Category Archives: New Films by Women

New Shows + Movies by Women — December 2, 2022

This year, the holidays start with heartwarming movies about love stories, male strippers, and British people having affairs. We’re covering the last two weeks, since last week was a holiday.

I’m going to split off holiday movies into a separate article, since there are so many of them. That’ll make each more manageable, both for me and hopefully for readers.

This week, new series by women come from Canada, Finland, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S., and new films by women from Australia, India, Mexico, the U.K., and the U.S.

NEW SERIES

First Love (Netflix)
showrun/directed by Kanchiku Yuri

High school students Yae and Harumichi fall in love in the late 90s. Yae goes to college, and Harumichi joins Japan’s Self-Defense Forces. 20 years after a tragic accident, Yae works as a taxi driver and Harumichi is employed by a security company. They live in the same city, dreaming of what their lives could have been like even as they encounter each other once again.

Kanchiku Yuri has written and directed a few Japanese series, including procedural “Keishicho Shissonin Sosaka” and “L et M”.

You can watch “First Love” on Netflix. All 9 episodes are out.

Welcome to Chippendales (Hulu)
showrunner Jenni Konner
half directed by Nisha Ganatra, Gwyneth Horder-Payton

Kumail Nanjiani stars as Somen Banerjee, the entrepreneur who started the Chippendales male stripper business in the 1980s. The series reflects the real-life story, which descended into murder for hire, arson, and racketeering.

Showrunner Jenni Konner has written and produced on “Single Drunk Female” and “Girls”.

Gwyneth Horder-Payton, director on “Pose”, “American Horror Story”, “Pam & Tommy”, and “The Offer” directs two episodes. “Dollface” and “The High Note” director Nisha Ganatra directs another two.

You can watch “Welcome to Chippendales” on Hulu. Three episodes are out, with a new one arriving every Tuesday for a total of 8.

Three Pines (Amazon)
showrunner Emilia di Girolamo

Alfred Molina plays Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (on par in Canada with a Poirot in the UK). He investigates murders in Three Pines, a Quebec village hiding long-buried travesties of its own. This adaptation of the Louise Penny novels gives room to indigenous voices, including a mystery of the disappearance of an indigenous girl, and performances by Elle-Maija Tailfeathers, Tantoo Cardinal, and Anna Lambe.

Showrunner and writer Emilia di Girolamo also wrote and produced on “The Tunnel” and “Deceit”. Her background is incredibly interesting, with a PhD in the rehabilitation of offenders using drama based techniques.

You can watch “Three Pines” on Amazon Prime. Two episodes are out, and a new one arrives every Thursday.

Riches (Amazon)
showrunner Abby Ajayi

A patriarch’s stroke leaves his family contending for a cosmetics empire he’s left to two children he abandoned decades ago.

Showrunner Abby Ajayi has previously written and produced on “Inventing Anna” and “The First Lady”.

You can watch “Riches” on Amazon Prime. All 6 episodes are out.

Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin (Peacock)
showrunner Megan Amram

Adam Devine, Sarah Hyland, and Jameela Jamil star in a spinoff of the “Pitch Perfect” movies. Devine’s character Bumper moves to Germany after one of his songs becomes a hit there.

Showrunner Megan Amram produced and wrote on “The Good Place” and wrote on “Parks and Rec”.

You can watch “Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin” on Peacock. All 6 episodes are out.

The Flatshare (Paramount+)
showrunner Rose Lewenstein
half directed by Chloe Wicks

Two people share an apartment, but even though they share a bed, their careers and lives mean they’ve never met.

Showrunner Rose Lewenstein and director Chloe Wicks (who helms 3 of the 6 episodes) worked together previously on “On the Edge”.

You can watch “The Flatshare” on Paramount+.

Transport (Acorn TV)
showrunner/directed by Auli Mantila

This Finnish crime series finds a reporter tracing a microchip found in baby food. Elsewhere, a bank manager is drawn into an illegal scheme, and a veterinarian goes missing. These leads all tie into the illicit horse trade.

You can watch “Transport” on Acorn TV. All 8 episodes are out.

NEW MOVIES

Qala (Netflix)
directed by Anvitaa Dutt

A singer with a burgeoning career contends with the expectations of those around her, including her controlling mother. Triptii Dimri stars.

A longtime songwriter and screenwriter on Hindi films, Anvitaa Dutt added directing with the 2020 horror mystery “Bulbbul”. Triptii Dimri also starred there in what I thought was one of the most overlooked performances that year. Dutt and Dimri are a must-watch combination in my book.

You can watch “Qala” on Netflix.

The Swimmers (Netflix)
directed by Sally El Hosaini

Two sisters training for the Olympics flee the Syrian civil war in 2015. Yusra and Sarah travel through Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece before their overcrowded boat breaks down and the swimmers tow it to safety. A year later, Yusra competes in the Olympics for the Refugee team.

The story sounds like something that could only be created for film, but those are the real details of Yusra Mardini’s life. She fled Syria with her sister and they were two of four swimmers who towed 16 others to safety.

Director and co-writer Sally El Hosaini also helmed “My Brother the Devil”.

You can watch “The Swimmers” on Netflix.

Mr. Malcolm’s List (Showtime)
directed by Emma Holly Jones

Based on the novel by Suzanne Allain, a young woman named Selina courts a mysterious and much-discussed suitor in 19th century England. Secretly, she’s aiming for revenge on behalf of a friend – a just return for the suitor’s impossible list of preconditions for a future wife. Freida Pinto and Sope Dirisu star.

The novel was self-published by Allain in 2009, and her adapted screenplay floated for nearly a decade until Jones shot a short film of it. The short film’s success – with 2 million views – led to the novel’s traditional publishing in 2020 and the production of the full-length feature.

You can watch “Mr. Malcolm’s List” on Showtime.

Please Baby Please (VOD)
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 rent “Please Baby Please” on Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, or YouTube.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover (Netflix)
directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre

Based on the novel by D.H. Lawrence, a woman begins an affair with the gamekeeper on her husband’s estate.

Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre is known for her impressive visuals in films such as “The Mustang” and episodes of “Mrs. America” and “The Act”. She started out as an actress before shifting full-time as her directing career took off.

You can watch “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” on Netflix.

How to Please a Woman (Hulu, VOD)
directed by Renee Webster

Fed up with her lot in life and freshly laid off, Gina manages an all-male combination cleaning-and-prostitution service in this Australian film.

This is writer-director Renee Webster’s first feature after directing on Australian series such as “The Heights”.

You can watch “How to Please a Woman” on Hulu, or rent it on VOD.

Who’s a Good Boy? (Netflix)
directed by Ihtzi Hurtado

Chema idealizes his crush, and is determined to lose his virginity to her before the school year ends.

Ihtzi Hurtado is a director on Mexican series and films.

You can watch “Who’s a Good Boy” on Netflix.

Alone Together (Hulu)
directed by Katie Holmes

During the pandemic, a pair of strangers in stressful relationships are booked for the same Airbnb in upstate New York. Katie Holmes, Jim Sturgess, Derek Luke, and Melissa Leo star in Holmes’s debut as a writer and second film as director.

