immediately.

Triptych (Netflix)
showrunner Leticia Lopez Margalli

(Turn on the auto-translate option for subtitles.)

A forensics expert discovers a murder victim is identical to her. This sets her on a path of discovering sisters she never knew about.

The Mexican series is written and showrun by Leticia Lopez Margalli, who also created the popular “Dark Desire”. It’s gotten some “Orphan Black” comparisons, though the premises diverge pretty early.

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

The Company You Keep (ABC, Hulu)
co-showrunner Julia Cohen

Charlie is the son in a storied family of con artists. Emma is an undercover CIA agent. The pair fall in love without either realizing they’re professional enemies.

Julia Cohen showruns with Phil Klemmer. She’s written and produced on “A Million Little Things” and “Riverdale”.

You can watch “The Company You Keep” on ABC or Hulu. One episode is out now, and new episodes premiere Sunday night (Hulu usually gets them the next day).


Alcarras (MUBI)
directed by Carla Simon

Peach farmers in Catalonia find their future is upended when the owner of their estate dies and sells the land out from under them.

Carla Simon directs the Catalan and Spanish film. “Alcarras” was nominated for 11 awards at Spain’s Goya Awards (similar to our Oscars). She’s also earned widespread recognition for many of her short films.

You can watch “Alcarras” on MUBI starting Friday.

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 — Shirakawa, Dahomey, Sicily

You may notice a few changes. First of all, it’s Thursday! What’s this doing a day early? I’m going to move New Shows + Movies by Women from Friday to Thursday. I’d like it to be a permanent move, but I want to make sure it works well first. It’s a better day for readership, and it gives readers a little more prep time to plan ahead for their weekend viewing. I’ll still cover everything coming out through Friday for the week.

I’m also playing around with titling. Dates are good, but they don’t grab people. Folks don’t click on something that says April 2022 because it’s now out of date…yet the shows and movies featured in that article will still be just as directed by women as they were a year ago. The purpose of the article and information it has doesn’t change or lose value, and the title should reflect that. Besides, the date remains the first thing after the title when you click through.

New series this week come from Japan, while new movies come from Italy and the U.S.


Dearest (Netflix)
directed by Tsukahara Ayuko

Japanese series "Dearest" on Netflix.

(Yes, Netflix is still terrible about releasing trailers for their smaller international licenses.)

In this Japanese series, Rio is a businesswoman who discovers she witnessed a murder 15 years prior. She has to navigate this newfound responsibility between the contrary urges of an old flame detective and a protective lawyer.

Tsukahara Ayuko directs. She’s directed a ton of Japanese series, including on Nogi Akiko’s “MIU404”, which landed last month (and which I loved).

“Dearest” is another in Netflix’s recent push to bring on more Japanese broadcast series.

You can watch “Dearest” (or “Saiai”) on Netflix. All 10 episodes are available immediately.


The Woman King (Netflix)
directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood

“The Woman King” depicts Dahomey, an historical kingdom that counted among the most powerful nations in Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. Viola Davis, Lashana Lynch, and John Boyega star.

Director Gina Prince-Bythewood also helmed “The Old Guard”, “Beyond the Lights”, and “The Secrets Life of Bees”. She started in the 90s as a writer on “A Different World”.

You can watch “The Woman King” on Netflix.

Game of Love (Hulu)
directed by Elisa Amoruso

Bella Thorne stars as Vivien, whose partner Roy is preparing the family estate for sale. She discovers secrets about his past that put their romance in jeopardy. The film is Italian, but English language.

Elisa Amoruso has directed and co-written a number of romantic dramas, including Thorne’s previous “Time is Up”, which forms a loose franchise with “Game of Love”.

“Game of Love” debuts Friday, Feb. 17. You can watch it on Hulu.

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 — Feb. 10, 2023

As someone viewing in the U.S., this is a time of year when streaming services bring in a lot of series and movies from other countries. Streaming platforms need to keep up the amount of content, so when major U.S. debuts slow down, you’ll see more arrive from elsewhere. It’s an amazing time of year to learn about work that would get otherwise get drowned out by our own media.

