Tag Archives: Irish film

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 — 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.


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.


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 — August 26, 2022

August can be a slow-down month for new releases, but this opens up windows for films that might not see as much of an audience otherwise. Keep an eye out for arthouse and indie productions. This next month or so has always been the best time of year for low-budget films to sneak through and secure some attention.

Unlike other winter holidays, Christmas season in the media deluges toward an October start. This has displaced Halloween toward late August – the holiday territorial wars continue. Horror season has always started in September – horror movies tend to draw younger audiences, and those audiences coalesce as the school year starts. If you’re a horror fan, keep an eye out for good horror, campy horror, low-budget horror, every kind of horror you can think of. This is our time. There are some intriguing ones this week.

There are new series by women from the U.K. and the U.S., and new movies by women from Australia, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, Switzerland, and the U.S.


Everything I Know About Love (Peacock)
showrunner Dolly Alderton
directed by China Moo-Young, Julia Ford

Dolly Alderton turns her memoir into a U.K. series that tracks the evolution of friendship in the way that other series present romances.

“Call the Midwife” director China Moo-Young and “Silent Witness” director Julia Ford helm the series.

You can watch “Everything I Know About Love” on Peacock. There are 7 episodes, all out now.

Partner Track (Netflix)
showrunner Georgia Lee

Ingrid Yun is a young lawyer trying to balance ethics with ambition as she climbs the partner track at an elite law firm.

Georgia Lee’s short films got her selected as Martin Scorsese’s apprentice on “Gangs of New York”. Since then, she’s directed feature film “Red Doors”, wrote and story edited for “The Expanse”, and produced “The 100”.

You can watch “Partner Track” on Netflix. All 10 episodes are out now.


Watcher (Shudder)
directed by Chloe Okuno

Maika Monroe plays Julia, who moves with her husband to Bucharest. She suspects a local murderer who’s decapitating women may be the stranger from the apartment across the street.

Writer-director Chloe Okuno previously directed a segment on anthology “V/H/S/94”. This is her first feature.

You can watch “Watcher” on Shudder, or see where to rent it.

Wolf (HBO Max)
directed by Nathalie Biancheri

In this Irish film, Jacob thinks he’s a wolf who’s become trapped in a human body. He’s sent to a clinic where the treatments are outlandish and extreme. He roams the center at night with a girl who believes she’s a wildcat.

Writer-director Nathalie Biancheri previously directed “Nocturnal”.

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

Loving Adults (Netflix)
directed by Barbara Topsoe-Rothenborg

Based on the novel by Anna Ekberg, the Danish thriller follows a woman who suspects her husband is having an affair.

Barbara Topsoe-Rothenborg is a director of Danish film and TV.

You can watch “Loving Adults” on Netflix.

So Vam (Shudder)
directed by Alice Maio Mackay

Australia has everything dangerous, including vampires. When aspiring drag queen Kurt is murdered by a vampire, he’s resurrected by a gang of rebel vampires who only feed on bigots and abusers.

Director and co-writer Alice Maio Mackay helmed “So Vam” as her feature debut at 16.

You can watch “So Vam” on Shudder, or see where to rent it.

My Little Sister (MUBI, Kanopy)
directed by Stephanie Chuat, Veronique Reymond

Lisa has given up on being a playwright. She lives in Switzerland, where her husband is enjoying a successful career. Her twin brother falls ill, calling her back to Germany.

Stephanie Chuat and Veronique Reymond have worked as a writer-director team in Germany since 2004 (though this film is Swiss). They’ve alternated between documentary and narrative film.

You can watch “My Little Sister” on MUBI or Kanopy, or see where to rent it.

The Tsugua Diaries (MUBI)
co-directed by Maureen Fazendeiro

During the COVID lockdown in Portugal, Crista, Carloto, and Joao build a greenhouse for butterflies. We see cycles of developing a routine and struggling to adapt as they find ways to fill time at the farmhouse that is their home during lockdown.

French filmmaker Maureen Fazendeiro directs with Miguel Gomes. It is her first film.

You can watch “The Tsugua Diaries” on MUBI, or see where to rent it.

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

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

New Shows + Movies by Women — July 22, 2022

This week’s a lighter week, but it has good range over different streaming platforms. On top of this, we’re getting a constant inflow of quality horror movies. This week’s Irish “You Are Not My Mother” and Sandra Oh-starring “Umma”, last week’s generational horrors “She Will” and the South African “Good Madam”, and Laotian time travel horror “The Long Walk” from the week before have meant a steady stream of early summer horror.