Holmes is most famous for her roles in films like “Disturbing Behavior”, “Pieces of April”, and the series “Dawson’s Creek”.

You can watch “Alone Together” on Hulu, or rent it on VOD.

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

If you enjoy what you’re reading, subscribe to my Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

New Shows + Movies by Women — November 18, 2022

As we close in on the holidays, streaming services start clearing the decks for a change in content. Space is cleared for awards contenders – both larger films from well-known directors and mid-budget films that had late summer theatrical releases (such as Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling”). Every platform wants eyes on awards contenders because these legitimize the quality of a streaming service and convince users to stay on.

Smaller, independent, and international features are replaced increasingly with holiday (read: nearly all Christmas) content. You won’t see that evidenced as much in this feature since the Christmas movie field is still so overwhelmingly directed by men.

Obviously, it’s the only time of year when eyes are going to gravitate to these films, but the other part of it is that streaming platforms get to stock up on indie and international content. Saving these up gives platforms a bit more to work with in the drier months before next summer.

Series don’t quite follow the same rules as films. Yes, holiday content will cram into these two months and high-profile work is often saved for the winter break when they know audiences will have extra time to watch, but the ratio of other work stays closer to the usual.

This week, we have new series by women from the France and the U.S., and new films by women from Nunavut and the U.S.

NEW SERIES

Fleishman is in Trouble (Hulu)
showrunner Taffy Brodesser-Akner

Jesse Eisenberg stars as a man newly separated from his wife of 15 years (Claire Danes), juggling his own life badly. Lizzy Caplan and Adam Brody also star.

Showrunner Taffy Brodesser-Akner is a journalist of 20 years. She wrote the novel on which the series is based, published in 2019.

You can watch “Fleishman is in Trouble” on Hulu. Two episodes are out now, with a new one every Thursday for a total of 8.

Reign Supreme (Netflix)
co-directed by Katell Quillevere

(There’s no English trailer, but options are available on Netflix.)

This French series follows the band NTM as hip hop arrived in France in the 1980s.

Co-creator Katelle Quillevere directs with Helier Cisterne.

You can watch “Reign Supreme” on Netflix. All 6 episodes are out.

NEW MOVIES

Don’t Worry Darling (HBO Max)
directed by Olivia Wilde

Alice takes care of her 50s home while her husband’s at work for a glamorous company. Not all is as it seems, as life and reality itself start to come apart around her. Florence Pugh, Olivia Wilde, Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne, and Harry Styles star.

Olivia Wilde started as an actress, with her breakthrough coming in “House, M.D.” Her first feature as director was the critically hailed “Booksmart” in 2019.

You can watch “Don’t Worry Darling” on HBO Max.

Slash/Back (Shudder)
directed by Nyla Innuksuk

Maika and her friends use improvised weapons and their extensive horror movie knowledge to fight back against an alien invasion in their Arctic town. Most of the cast is Inuit or First Nations.

Nyla Innuksuk directs and co-writes the Nunavut film. She’s also helped create VR experiences for Tanya Tagaq and A Tribe Called Red.

I featured “Slash/Back” just a few weeks ago when it came out to rent on VOD, but now you can also see it on Shudder.

The People We Hate at the Wedding (Amazon)
directed by Claire Scanlon

Unfriendly siblings tolerate each other in the week leading up to their half-sister’s wedding. Kristen Bell, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Ben Platt, and Allison Janney star.

Director Claire Scanlon has been involved in some of the best series comedies of the last several years, directing on “GLOW”, “Never Have I Ever”, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, and “Rutherford Falls”. She started off two decades ago as an editor in reality TV.

You can watch “The People We Hate at the Wedding” on Amazon.

Where the Crawdads Sing (Netflix)
directed by Olivia Newman

Abandoned by her family, Kya raises herself in the marsh outside of a 1950s southern town. After a prominent murder, she becomes the main suspect. Daisy Edgar-Jones stars.

Director Olivia Newman previously helmed episodes of “FBI” and “Chicago Fire”.

You can watch “Where the Crawdads Sing” on Netflix.

Christmas with You (Netflix)
directed by Gabriela Tagliavini

Aimee Garcia features as a pop star whose popularity is declining, and who must write a Christmas song or be dropped from her label. She escapes to a small town – where she finds Freddie Prinze Jr. as a single dad who just so happens to write music.

Argentinian director Gabriela Tagliavani has directed 3 films that reached #1 in Mexico and Spain.

You can watch “Christmas with You” on Netflix.

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

If you enjoy what you’re reading, subscribe to my Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

New Shows + Movies by Women — November 11, 2022

This weekly feature is built to platform full-length films and series with “full-size” episodes (20-some minutes or longer). That’s not a preference; I could go on and on about short filmmaking and I probably will in some articles down the road.

It’s more a necessity of streamlining my research. There’s not much organized information out there about when short films or shorts series become accessible to viewers. Nevertheless, I do try to include these in my intro when they come across my radar.

This usually means Netflix or HBO featuring a group of short films they’ve funded, though probably less of that from HBO now that Discovery’s bought it. In terms of series, Disney+ regularly spins off shorts from its properties – such as “Baymax!” and now “Zootopia+”.

I’d like to mention more shorts series than the franchised ones, and something like that could be the basis for its own article in the future. Many of the franchised series are great; I’d just love to point people in the direction of more independent work as well. It’s something I’m working on.

I bring this up because “Zootopia+” premiered this week. The series of six 10-minute shorts tell stories of side characters from the Disney animated film “Zootopia”. Each episode is directed by Josie Trinidad with Trent Correy. You can find the series on Disney+.

Just one new series this week, from the U.S. New films by women come from Argentina, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the U.S.

NEW SERIES

Dangerous Liaisons (Starz)
showrunner Harriet Warner
half-directed by Leonora Lonsdale

“Dangerous Liaisons” returns to a period adaptation in Paris, 1783. The series is a prelude to the novel itself, which of course gives it plenty of material for future seasons (it’s already been renewed for season 2).

The series of sexual gambling, manipulation, and extortion is one of the most-adapted properties in cinema. France regularly sees series and film adaptations, including Rachel Suissa’s contemporary interpretation just this year.

The 80s and 90s saw a number of English-language adaptations, including a star-studded 1988 version featuring Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Uma Thurman. “Valmont” followed in 1989 with Annette Bening, Colin Firth, and Meg Tilly. Millennials are pretty familiar with 1999’s “Cruel Intentions”, featuring Selma Blair, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Reese Witherspoon.

There’s 2003 Korean film “Untold Scandal”, a Chinese 2012 co-production starring Zhang Ziyi and Cecilia Cheung, and series adaptations from Slovakia and more recently Brazil and South Korea.

For the Starz series, showrunner Harriet Warner comes over from “Call the Midwife” and “Tell Me Your Secrets”. “The Pale Horse” director Leonora Lonsdale directs half the episodes.

You can watch “Dangerous Liaisons” on Starz. The first episode has premiered, with a new one arriving every Sunday.

NEW MOVIES

Dive (Amazon)
directed by Lucia Puenzo

(There’s no English trailer, but options are available on Amazon).