The countries with the most popular industries here debut work around the year – India, Japan, and South Korea, for instance. Any time of year is good to find new work arriving from them, but these are the months when you’ll see their less internationally-minded shows as well – there have been a number of Japanese broadcast series (like “MIU404”) arriving on Netflix over the past month.

Countries that have less regular audiences in the U.S. see their filmmakers push through this time of year. Two of my favorite shows from last year were Polish modern dark fantasy “Cracow Monsters” and Turkish time travel mystery “Midnight at the Pera Palace”. They may be different genres, but they represent something interesting about much of the work that gets picked up here. It tends to be rebellious, feminist, and anti-fascist, and represents a conflict between artists and autocratic governments.

Some streaming services are cutting this content. After Warner Bros. Discovery acquired HBO, they not only cut series from Eastern Europe and the Middle East that were already streaming, they closed down their production offices in these countries, eliminating any future co-productions. Both HBO Max and Showtime have adopted a growing trend of making new series disappear just months after they conclude, in the name of tax write-offs and not having to pay residuals.

For all of its other problems, Netflix does remain the best by far in terms of bringing content from outside the U.S. here, both in aggressive licensing of smaller shows that would otherwise never have a chance of being seen by U.S. audiences., and in an increasing number of co-productions in other countries. Hulu and Amazon have also been pretty good at this.

Some of these situations are tough – Amazon is genuinely horrific about labor rights. At the same time, through co-productions, Netflix and Amazon have essentially kept the window open on Indian women filmmakers’ freedom of speech in a brinksmanship situation over strict censorship by the Indian government.

Streaming services are at a dangerous fork in the road. Some are cutting new content if it underperforms expectations they made up because it lets them essentially run the plot of “The Producers” but successfully: making money off of a loss. Others see American viewers’ increasing appetite for series and movies from around the world, as well as the opportunity to create footholds with international audiences via co-productions.

Which way do things go? I don’t really know, but if you want the opportunity to see what the rest of the world is doing and saying, you’ve got to watch their storytelling. Without audiences for them, we will see the approach of HBO Max and Showtime grow, our perspective and what we have access to narrowing once more. But if audiences continue to demonstrate our interest and appetite for the world’s filmmaking, we’ll see what we have access to continue to increase. And we’ll find favorites. We’ll have more to talk about. New ways to enjoy. Seek out what you truly want to see, not just what gets the advertising money here.

New series by women come from Kuwait and the U.S., and new movies from Australia, Spain, and the U.S.


The Exchange (Netflix)
showrunner Nadia Ahmad

Set in 1987, this Kuwaiti series tells the story of two women who became the first traders in the Kuwait Stock Exchange.

Nadia Ahmad writes and showruns the six-episode show.

You can watch “The Exchange” on Netflix. All 6 episodes are out immediately.

Freeridge (Netflix)
showrunner Lauren Iungerich
mostly directed by women

A disfunctional group of school friends accidentally release a curse. The sibling rivals at its center need to work together to undo it.

Lauren Iungerich showruns the standalone spin-off to “On My Block”. She previously wrote and directed on “Awkward.” and “Boo, Bitch”. Iungerich and Paula Garces direct 5 of the 8 episodes between them.

You can watch “Freeridge” on Netflix. All episodes released at the same time.

Not Dead Yet (ABC, Hulu)
co-showrunner Casey Johnson

Gina Rodriguez stars as Nell, who’s trying to resume her career as a journalist. She gets stuck writing obituaries, but for better or worse finds the deceased are willing to help her out.

Casey Johnson showruns with David Windsor. Johnson’s produced and wrote on “This Is Us”, “Trophy Wife”, and cult hit “Don’t Trust the B- in Apartment 23”.

You can watch “Not Dead Yet” on ABC or Hulu. Two episodes just premiered, and a new one lands every Wednesday.


Your Place or Mine (Netflix)
directed by Aline Brosh McKenna

Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher star in a romantic comedy aiming for a Valentine’s Day audience. They play best friends who live across the country, but they swap places for a week and he takes care of her son so she can take a break.

The supporting cast is notable – Shiri Appleby, Rachel Bloom, Zoe Chao, Tig Notaro, and Steve Zahn all co-star.

Writer-director Aline Brosh McKenna co-created “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” with Bloom, and wrote and directed on that series. She also wrote “The Devil Wears Prada”, “We Bought a Zoo”, “27 Dresses”, and “Morning Glory”. Chances are pretty solid you’ve seen something she’s written. She started out writing on 90s Margaret Cho sitcom “All-American Girl”.

