Opening April 5 to April 9, 2021 – Margaret Barton-Fumo previews

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The Alliance of Women Film Journalists highlights movies made by and about women. With a vigilant eye toward current releases, we maintain an interactive record of films that are pertinent to our interests. Be they female-made or female-centric productions, they are films that represent a wide range of women’s stories and present complex female characters. As such, they are movies that will most likely be reviewed on AWFJ.org and will qualify for consideration for our annual EDA Awards, celebrating exceptional women working in film behind and in front of the camera. Our members are feature writers, columnists and regular contributors to a variety of media outlets and many of us publish regularly on the festival circuit. Our critical voices are widespread and diverse. We invite you to join us in tracking weekly releases of particular interest. And we welcome information about new films that will help us to keep our records updated and our critics alert. Below is a concise list of new releases set for the week of April 5 to 11 that are of particular interest:  

Monday, April 5  

  • Coded Bias – 7th Empire Media (Netflix) – USA, China, UK – Director Shalini Kantayya’s documentary about MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini, who discovered that facial recognition software does not see dark-skinned faces accurately. Award nominated, 2020 Sundance hit.

Tuesday, April 6  

  • Hurt By Paradise – Trinity Creative Partnership (VOD) – UK – British drama directed by, co-written by and starring Greta Bellamacina. Promoted as the “British Frances Ha,” Hurt By Paradise is a film about a poet and a girl with big hair, a heartfelt love letter to female friendship and London.
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  • Sugar Daddy – Blue Fox Entertainment (VOD) – Canada – Drama directed by Wendy Morgan, written by and starring Kelly McCormack as Darren, a talented young musician who signs up to a paid-dating website, throwing herself down a dark path that shapes her music with it.

Thursday, April 8 

  • The Power – Shudder – UK – British horror/drama/feminist ghost story written and directed by Corinna Faith taking place in 1973. A young nurse is forced to work the night shift in a crumbling hospital as striking miners switch off the power across Britain.

Friday, April 9 

  • Held – Magnet Releasing (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Horror/thriller written by and starring Jill Awbrey as one-half of a couple whose ailing marriage is put to the test when they are held hostage in an isolated vacation rental by an unseen voice that commands their every move.
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  • Moffie – IFC Films (Cinemas, VOD) – South Africa, UK – South African queer war drama set in 1981. A young man must complete his brutal and racist two years of compulsory military service while desperately maintaining the secrecy of his homosexuality.
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  • Slalom – Kino Lorber (Virtual Cinemas) – France, Belgium – French drama starring Noée Abita and Jérémie Renier, directed by debut filmmaker Charlène Favier. Slalom follows the relationship between a teenage ski prodigy and her predatory instructor.
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  • Thunder Force – Netflix – USA – Action-comedy starring Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer, directed by McCarthy’s husband Ben Falcone. In a world where supervillains are commonplace, two estranged childhood best friends reunite after one devises a treatment that gives them powers to protect their city.

Film descriptions are adapted from press releases. Stay tuned in for next week’s releases! Contact us if we’ve overlooked anything.

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Margaret Barton-Fumo

Based in New York, Margaret Barton-Fumo has contributed to Film Comment since 2006. Her monthly online column, “Deep Cuts,” focused on the intersection of film and music. She has interviewed such directors, actors, and musicians as Brian De Palma, James Gray, Harry Dean Stanton, and Paul Williams, and has additionally contributed to Senses of Cinema and Stop Smiling. She is the editor of Paul Verhoeven: Interviews, published by the University Press of Mississippi.