This Argentinean-Mexican film follows the training of an Olympic diver. She slowly sees a sordid reality of how the men and girls on her team interact, and that she may have to sacrifice her life’s efforts to do something about it.

Director Lucia Puenzo won Argentina’s Academy Award for Best Film and Best Director in 2013 (and was nominated for Best Screenplay) for “Wakolda” (“The German Doctor”). It tracks Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele’s time in Argentina.

Her “The Fish Child”, about two girls who fall in love while hiding secrets from each other, also saw three nominations, for Director, Film, and Screenplay.

Puenzo is perhaps most famous in the states for “XXY”, which tells the story of an intersex child navigating her way through puberty.

You can watch “Dive” on Amazon.

My Father’s Dragon (Netflix)
directed by Nora Twomey

Elmer Elevator’s search for a dragon leads him to an island lost in time. There, he befriends a dragon, and learns that the island is under threat.

This film marks the convergence of three remarkable storytellers. Ruth Stiles Gannett wrote a series of children’s books in the 1940s and 50s, “My Father’s Dragon” having won the Newbery Medal for children’s literature.

Meg LeFauve writes the script after co-writing “Inside Out”, “Captain Marvel”, and “The Good Dinosaur”.

Director Nora Twomey co-directed “The Secret of Kells”, which I chose as one of my top 10 films of its decade. She also directed the incredibly beautiful “The Breadwinner”.

The film itself may be under the radar, but the women who are making it shouldn’t be. You can watch “My Father’s Dragon” on Netflix.

Mandrake (Shudder)
directed by Lynne Davison

Cathy is a probation officer who is assigned the rehabilitation of a notorious murderer. When two nearby children disappear, she has suspicions that the freed Mary may be guilty.

This is director Lynne Davison’s first feature.

You can watch “Mandrake” on Shudder.

Falling for Christmas (Netflix)
directed by Janeen Damian

Lindsay Lohan’s movie deal with Netflix starts with her playing an heiress who loses her memory right around Christmas. Luckily, there’s a handsome widower who helps take care of her.

Janeen Damian is a prolific producer of both Christmas movies and horse girl movies (having produced some of the “Flicka” films). This is the first film she’s directed.

You can watch “Falling for Christmas” 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 — November 4, 2022

Going through this week’s new films and series has made one thing clear to me this first week of November: welcome to Christmas, it’s already Christmas, have 30 Christmas series, 75 Christmas movies, and a Hanukkah film. Interestingly, this is still a field where male directors seem to direct almost everything out there. I noticed this the last two years as well. Men churn out a ton of holiday movies.

We’re still at a place where men are more likely to be chosen to direct, regardless of a director’s talent, and films by men are more likely to be platformed than films by women, regardless of its quality. It’s not just that, though. When it comes to holiday movies, it seems like the counts are even more lopsided toward men than the general field. I don’t have a solid theory as to why; feel free to suggest any.

Another thing that gets me is how much crossover there is with horror. Indie horror directors pump out films that are dripping with gore one minute before turning around and making feel-good Christmas romances. It hadn’t occurred to me there are shared skills between the two, but both have got to hook you out of the gate to hold your attention and both have to meet strict deadlines with tight budgets. This doesn’t explain why so many are men when one could argue women directors are dominating horror right now, but it’s one more curiosity in the annual two-month holiday movie boom.

Is it a matter of a handful of directors bringing who they know in? A possibility, but there are so many Christmas movies that it’s hard to pin it just to this. Is it because some are “faith-based” and religious production companies favor male directors? Many of these films don’t seem faith-based, at least insofar as a Christmas movie ever can be secular.

Is it because beginning to approach some form of equality in horror is pushing an overflow of male directors into another field? If anything, the number of streaming services and increased popularity of horror the last few years has offered more opportunities than the genre can keep up with. Horror films that would have done local festival circuits and disappeared into obscurity a few years ago are getting scooped up hand over fist by streaming services – I have a hard time imagining there’s not enough room for all in the genre today.

That leaves me with more questions than answers. I’ll ask around.

New series by women this week come from Colombia and the U.S., and new movies by women from Lebanon, the Netherlands, and the U.S.

NEW SERIES

Blockbuster (Netflix)
showrunner Vanessa Ramos
half-directed by women

Randall Park stars as the manager of the last Blockbuster video store as he tries to keep the business alive in an era of streaming video. It’s loosely based on the actual last Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon, famous for its irreverent online humor, tourist destination status, and collections of celebrity memorabilia from other, less powerful Blockbusters that fell along the way.

Showrunner Vanessa Ramos was a writer and producer on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Superstore”. She got her start as a writer on awards shows – i.e. comedic bits on the MTV Movie Awards and Oscars.

Jackie Clarke, Aleysa Young, and Katie Locke O’Brien direct five of the show’s 10 episodes between them.

You can watch “Blockbuster” on Netflix. There are 10 episodes, all out now.

The Final Score (Netflix)
co-directed by Claudia Zie

This Colombian series recounts the story of a national soccer team that saw players unwillingly involved in drug trafficking and an on-field mistake connected to a high-profile murder.

Claudia Zie splits her time as a voice actress between Europe and the Americas, as well as live action acting, writing, and directing. On “The Final Score”, she co-directs three episodes with Carlos Moreno and another three with Oscar Ruiz Navia.

You can watch “The Final Score” on Netflix. There are 6 episodes, all out now.

NEW MOVIES

Costa Brava, Lebanon (Netflix)
directed by Mounia Akl

This Lebanese film finds a family choked by pollution and powerless to stop an illegal landfill created right next to their home. The film was Lebanon’s entry to the Oscars.

This is director and co-writer Mounia Akl’s first feature. She wrote the script with Clara Roquet.

You can watch “Costa Brava, Lebanon” on Netflix.

The Takeover (Netflix)
directed by Annemarie van de Mond

Mel is a whitehat hacker in the Netherlands. She’s framed for murder after she unveils a privacy scandal. There’s only so much time to find the criminals who are blackmailing her before the police chase her down.

Director Annemarie van de Mond started as an assistant director in the late 90s. This led to script supervisor roles on films like “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” and on series like “Rome”. After directing on series and TV movies, she helmed her first feature in 2020. “The Takeover” is her second.

You can watch “The Takeover” on Netflix.

Christmas on Repeat (Hulu)
directed by Lindsay Hartley

Santa grants an ad executive the chance to live Christmas over and over again so she can spend it with her family.

Director Lindsay Hartley has helmed a number of TV movies.

You can watch “Christmas on Repeat” 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 — October 28, 2022

Sometimes a new show or movie can be hard to locate. Let me explain: every once in a while, there’s something listed but that doesn’t come available when it should. This usually has to do with international releases – HBO Max is particularly terrible listing the right dates for the right countries. I constantly see their Spanish-language series listed for release in the U.S. on one date, but then land on another, unlisted date. If I were to tell you to go see a series that isn’t there yet, that’s not very useful to you.