You can watch “Your Place or Mine” on Netflix.

True Spirit (Netflix)
directed by Sarah Spillane

Based on real events, this Australian film recounts Jessica Walton becoming the youngest person to sail non-stop around the globe.

Director and co-writer Sarah Spillane started out as an actress in Australian series, but shifted over to crew positions starting with “Rabbit-Proof Fence” in 2002.

You can watch “True Spirit” on Netflix.

Piggy (Hulu)
directed by Carlota Pereda

As an overweight teen, Sara has to deal with bullying and harassment every day. Summer is a special horror, but it turns on a dime when someone begins abducting her tormentors.

The Spanish film is directed by Carlota Pereda, who has helmed a number of series in Spain. She’s talked about how the film has helped her discuss being similarly bullied as a teen.

You can watch “Piggy” on Hulu, 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 — Jan. 27, 2023

A slow January week boasts some gems. If you’re wondering why the beginning of the year is so slow for new projects by women, I wrote about this two weeks ago – essentially, this is awards release season and studios overwhelmingly push films that are made by men for those awards, regardless of actual quality.

Last week, I used the intro to highlight several films made by women from the last three years that should’ve been up for awards but were completely overlooked by mainstream U.S. ceremonies.

The Oscar nominations were announced this past week, and only one of the 10 films for Best Picture was directed by a woman (Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking”). No woman was nominated for Best Director.

Across the 10 movies in the Adapted and Original Screenplay categories, 18 writers were nominated. Two of those 18 were women (Lesley Paterson as one of three writers for “All Quiet on the Western Front”, and Sarah Polley for “Women Talking”.)

Mandy Walker was nominated in Best Cinematography for “Elvis”, making her only the third woman ever nominated in a category that’s existed since 1929.

Monika Willi was nominated in Best Editing for “Tar”. Since 2000, only 20% of Editing nominees have been women.

The Oscars and other awards shows have fretted about losing audience for years. Many hypothesize it’s because they’ve started including more nominations for women and people of color. Where? There have barely been any. One here or there where there used to be zero isn’t the kind of sea change that loses you audience.

The absolute highest concentration of women nominated for Best Director was for 2020 and 2021 films, where three of 10 nominations were women. That’s it, and you have to condense the window to all of two years. Stretch a year to either side and it becomes three of 20. Say since 2010 and it becomes four of 65.

Yet the worry you’ll see discussed most is whether the Oscars have lost audience because they’ve changed too much – not whether the legendarily slow drag to change at all has fallen generations behind the pace of the rest of the media we watch.

We watch movies with everybody involved, yet we only see awards shows that recognize a fraction of what we’ve just viewed. Some really think the audience falloff for awards shows is because they’ve failed to award an even more microscopic band of what we seek out and watch. Good luck with that.


Extraordinary (Hulu)
showrunner Emma Moran

10 years prior, everyone started getting a superpower when they turned 18. Jen is the only one in the world living without one.

This is the first series from writer and showrunner Emma Moran.

You can watch “Extraordinary” on Hulu. All 8 episodes are out immediately.

The Endless Night (Netflix)
directed by Julia Rezende, Carol Minem

(Hit auto-translate, it actually does a decent job here.)

This Brazilian series tracks the aftermath of a deadly nightclub fire in 2013. This was a real fire that killed 245 people and injured more than 630 others. Journalist Daniela Arbex spearheaded the reporting of what went wrong.

Director Julia Rezende helms five episodes, two with Carol Minem. Rezende also directs on Netflix’s “Girls from Ipanema”.

You can watch “The Endless Night” on Netflix. All 5 episodes are out.


Paradise Highway (Starz)
directed by Anna Gutto

A truck driver is forced to smuggle to save her brother. She’s chased by the FBI, and soon finds out her cargo is a girl. Juliette Binoche, Morgan Freeman, and Frank Grillo star.

This is Anna Gutto’s first feature as writer or director.

You can watch “Paradise Highway” on Starz, or rent it on Amazon, Apple, Google Play, or Vudu.

