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.
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.
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.
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.
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