This has only gotten worse with Warner Bros. Discovery’s acquisition of HBO. Many international series have been pulled early. HBO Max used to be one of the best places to find European series. With a focus on originals, this included less-frequently platformed work by women. After the acquisition, Warner Bros. Discovery culled HBO’s European content. This included not only stopping original productions east of France, but removing content from Central, Eastern European, and Nordic countries that was already bought and paid for.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the movie “Batgirl” being denied any release. That was so the entire production can be used as a tax write-off. Incomplete shows might also be used this way, but these finished shows aren’t succumbing to the same situation – this has more to do with Warner Bros. Discovery not wanting to pay residuals. Some of this content may end up getting licensed out to other streamers, but much of it will simply disappear and not be seen again. That’s a tragedy for the artists involved, especially since it covers so much work by women in Europe.

New series by women come from India, Japan, South Korea, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S., with new films by women arriving from Belgium, Nunavut, South Korea, and the U.S.

NEW SERIES

Hush Hush (Amazon)
showrunner Tanuja Chandra

(Turn Closed Captioning on for subtitles.) This horror series from India follows five women, four of whom are trying to cover up a crime in their apartment block.

Tanuja Chandra has been directing films since the 90s. This is her first series.

You can watch “Hush Hush” on Amazon. All 7 episodes are out.

From Scratch (Netflix)
showrunner Attica Locke
directed by Nzingha Stewart, Dennie Gordon

Zoe Saldana stars as Amy, who falls in love with a Sicilian man while studying in Italy. The story tracks their relationship through the years across countries.

Attica Locke showruns the series based off Tembi Locke’s memoir. Attica also wrote and produced on “Empire” and “Little Fires Everywhere”. Joining from the latter to direct 5 episodes is Nzingha Stewart, who’s also directed on “Maid” and “Scandal”. “Madam Secretary” director Dennie Gordon also directs 3 episodes.

You can watch “From Scratch” on Netflix. All 8 episodes are out now.

The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself (Netflix)
half-directed by women

The son of an infamous witch finds himself trapped between two warring clans. All fear him because of his father’s history of violence, even as his father’s clan tries to kill him.

Debs Paterson and Rachna Suri direct two episodes apiece.

You can watch “The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself” on Netflix. All 8 episodes are out.

Arknights: Prelude to Dawn (Crunchyroll)
directed by Watanabe Yuki

Based on a tower defense puzzle game, “Arknights: Prelude to Dawn” follows a doctor’s team that’s racing to find a cure in a world beset by plague, disasters, and fascist governments. You can tell it’s not a documentary because some characters are part-animal.

Director Watanabe Yuki previously helmed episodes of “Warlords of Sigrdrifa” and “Visual Prison”.

You can watch “Arknights: Prelude to Dawn” on Crunchyroll. The series will be simulcast as episodes premiere in Japan every Friday.

Modern Love Tokyo (Amazon)
showrunner Hirayanagi Atsuko
mostly directed by women

(No English subtitles available on this one.) This Japanese adaptation of “Modern Love” is an anthology series. Each episode focuses on different characters and depicts a different form of expressing love.

Hirayanagi Atsuko showruns, as well as writing and directing two episodes. Ogigami Naoko and Yamada Naoko each direct another.

You can watch “Modern Love Tokyo” on Amazon. There are 7 episodes, all available immediately.

May I Help You (Amazon)
directed by Shim So Yeon

(No English subtitles available on this one.) Funeral director Baek Dong Ju can speak to the dead, who ask her to grant their last wishes. If she doesn’t, her bad luck accumulates. Kim Jib Sa runs odd errands for his uncle, but after a boycott is looking for new work. He might be able to help the funeral director with her odd requests.

Director Shim So Yeon has helmed a number of Korean series, including “Here’s My Plan”.

You can watch “May I Help You” on Amazon.

If Only (Netflix)
showrunner Ece Yorenc

(No embedded trailer available.)

Dissatisfied 30 year-old Emma is sent back in time 10 years after a lunar eclipse.

The Spanish series is helmed by Turkish director Ece Yorenc, who’s alternated between Turkish and Spanish series the last several years.

You can watch “If Only” on Netflix.

NEW MOVIES

Earwig (MUBI)
directed by Lucile Hadzihalilovic

A 50 year-old caretaker must care for a 10 year-old girl, whose dentures are made of ice and must be changed around the clock.

The English-language, Belgian film is helmed by Lucile Hadzihalilovic, who also co-wrote the screenplay. She previously directed and co-wrote “Evolution”.

You can watch “Earwig” on MUBI.

CW: Following entry includes dating violence

Run Sweetheart Run (Amazon)
directed by Shana Feste

After her blind date turns violent, Cherie is trapped in the city at night. Doing everything she can to get home alive, she discovers she’s not the first woman to be hunted by this man.

Director and co-writer Shana Feste also helmed “Endless Love”.

You can watch “Run Sweetheart Run” on Amazon.

Slash/Back (VOD)
directed by Nyla Innuksuk

Maika and her friends use improvised weapons and their extensive horror movie knowledge to fight back against an alien invasion in their Arctic town. Most of the cast is Inuit or First Nations.

Nyla Innuksuk directs and co-writes the Nunavut film. She’s also helped create VR experiences for Tanya Tagaq and A Tribe Called Red.

See where you can rent “Slash/Back”.

20th Century Girl (Netflix)
directed by Bang Woo-ri

A teen in 1999 South Korea does a favor for her best friend – befriending her crush. Introduce his best friend and various complications ensue before the promise of a new century.

This is the first film from writer-director Bang Woo-ri.

You can watch “20th Century Girl” on Netflix.

Torn Hearts (Amazon)
directed by Brea Grant

This Blumhouse horror stars Katey Sagal as a country music legend who hosts a young country music duo seeking out her advice. When they discover she may have murdered her singing partner, their stay turns into terror at their idol’s hands.

Brea Grant directs from a screenplay by Rachel Koller Croft. Grant might be best known for recurring roles on “Dexter” and “Heroes”, and her shift into directing includes Angela Bettis horror-comedy “12 Hour Shift”.

You can watch “Torn Hearts” on Amazon.

The African Desperate (MUBI)
directed by Martine Syms

Palace is an MFA grad whose last 24 hours in art school become stranger and stranger.

This is the first feature for director and co-writer Martine Syms.

You can watch “The African Desperate” on MUBI.

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 — October 14, 2022

The intro was long last week, so we’ll dive in quick today. There’s a good range including horror, drama, comedy, and coming-of-age. Being October, horror gets half the entries. New series by women arrive from Canada, Germany, the U.S., and new films by women from Spain, the U.K., and the U.S.

NEW SERIES

The Midnight Club (Netflix)
co-showrunner Leah Fong

“The Midnight Club” is about eight terminally ill patients at a hospice. They gather at midnight to share scary stories, but it may lead to some of them surviving. I missed this one last week.

Leah Fong showruns with Mike Flanagan. She was also a writer and producer on “The Haunting of Bly Manor”, which Flanagan showran, so the pair have experience on successful Netflix horror series.

You can watch “The Midnight Club” on Netflix. All 10 episodes are out.