Immortal City Records (Tubi)
directed by Patricia Cuffie-Jones

There’s not much information on this out there. Tubi’s been terrible when it comes to putting anything out about their original films. All I can say is a singer gets caught up in a record label’s murderous secrets, from a director with a background in Christmas movies (one of my favorite things to point out is the overlap between horror/thriller directors and Christmas romance directors).

You can watch “Immortal City Records” on Tubi.

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

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New Shows + Movies by Women — Jan. 20, 2023

The beginning of the year continues to be a drip-feed as studios and awards ceremonies focus disproportionately on men. This doesn’t mean there aren’t great films by women to find. One of my top contenders for film of the year last year and still holding my place for best performance (Jenna Ortega) was Megan Park’s “The Fallout”, and it arrived on January 27.

Take a chance on something that looks interesting to you, even if you haven’t heard of it. Especially if you haven’t heard of it. Part of the point of this weekly feature is to platform the series and films that don’t receive the same marketing budgets and windows as work by men. Every year, the best work I’ve seen on film tends to be the movies that barely get any launch.

Park’s school shooting PTSD story “The Fallout”, Anvitaa Dutt’s musical gothic horror “Qala”, and Chloe Okuno’s inverted giallo “Watcher” from 2022.

Rebecca Hall’s drama and dreamscape of privilege “Passing”, Claudia Llosa’s magical realist “Fever Dream”, and Julia Ducournau’s body horror “Titane” in 2021.

Kitty Green’s disturbing tale of normalization “The Assistant”, Isabel Sandoval’s lamentation of love and false allyship “Lingua Franca”, and Julia Hart’s crime thriller “I’m Your Woman” in 2020.

None of these saw the platforming they deserved, nor recognition from mainstream U.S. awards ceremonies. Celine Sciamma, Kelly Reichardt, Shatara Michelle Ford, Eliza Hittman, Naomi Kawase, the list of women directors constantly overlooked and rarely supported as they should be goes on.

One thing this feature has made clear to me is that prior to 2020, more than 90% of the films I watched in any given year were made by men. Now a slight majority of what I watch is made by women. And I’m watching newer ideas, fresher concepts, plots and characterizations that aren’t played out. Most filmgoers, no matter how educated, worldly, or forward-thinking we may imagine ourselves, gravitate toward what we’re familiarized to through media and marketing – even when it comes to the most experimental and ‘artsy’ work out there. If what we’re familiarized with and spend almost all our time with is made by only half the population, it will start to feel narrow and repetitive because it is.

Scale that out to include the other half of the population, and suddenly stories are less repeated, the range of perspectives aren’t so narrow because…well, you’ve just expanded them.

There are legitimate and correct arguments for fairness, equality, and access, but even a selfish argument as filmgoers – even just that one argument for what we choose to see…why would we ever limit ourselves to watching what only half of filmmakers create?

The only problem is that seeing the other half requires doing the work of familiarizing ourselves with what they’ve created. That’s work we’re used to media and marketing doing for us. Do that work, though, start seeking the perspectives you haven’t thought to prioritize in the past, and it’s suddenly very easy to recognize that this overly repetitive and self-limiting industry is a burgeoning art form full of possibility once again.

This week, we’ve got new series from France and Japan, and new movies from the U.K. and the U.S.


Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre (Netflix)
directed by Tagashira Shinobu

Junji Ito is a manga author whose blend of Kafka-esque concepts and cosmic horror imagery has helped his ideas go viral. Now, he gets an anthology anime series.

Director Tagashira Shinobu has long run character design for series ranging from “Hunter x Hunter” to “Batman: Gotham Knight”.

You can watch “Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre” on Netflix. All 12 episodes are out immediately.

Women at War (Netflix)
showrunner Cecile Lorne

As the First World War breaks out and men are called to the front, four French women see their lives intersect. A prostitute, the sudden head of a factory, a Mother Superior, and a nurse all face the war in their own way as they draw toward a common goal.

This is the third French series on which Cecile Lorne has written.

You can watch “Women at War” on Netflix. All 8 episodes are out.

MIU404 (Netflix)
showrunner Nogi Akiko

Ayano Go in Japanese mystery series MIU404.

In this Japanese mystery series, a distrustful detective played by Ayano Go is paired with an inexperienced partner. Their unit works to solve cases quickly, before they get turned over to specialized departments.