That’s not all there is, and this week’s new series arrive from Brazil and the U.S., while new films come from Australia, Ireland, and the U.S.


Rap Sh!t (HBO Max)
showrunner Syreeta Singleton

A rap group composed of women try to find success in Miami’s music industry.

While Issa Rae helped develop the concept, Syreeta Singleton showruns. She’s also written on “Insecure” and “Central Park”.

You can watch “Rap Sh!t” on HBO Max. The first two episodes have premiered, with new ones arriving every Thursday.

All the Same…or Not (Disney+)
co-directed by Suzy Milstein

In this Brazilian coming-of-age series, Carol is navigating both the pressures of high school and the new family her mother’s marriage introduces.

Based on the novel “Na porta ao lado” by Luly Trigo, the series is directed by Suzy Milstein and Marcelo Trotta.

You can watch “All the Same…or Not” on Disney+. All 10 episodes are available immediately.


You Are Not My Mother (Hulu)
directed by Kate Dolan

Char’s mother goes missing from their housing estate. She returns seeming…different. Char begins investigating around North Dublin for an answer, coming across family secrets that were long hidden away.

Writer-director Kate Dolan started out in art direction and set dressing before shifting into writing and directing.

You can watch “You Are Not My Mother” on Hulu, or see where to rent it.

Umma (Netflix)
directed by Iris K. Shim

Sandra Oh plays Amanda, who works a farm with her daughter. When the remains of her estranged mother arrive, Amanda fears she’s turning into her.

The horror film is written and directed by Iris K. Shim, an accomplished documentary filmmaker and editor.

You can watch “Umma” on Netflix, or see where to rent it.

Love and Penguins (Tubi)
directed by Christine Luby

Tilly works in animal sanctuary management, and lands a project to rehabilitate a resource-starved penguin sanctuary in Australia. There she meets their zoologist Fletcher, and sparks fly.

“Love and Penguins” is directed by Christine Luby, who got her start as a production manager and assistant director in Australian film.

You can watch “Love and Penguins” on Tubi.

Alone Together (VOD)
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”.

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 — March 25, 2022

This week contains one of my most anticipated series of the year, “Pachinko”. The South Korean co-production premieres its first three episodes on Apple TV today, and it looks stunning. If you aren’t watching series from other countries and in other languages, I really urge you to start – whether it’s with this or something else that catches your eye.

When I named my choices for the top 10 shows from 2021, I highlighted series from France, Japan, Turkey, and two from South Korea. If I’d done a top 11, a series from Jordan would have found its way in, too. So much of our boredom with watching the same thing every day arises from the majority of our viewing coming from the same perspectives every day. Switch up those perspectives, and film and TV become a lot more exciting and unexpected.


Pachinko (Apple TV)
showrunner Soo Hugh

“Pachinko” tracks a Korean family’s course starting from the Japanese occupation of Korea, and their lives in both countries. It stars Yuh-jung Youn, who won an Oscar last year for “Minari”, and is based on the novel by Min Jin Lee.

Showrunner Soo Hugh wrote on “The Killing” and wrote and produced on “Under the Dome”, “The Terror”, and “See”.

You can watch “Pachinko” on Apple TV. The first three episodes are available right now, with a new episode arriving every Friday for a total of eight.


You Are Not My Mother (VOD)
directed by Kate Dolan

Char’s mother goes missing near their North Dublin home, so she sets out to investigate what’s happened to her.

Writer-director Kate Nolan started out as a photographer, and later a music video director. This is her first feature film.

See where to rent “You Are Not My Mother”.

Topside (VOD)
co-directed by Celine Held

A girl and her mother live as part of a community in the abandoned subway tunnels underneath New York City.

Celine Held writes and directs with Logan George, as well as starring. Held has directed on the series “Servant”.

See where to rent “Topside”.

Deep Hatred (VOD)
directed by Daniela Carvalho, Ale McHaddo

In this Brazilian horror movie, the death of her father calls Cindy home. Her boyfriend and friends join her, but they find that her father’s home holds a secret and a threat.

Ale McHaddo has directed a few Brazilian movies and series. This is the first feature film as director for Daniela Carvalho.

See where to rent “Deep Hatred”.

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.