High School (Amazon Freevee)
showrun by Clea DuVall and Laura Kittrell
directed by Clea DuVall and Rebecca Asher

Based on the autobiography of indie pop duo (and identical twins) Tegan and Sara, “High School” tells their coming-of-age stories as a testing of their bond. The pair are played by identical twins Railey and Seazynn Gilliland.

Co-showrunner Clea DuVall is best known for her roles in off-kilter late 90s satire like “The Faculty” and “But I’m a Cheerleader”, as well as more recent work in “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Better Caul Saul”. She’s also directed Hulu’s holiday hit “Happiest Season” and “The Intervention”. Co-showrunner Laura Kittrell has written and produced on “Insecure” and “Black Monday”.

You can watch “High School” on Amazon Freevee. The service is included with Amazon, and includes ads. The four episode premiere is followed by an episode every Friday for a total of 8.

Oh Hell (HBO Max)
co-directed by Lisa Miller

Helene’s life is a mess, but through her cello teacher Oskar, she might be able to start living in the Instagram-perfect world she thinks is out there. There’s no English translation for this I can embed, but HBO will have options for the series itself.

Lisa Miller and Simon Ostermann direct the German dramedy together.

You can watch “Oh Hell” on HBO Max. There are 8 episodes.

NEW MOVIES

She Will (AMC+, Shudder)
directed by Charlotte Colbert

Alice Krige plays Veronica, who goes to a Scottish retreat with her nurse after a double mastectomy. She begins playing out revenge against past traumas in her dreams.

This is the first film from co-writer and director Charlotte Colbert.

Previously featured for rent, you can now watch “She Will” on AMC+ or Shudder.

Rosaline (Hulu)
directed by Karen Maine

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is retold by Romeo’s jilted ex-girlfriend, Rosaline. The film is based on the novel “When You Were Mine” by Rebecca Serle.

Karen Maine wrote and directed “Yes, God, Yes” and wrote “Obvious Child”. All three may be comedies, but they’re each extremely different from the next.

You can watch “Rosaline” on Hulu.

Piggy (VOD)
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.

See where you can rent “Piggy”.

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 — October 7, 2022

Every once in a while, I choose not to include a film here. I’m cautious about this because as much work as I may have done, I don’t believe anyone really gets rid of every scintilla of ingrained bias. What we’re raised with, we see in the culture that shapes us, and what we continue to see every day combine as powerful forces that mean we never completely solve our potential biases. There’s a reason we divide between explicit and implicit bias. Implicit bias arises in us in ways we might not be able to recognize. If I include every new series and film I can find that’s showrun or directed by women, then bias is minimized at least in the step of selection itself. If I begin to remove certain listings according to my judgment, I introduce the potential for bias.

That’s why I try to include everything. When Ellen Rapoport’s “Minx” came out earlier this year, I still included it despite her previous film “Desperados” being incredibly racist toward Mexicans. I didn’t feel good about that, especially being of Mexican descent. I noted this concern and talked about why I had it, but I still included the series and told people where they could find it. Rapoport’s previous project had been dehumanizing – a dehumanization that I know from experience as a Latino can carry real risk to our safety.

The only things I haven’t included – and this really only comes up once every few months – are films that are blatantly propaganda or blatantly, intentionally, unquestionably harmful. I always try to err on the side of including a film. If this feature is supposed to be informational, I can always include a project and talk about why it’s problematic.

The film I’ve had that conversation about this week is Lena Dunham’s “Catherine Called Birdy”. Based on the novel by Karen Cushman, I struggle with Dunham’s repeated and unapologetic acts of racism, as well as her attempted cover-up of statutory rape by one of the writers on her series “Girls”.

Dunham has been consistently racist in posts and public statements she’s made, in limiting opportunities to whom she’s employed in the writers’ room and in front of the camera, and in her defenses of both actions. She met the statutory rape allegation against one of the writers on “Girls” by declaring the survivor, Aurora Perrineau, was lying. Dunham insisted she had insider information about the incident, but after the media storm passed, she admitted she had none. That Perrineau is Black also calls into question Dunham’s past, repeated dehumanization of Black people. Dunham’s response was already heinous enough before raising this question, but would she have defended the writer if he’d been Black and the survivor had been white?

Certainly, women who are successful are torn down relentlessly. That should give Dunham some benefit of the doubt, but that only goes so far. It doesn’t excuse Dunham’s own actions. It doesn’t serve as carte blanche for her to tear down people of color relentlessly. It doesn’t excuse her tearing down Perrineau. Do I list Dunham’s work? There’s a point where that decision doesn’t center around my potential bias, but rather on whether I should platform someone else’s expressed, evidenced bias.

I suppose the difference is this: I bring up Rapoport because she wrote a horribly racist screenplay, and that furthers views that cause harm. In my knowledge of her work, it does seem isolated to that project. That’s not an excuse, but lack of a pattern allows me to think there’s hope someone who does that may have made a terrible mistake. Maybe she can correct it in the future, or maybe I’m just an idiot who likes to think that’s a possibility. Either way, I feel comfortable giving her the benefit of the doubt and including her next project so long as I raise and talk about my concerns regarding her past work.

Dunham has doubled down on direct harm, not just dehumanizing people of color, but on limiting their opportunities under her employ as well. She’s made countless racist statements. Combined with unsupported accusations she made to delegitimize a statutory rape survivor, the lines she’s crossed are far too many.

There’s a reason author Zinzi Clemmons quit Dunham’s weekly newsletter and wrote, “It’s time for women of color – black women in particular – to divest from Lena Dunham”. Certainly, if it’s time for women of color to do so, then it’s time for men of color to ally with that decision. I would hope that women of color are entrusted to lead enough that white people would ally with this choice as well. With Dunham, there’s an evidenced pattern of behavior, and – perhaps more damning – an evidenced refusal to attempt accountability, change, or treating either as having worth.

Am I still highlighting Dunham’s new film by making my introduction about her? If your takeaway is that you can’t wait to watch her work, then nothing I say is going to make a difference in that. Is it possible I end up reviewing something she’s in later? Sure, but it’s very unlikely to be something she writes or directs. I’ve written in the past that these choices are difficult when movies themselves are created by so many people. Do you refuse to watch “X-Men” because director Bryan Singer was a statutory rapist or do you watch it because Patrick Stewart is a domestic violence survivor and activist, and Ian McKellen was one of the only out gay actors in the 90s to overcome hiring resistance? I don’t know what the right answer to that is, and if you watch a Dunham film because one of the actors is meaningful to you, I’m not going to think you’re a terrible person. I do think when we make these decisions one way or the other, it’s important to talk about them and treat them realistically.

Am I censoring Dunham? If that’s how we’re treating the word ‘censorship’, then to platform her is to censor people of color. In that choice, she’s one person, they’re many. Just as important, she’s the instigator of that censorship, they’re the people surviving it. Not a tough choice.

Too often, people find themselves defending a Depp because we had his posters on our walls growing up, a Gilliam because his reruns from half a century ago make us laugh, or even a Polanski because he suffered trauma and wins Oscars. It’s reasonable to still find meaning in some of their work, sure, but we need to learn to separate that from icon worship. Most people know what it’s like to have some harmful moron we hang onto and defend too long. We identify with people we don’t know, and as we learn more about them, we don’t want to lose that identification. Sometimes it’s easier to defend them than defend ourselves from them.