Showrunner Nogi Akiko also wrote “The Voice of Sin” and “Unnatural”.

Despite seeing shows like this take off, Netflix still regularly forgets to post embeddable trailers for them. You can watch “MIU404” (and its trailer) on Netflix. All 11 episodes are out now.


Ali & Ava (Showtime)
directed by Clio Barnard

Ali and Ava have a whirlwind romance over the course of a month, while each navigating the lingering wreckage of their prior relationships.

Writer-director Clio Barnard has been nominated for three BAFTAs, including British Film of the Year for “Ali & Ava”.

You can watch “Ali & Ava” on Showtime.

Actual People (MUBI)
directed by Kit Zauhar

As her final week of college comes to a close, Riley tries to get the attention of her crush. She has to confront anxiety about racism she’s faced along the way, and what future is out there for recent college grads.

Kit Zauhar writes, directs, and stars. “Actual People” is her first feature.

You can watch “Actual People” on MUBI.

Sorry About the Demon (Shudder)
directed by Emily Hagins

Nursing a broken heart, Will moves into his new place hoping for a fresh start. As often happens in horror-comedies, it turns out to be haunted. If that weren’t bad enough, now he’s got to save his ex from being possessed.

Writer-director Emily Hagins has directed a number of horror anthology segments and low-budget movies.

You can watch “Sorry About the Demon” on Shudder.

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

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New Shows + Movies by Women — Jan. 13, 2023

These January weeks can be a bit slow on certain kinds of new material. Most of what’s being held to this time of year are awards contenders looking to build momentum. Since studios overwhelmingly push films made by men and award shows favor highlighting films made by men, that means most of what’s being held to this time of year are films made by men.

That doesn’t speak to the quality of films made by women or men; it speaks to the bias that shapes who gets award marketing campaigns. It sucks, and it influences audiences to overlook many of the best films of the year simply because women made them.

It’s 2023 and we see occasional nominations for women, but realistically this hasn’t changed much. The Golden Globes happened this week and while there’s much to celebrate in certain categories, all 10 nominations in its two Best Picture categories were films directed by men. All five Best Director nominations were men.

This isn’t because women aren’t making good films, or because an entire gender had some kind of make-believe off-year. It’s because awards shows simply don’t pay much attention to women. Yes, sometimes a particular film or filmmaker breaks through, but it’s still a rarity despite women making many of our best films. And since award shows are essentially large advertising events in and of themselves, that means the films they advertise to onlookers are almost entirely made by men.

The films that studios give awards marketing campaigns are overwhelmingly made by men. The films selected to be viewed by these voting bodies are overwhelmingly made by men. The films nominated and thus advertised to audiences through awards shows are overwhelmingly made by men. They are not true representations of the best films made every year. Awards shows can’t figure out why they’re losing audience year after year when they’re an antiquated, tunnel-vision idea of what film can be. They fail to communicate the true breadth of modern filmmaking or the people who tell our stories.


Mayfair Witches (AMC+)
showrunner Esta Spalding

Based on the Anne Rice novel trilogy “Lives of the Mayfair Witches”, Alexandra Daddario stars as a neurosurgeon who discovers she’s the heir to powerful witches. The catch is that her family is haunted by a devilish spirit.

Showrunner Esta Spalding wrote and produced on “The Bridge”, “On Becoming a God in Central Florida”, and “Masters of Sex”.

You can watch “Mayfair Witches” on AMC+. One episode is out now. New episodes arrive every Sunday.

The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten (Crunchyroll)
directed by Wang Lihua

Based on a light novel series, Amane and Mahiru are students at the same school who have never spoken. He lives alone and she’s a popular girl, but when he helps her one day, she offers to return the favor – breaking up his solitary lifestyle in a way that brings the two closer together.

You can watch “The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten” on Crunchyroll. One episode is out now. New episodes arrive every Saturday.


The Drop (Hulu)
directed by Sarah Adina Smith

Friends have arrived at a wedding, only for one of them to promptly drop a baby they’re asked to hold. What follows is a comedic exploration of conflicting marriage and child rearing ideals.

Sarah Adina Smith directs. She’s helmed episodes of “Legion”, “Hanna”, and “Looking for Alaska”.