It’s hard to be complete about this. It’s impossible to learn everything about everybody in isolation, let alone as patterns. We share something or platform someone without realizing it’s a bad idea until it’s too late. Yet sometimes the pattern is obvious, and you know what – that’s still only half of it. For me, this is really just as important, because I do believe people can learn and change: the refusal to change that pattern is also obvious. When someone’s pattern of harm and the refusal to do the work to change it are both that obvious, the refusal to platform that person becomes obvious, too.

What I’m going to do today is decide that I won’t share work that Dunham writes or directs. She’s not the first I’ve made that decision for. When the Soska sisters decided to ally themselves with and spout propaganda for white supremacists, I decided not to platform their work. Each of these situations is different, and it takes a lot for me to make that decision. I hope you understand why I am, and why it’s important to talk about.

New series this week come from Canada, Japan, South Korea, and the U.S. New movies come from the Philippines and the U.S.

NEW SERIES

Glitch (Netflix)
directed by Roh Deok

A woman hired through nepotism loses her boyfriend amid mysterious flashing lights one night. An unsuccessful livestreamer obsessed with mysteries and the UFO community may have insight. The pair team up to find out the truth. “Vincenzo” lead Jeon Yeo Been joins K-Pop-star-turned-actress Nana (of such groups as Orange Caramel and Dazzling Red).

Roh Deok has directed breakup film “Very Ordinary Couple” and journalism thriller “The Exclusive: Beat the Devil’s Tattoo”.

You can watch “Glitch” on Netflix.

CW: grooming

A Friend of the Family (Peacock)
mostly directed by women

A family friend kidnaps their daughter several times over the course of years. It’s based on the real story of Jan Broberg Felt being kidnapped twice by her neighbor in the 1970s.

Rachel Goldberg and Eliza Hittman direct two episodes apiece, with Lauren Wolkstein directing another. Goldberg’s directed on “The Sinner” and “American Gods”. Hittman is the director of “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”. Wolkstein directed on “Queen Sugar”.

You can watch “A Friend of the Family” on Peacock. The first four episodes premiered this week, with another episode arriving every Thursday for a total of 9.

Raven of the Inner Palace (Crunchyroll)
directed by Miyawaki Chizuru

A consort with mystical powers consults spirits in order to solve a web of assassinations, murders, and other mysteries inside the palace of a Chinese kingdom. The anime is based on the light novel series.

Director Miyawaki Chizuru was one of the two major directors of the “Gintama” series of shows and movies for years. She started off doing key animation work in the last 90s on shows like “Hunter x Hunter” and “Generator Gawl”.

You can watch “Raven of the Inner Palace” on Crunchyroll. New episodes arrive Sundays.

Fire Country (CBS)
showrunner Tia Napolitano

A convicted man joins a firefighting program that may shorten his prison sentence. He works alongside inmates and professional fire fighters alike to combat wildfires.

Showrunner Tia Napolitano also wrote and produced on “Scandal” and “Cruel Summer”.

You can watch “Fire Country” on CBS. New episodes air on Friday.

Family Law (The CW)
showrunner Susin Nielsen

Jewel Staite plays Abigail, a lawyer who loses her job due to alcoholism. Unable to get hired anywhere else, her only refuge is the law firm of her father, played by Victor Garber. He has two other children who work there as lawyers – whom she doesn’t know.

Showrunner Susin Nielsen is a longtime writer and producer of Canadian television. Her career started as an art department assistant on the original “Degrassi High” before she shifted into the writers room.

You can watch “Family Law” on the CW. New episodes arrive every Sunday.

NEW MOVIES

Deadstream (Shudder)
co-directed by Vanessa Winter

A disgraced livestreamer needs a big stunt for his comeback: one night streaming from a haunted house. This one’s real, and a vengeful spirit looks to take him offline permanently.

Vanessa Winter writes and directs with Joseph Winter. The pair also directed a segment on this year’s “V/H/S/99”.

You can watch “Deadstream” on Shudder.

Doll House (Netflix)
directed by Marla Ancheta

This film from the Philippines finds a man hiding his identity in order to take care of the daughter he left behind years ago.

Marla Ancheta also directed “Ikaw” and “Finding Agnes”.

You can watch “Doll House” 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 — September 30, 2022

When I can find the information, I always try to say something about how a filmmaker started. Sometimes, they just appear on IMDB, MyDramaList, or other resources without much information about prior work. Perhaps a number of short films are listed, in which case they probably went the festival route and worked their way up raising finances for a longer film.

Other routes include starting as an actress before shifting over to directing, or starting in a writers room, which provides a well-used but no less difficult path into production, series creation, and showrunning.

These aren’t the only routes, however. Last week, I highlighted “Lou” director Anna Foerster, who started as a visual effects specialist in films like “Independence Day”, and worked as a second unit director and aerial director of photography. This led into series directing and, eventually, film directing.

I’ve written about my favorite cinematographer, Natasha Braier, before. Starting out as an assistant cameraperson and working as a cinematographer on short films eventually led to feature film cinematography and her first directing gig – helming an episode on “American Gigolo”. I’m excited to see if she continues exploring directing.

Anne Fletcher is the director of this week’s “Hocus Pocus 2”. She got her start as a dancer and choreographer. She served as the animation reference in “Casper”, the 90s equivalent of a motion capture actor. Then she danced in films ranging from “Tank Girl” to “Boogie Nights” and “Titanic”, moving into assistant choreography with “Boogie Nights” and lead choreographer on “Bring It On”. You’ve almost certainly seen her work – choreography on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Firefly”, “Step Up”, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”, Academy Award ceremonies – and eventually directing on films like “27 Dresses” and “Hot Pursuit”. We’ve probably seen her work in front of or behind the camera a dozen or more times, but hers isn’t a name we know.

Knowing these routes that people take is important, though. As hard as it is to get to the point of showrunning or directing, it’s even more difficult for women to break through a system that’s built to resist their promotion. We could each name dozens of men who direct, and probably even recount to each other the paths they’ve taken, their humble rags-to-riches personal stories. What do we know about women who direct? What about the two most successful films by women in theaters right now? Can most of us name the director of “The Woman King” offhand? Do we know anything about Gina Prince-Bythewood’s story? What do we know about Olivia Wilde’s work on “Don’t Worry Darling”? All that’s in the news about the film is who she slept with and who might be upset about it.

Men get mythologies and cults of worship. We can trace and analyze how every film they ever glanced at sideways may have influenced their vision. Women get obscurity or publicly shamed. Their vision is treated as spontaneously generated, sparked once as an exception to the rule that there’s nothing to see here, as if whatever we might mistake for vision is a chance occurrence evolved from nothing. We treat men in filmmaking as working and earning their place, worth studying, and women as having tripped and fallen into a position it’s assumed they haven’t earned and can’t repeat, so why bother learning how they got there? We need to bother learning, and this goes for men especially. Know someone’s story. When you watch a film by a woman, learn how they got there and what influenced and shaped their vision the same way we would for almost any man. As viewers, as creators, as critics, there’s so much to learn and appreciate that we’re trained to overlook. What does that do to our visions? How much does that limit what we can draw from? The only way to cure that is to seek it out.