You can watch “The Drop” on Hulu.

Noise (Netflix)
directed by Natalia Beristain

(No translated trailer is available, but Netflix has English options.)

A mother keeps up the search for her daughter, who’s been missing for two years. She meets other women whose daughters have gone missing and gets involved in the movement to change the government’s attitude toward the missing.

The Mexican film is directed and co-written by Natalia Beristain. She started out as a production manager and script supervisor before shifting into casting. She saw a Best Screenplay nomination at Mexico’s Ariel Awards for “She Doesn’t Want to Sleep Alone” in 2012, and a Best Director nomination for “The Eternal Feminine”.

You can watch “Noise” on Netflix.

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

Subscribe to my Patreon!

New Shows + Movies by Women — Jan. 6, 2023

And we’re back. This feature always gets a brief holiday break so I can prep year-end work. We start 2023 with the 137th entry in “New Shows + Movies by Women”. For the time being, it’s still going to focus on what’s accessible from home. I want so badly for theatergoing to be normal again, but hospitals and the health care workers we once cheered for are still overburdened with cyclical COVID spikes, many chronically ill and disabled people who are more susceptible to COVID still can’t leave home safely, and I don’t want to participate in normalizing case numbers that we recognized as unacceptable not so long ago.

I’m not judging anyone if they do decide to go to the theater right now. For instance, it might be a lesser risk to myself and others where I live, although they are recommending masking again even here. Yet I have family living in states which pretend COVID doesn’t exist and so are rife with it, where the simple act of going to school carries great health risks. I’m not a public health specialist and can’t break down to readers in different states and countries where it’s safer to go to the theater on a weekly basis, so my coverage at least for a bit longer is going to stick to what you can watch from home. Thanks for understanding that, and I hope it’s fun and useful for folks either way.

This week features new series from Brazil, Japan, and the U.S., and new films from Colombia and the U.S.


Will Trent (ABC, Hulu)
co-showrunner Liz Heldens

A special agent who grew up in the foster care system solves mysteries and tries to take care of those left behind by the system.

Liz Heldens showruns with Dan Thomsen. She’s produced on “The Dropout” and “The Passage”.

You can watch “Will Trent” on Hulu, or weekly on ABC. The first episode is out, with a new one arriving every Tuesday.

Lady Voyeur (Netflix)
showrunner Marcela Citterio

In this Brazilian series, a woman named Miranda uses her hacking skills to sate her voyeurism. This gets her embroiled in a mystery that involves her dream man.

Marcela Citterio has mostly written Brazilian shows, but might be most familiar to American audiences for penning the short story on which Nickelodeon series “I Am Frankie” was based.

You can watch “Lady Voyeur” on Netflix. All 10 episodes are out.

Technoroid Overmind (Crunchyroll)
directed by Im Ga-Hee

(No English trailer for this one, but Crunchyroll has options.)

Humans live in a tower after the world’s been submerged underwater. Here, androids compete to entertain both human and android counterparts.

Im Ga-Hee’s done episode direction on series like “Sonny Boy” (one of my top series of 2021) and “Tiger & Bunny 2”.

You can watch “Technoroid Overmind” on Crunchyroll. The premiere is available and a new episode arrives every Wednesday.


The Kings of the World (Netflix)
directed by Laura Mora

In this Colombian film, five young men undertake a risky journey to recover a piece of land that was once stolen from one of their grandmothers.

Laura Mora has worked in the industry for 20 years, and her 2017 film “Killing Jesus” won Best Film, Director, and Screenplay at Premios Macondo, the Colombian Academy Awards. Mora started out in the industry as a caterer before working several years as a script supervisor and continuity director, as well as a field coordinator for Anthony Bourdain’s Colombia episodes of “No Reservations” and “Parts Unknown”.

You can watch “The Kings of the World” on Netflix.

Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul (Amazon)
directed by Adamma Ebo

The wife of a Southern Baptist megachurch pastor tries to rebuild their congregation after a scandal. Regina Hall, Sterling K. Brown, and Nicole Beharie star.

Writer-director Adamma Ebo has previously directed on “Atlanta”. She started out as a script supervisor.

You can watch “Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul” on Amazon.

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

Subscribe to my Patreon!