This week, new series by women come from Germany, Japan, and the U.S., and new movies by women come from Australia and the U.S.

NEW SERIES

The Empress (Netflix)
showrunner Katharina Eyssen
co-directed by Katrin Gebbe

This German historical drama recounts the love affair between Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary and Elisabeth von Wittelsbach, the Bavarian princess and sister of the woman Franz must marry.

Showrunner Katharina Eyssen came over to directing from acting. Katrin Gebbe directs with Florian Cossen. Gebbe has directed tense German films like “Pelican Blood” and “Nothing Bad Can Happen”.

You can watch “The Empress” on Netflix. All 6 episodes are out now.

Reasonable Doubt (Hulu)
showrunner Raamla Mohamed

Jax is a defense attorney in Los Angeles who goes up against a justice system she perceives as broken and biased. Emayatzy Corinealdi and Michael Ealy star.

Showrunner Raamla Mohamed has written and produced on “Scandal” and “Little Fires Everywhere”.

You can watch “Reasonable Doubt” on Hulu.

I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss (Crunchyroll)
directed by Habara Kumiko

A chronically ill girl finds herself taking on the role of the villainess in one of her favorite games. Knowing how the game ends, she does everything she can to succeed as the villainess and undermine the game’s ending.

Habara Kumiko previously directed “I’m Standing on a Million Lives”.

You can watch “I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss” on Crunchyroll. The premiere is out now, with a new episode arriving every Saturday morning.

NEW MOVIES

Alice (Starz)
directed by Krystin Ver Linden

Keke Palmer plays Alice, who escapes from the plantation where she’s been enslaved to discovery a shockingly different reality outside of it. Common and Jonny Lee Miller co-star.

This is the first film from writer-director Krystin Ver Linden.

You can watch “Alice” on Starz, or see where to rent it.

Hocus Pocus 2 (Disney+)
directed by Anne Fletcher

Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy reprise their roles as three witches brought to life from the past. As in the 1993 original, they wreak havoc on the modern day Salem.

Director Anne Fletcher has helmed episodes of “This is Us” and “Love, Victor”. She got her start in the industry as a dancer and choreographer.

You can watch “Hocus Pocus 2” on Disney+.

Sissy (Shudder)
co-directed by Hannah Barlow

A decade removed from their best friendship as teenagers, Cecilia and Emma bump into each other. Emma invites Cecilia on her bachelorette weekend, but past wrongs left simmering lead to horror shenanigans.

Hannah Barlow directs the Australian horror with Kane Senes, as well as taking on the role of Emma.

You can watch “Sissy” 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.

New Shows + Movies by Women — September 23, 2022

We’re catching up on the last two weeks. The focus for this feature is still on what you can access digitally. Obviously, there are films in theaters like Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “The Woman King”, which came in #1 at the U.S. box office this past weekend, as well as Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling”, starting its platformed release in a limited number of theaters this week. These are two of the larger, most-talked about films by women this year.

You can judge whether it’s safe for you to go to the theater where you live. Check out your state’s and county’s COVID information to see where you stand. For the time being, I’m going to maintain the focus on what can be accessed from home.

This is for a few reasons. I have friends with autoimmune issues – the world where we tolerate COVID and accept it as part of life is still one that can easily kill them. The lesser risk I would take is a life-threatening one to them. Even if they remain bubbled and I don’t see them, I just can’t get on board with treating where we’re at as normal when that normal assumes a world where they can’t go outside again. To leave them behind is to treat them as lesser, to treat their humanity as fungible. If my normal is their daily terror, then why would that be my normal?

I also have family living in states that have scrapped COVID tracking and monitoring entirely. I may be comparatively safe going to the theater where I live, but they aren’t where they live. I don’t just write for the people where I live, and I don’t want to normalize going to the theater in states where COVID remains a larger risk. Beyond this, I have readers in other countries. I have no idea where some of them are at in terms of COVID, nor where their laws land.

Is this being too careful? I don’t think so, but if so, so what? I’ve done my fair share of nonsense that risked my health, safety, and even my life once or twice. If I’m too careful in a pandemic, good. We’ve seen what not being careful enough is like.

Please understand that I’ll cover films like “The Woman King” and “Don’t Worry Darling” just like I cover films by men – once they arrive on streaming and can be accessed from home.

It’s not the way I want to cover things; I miss going to the theater and certainly I take a hit by not covering some of the larger films that are currently in theaters. Only you can judge how safe and responsible it is to go to the theater where you live. I’m looking for a time when I can return to covering films in theaters and I hope that’s coming up soon. Until then, the focus on this site and in this feature will remain what can be watched from home. I hope you understand.

New series by women come from Australia, Brazil, Thailand, and the U.S. New films by women come from France, Spain, and the U.S.

NEW SERIES

Vampire Academy (Peacock)
showrunners Marguerite MacIntyre, Julie Plec

After the death of her parents, Lissa returns to a private academy for vampires. Her best friend can sense all her thoughts, and the two try to keep their friendship intact amid the unpredictable political machinations of both vampires and boarding school.

Showrunners Marguerite MacIntyre and Julie Plec have worked together on various vampire shows, including “The Vampire Diaries”, “The Originals”, and “Legacies”, so this is their wheelhouse.

You can watch “Vampire Academy” on Peacock. The four-episode premiere happened on Sep. 15, with another coming yesterday, so five of the 10 episodes are out already. A new episode arrives every Thursday.

Thai Cave Rescue (Netflix)
co-showrunner Dana Ledoux Miller

This Thai series tells the story of 12 boys and their soccer coach who are stranded within flooded caves in 2018. It’s based on the real rescue attempts.

Dana Ledoux Miller showruns with Michael Russell Gunn. She’s written on “Narcos” and “Kevin Can F**k Himself”.

You can watch “Thai Cave Rescue” on Netflix. All 6 episodes are out.

Heartbreak High (Netflix)
showrunner Hannah Carroll Chapman
mostly directed by women

Rebooting a classic 90s Australian show, “Heartbreak High” follows the lives of students navigating the social pressures of high school. It’s gotten particular praise for its portrayal of autism, with an autistic role for once played by an autistic actress in Chloe Hayden.

Showrunner and writer Hannah Carroll Chapman has written on some major Australian shows of the past few years, including “Home and Away” and “The Heights”. Directors include Gracie Otto and Jessie Oldfield.

You can watch “Heartbreak High” on Netflix. All 8 episodes are out immediately.

Only for Love (Netflix)
directed by women

Two lovers start a band. At their first success, one is offered a solo career. She pursues it, but as they try to maintain the relationship, the band’s new singer complicates matters.

The Brazilian series is directed by Ana Luiza Azevedo, Gisele Barroco, and Joana Mariani.

You can watch “Only for Love” on Netflix. All 6 episodes are out.

NEW MOVIES

Gagarine (MUBI)
co-directed by Fanny Liatard

In this French film, young Youri dreams of being an astronaut, but already that dream is threatened as he fights to save his housing project from demolition.

Fanny Liatard directs with Jeremey Trouilh. It is her first feature film.

You can watch “Gagarine” on MUBI.

Do Revenge (Netflix)
directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson

A mash-up of “Strangers on a Train” and “Clueless”, “Do Revenge” finds two social outcasts at a private high school agreeing to commit each other’s revenge. As a dark comedy, it skillfully deals with issues of revenge porn, privilege, and performative allyship. I praised it as a big surprise in my review. If I’m honest, the trailer conveys the aesthetic but doesn’t necessarily do the story or its comedy justice.

Director and co-writer Jennifer Kaytin Robinson ought to be a major name before too long. She co-wrote “Thor: Love and Thunder” with Taika Waititi, produced on “Hawkeye”, created and showran “Sweet/Vicious”, and wrote and directed “Someone Great”.

You can watch “Do Revenge” on Netflix.

Lou (Netflix)
directed by Anna Foerster

A girl is kidnapped as a storm rages. Her mother can only turn to the mysterious loner next door for help. Jurnee Smollett stars, with Allison Janney as the badass loner.

Anna Foerster has directed on “Westworld”, “Jessica Jones”, and “Outlander”. Her journey’s an interesting one. She started out as a director of photography for visual effects units in films like “Independence Day”, “Alien: Resurrection”, and “Pitch Black”. This led to jobs as a second unit director and aerial director of photography until she got her first directing break on “Criminal Minds” a decade ago.

You can watch “Lou” on Netflix.

Mighty Flash (MUBI)
directed by Ainhoa Rodriguez

“Mighty Flash”, or “Destello Bravio”, is a surreal Spanish drama that tells the story of a village stuck in time going back generations. Only older people remain, repeating traditions as the town dies.

This is the first film from Ainhoa Rodriguez after directing on Spanish TV series.

You can watch “Mighty Flash” on MUBI.

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 — September 9, 2022

There’s a lot this week, but before we dive in, I want to highlight that Celine Sciamma’s “Petite Maman” has arrived on Hulu. If you asked me the best filmmaker working today, the “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and “Girlhood” director is the first name that comes to mind. I try to feature films when they hit VOD and then hit their first subscription platform. A subtle fantasy about a girl helping her parents after the death of her grandmother, “Petite Maman” has already been on MUBI most of the year. I know that is a niche platform to many. It’s worth mentioning now that it’s on Hulu, which a lot more folks have.

Series this week come from South Africa, South Korea, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S. Films comes from Nigeria, the Philippines, Sweden, and the U.S.

NEW SERIES

Little Women (Netflix)
directed by Kim Hee Won

Loosely based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott, three sisters who grew up in poverty find themselves involved in the disappearance of a fortune and embattled with the wealthiest family in South Korea.

Director Kim Hee Won has helmed a growing list of South Korea’s most lauded series, including “Vincenzo”, “The Crowned Clown”, and “Money Flower”.

You can watch “Little Women” on Netflix. Two episodes are out now. A new one arrives every Saturday and Sunday (two a week), for a total of 12.

Wedding Season (Hulu)
half-directed by Laura Scrivano

Not to be confused with last month’s Netflix film of the same title, Hulu series “Wedding Season” starts as a breezy wedding-themed romcom, only for the bride to find her husband’s entire family poisoned. The suspects include a cross-section of her romantic life, as well as herself. “Alita: Battle Angel” and “Undone” star Rosa Salazar is the lead.

“The Lazarus Project” director Laura Scrivano directs four of the series episodes.

You can watch “Wedding Season” on Hulu.

You’re Nothing Special (Netflix)
showrunner Estibaliz Burgaleta

In this Spanish comedy, a girl discovers witch-like powers after moving from the city to her mother’s small town. She may have inherited them from her grandmother.

Estibaliz Burgaleta is a prolific writer on Spanish comedy series.

You can watch “You’re Nothing Special” on Netflix. All 6 episodes are out.

Devil in Ohio (Netflix)
showrunner Daria Polatin

Emily Deschanel plays a psychiatrist who brings a cult escapee into her own family, triggering calamitous events.

Daria Polatin showruns and writes on the series based on her own novel.

You can watch “Devil in Ohio” on Netflix.

Fakes (Netflix)
directed by women

Two teens design a system to print fake IDs, but things spin out of control as they turn what was a small operation into an empire.

Jasmin Mozaffari and Joyce Wong direct four episodes apiece, while Emmy-nominated Mars Horodyski directs two.

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

Recipes for Love and Murder (Acorn TV)
showrunner Karen Jeynes

In this South African crime comedy, an advice columnist uses her cooking skills to investigate murders when one of her correspondents is killed.

Karen Jeynes showruns and writes the series adapted from Sally Andrew’s novels, as well as directing four episodes.

You can watch “Recipes for Love and Murder” on Acorn TV. Two episodes are out, with another two arriving every Monday for a total of 10.

Tell Me Lies (Hulu)
showrunner Meaghan Oppenheimer

“Tell Me Lies” tracks the evolution of a toxic relationship that starts in college, impacting not just the two lovers but the lives of everyone around them.

Meaghan Oppenheimer showruns. She’s also written on “Fear the Walking Dead”.

You can watch “Tell Me Lies” on Hulu. The first three episodes are out, with another landing every Wednesday for a total of 10.

NEW MOVIES

Love at First Stream (Netflix)
directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina

A streamer and three friends navigate online connections in order to cope with their offline realities.

Director Cathy Garcia-Molina might be the Philippines’ biggest director, having directed the two highest grossing Philippine films ever made.

You can watch “Love at First Stream” on Netflix.

End of the Road (Netflix)
directed by Millicent Shelton

Queen Latifah and Ludacris star in a cross-country action movie where she has to keep her family alive as they’re stalked by a highway killer.

“Black-ish” and “Locke & Key” director Millicent Shelton directs.

You can watch “End of the Road” on Netflix.

Collision Course (Netflix)
directed by Bolanle Austen-Peters

A musician and police officer race against time as they evade corrupt law enforcement in this Nigerian action movie.

This is Bolanle Austen-Peters second film, and won Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor at the African Movie Academy Awards.

You can watch “Collision Course” on Netflix.

Diorama (Netflix)
directed by Tuva Novotny

In this Swedish film, a couple’s romance, marriage, and slow fragmentation are considered from a scientific perspective…of a sort. Can’t find an English trailer I can post here for it, but Netflix has options on the film itself.

Writer-director Tuva Novotny is an actress who made the jump to director on “Lilyhammer”.

You can watch “Diorama” on Netflix.

Unplugging (Hulu)
directed by Debra Neil-Fisher

A couple detox from all things digital in a remote town, but things quickly devolve into chaos.

This is the first film Debra Neil-Fisher directs, but you’ve almost surely seen her work before. A sought-after comedy editor, she edited the first two “Austin Powers” movies, all three “The Hangover” films, the 2020 “Sonic the Hedgehog”, and “Coming 2 America”.

You can watch “Unplugging” on Hulu or see where to rent it.

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

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