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 August 2 to 8 that are of particular interest:
Tuesday, August 3
- Lucky – RJLE/Shudder (DVD) – USA – Directed by Natasha Kermani and written by Brea Grant. Life takes a sudden turn for May (Grant), a popular self-help book author, when she finds herself the target of a mysterious man with murderous intentions.
- Pray Away – Netflix – USA – Documentary directed by Kristine Stolakis. Former leaders of the “pray the gay away” movement contend with the aftermath of their actions, while a survivor seeks healing and acceptance from more than a decade of trauma.
Friday, August 6
- Annette – Amazon Studios (Cinemas) – France+ – Musical written by Sparks and directed by Leos Carax, starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard. Cinematography by Caroline Champetier, edited by Nelly Quettier.
- Bring Your Own Brigade – CBSN Films (Cinemas) – USA – Documentary written, directed and produced by Lucy Walker. The film follows the Camp Fire of 2018 and the aftermath, where towns struggle to rebuild and debate on what could have prevented the fires. It also explores the history of uncontrolled fires and causes, including climate change and corporations.
- Even in Dreams – Purdie Distribution (Cinemas) – USA – Family drama written and directed by Savannah Ostler. Sam, 18, is an aspiring musician who just lost her older sister Amber. During the difficult grieving process, Sam finds comfort in singing and songwriting – fulfilling the dreams that Amber would never be able to pursue.
- Infinitum: Subject Unknown – Gravitas Ventures (Cinemas) – UK – Sci-fi directed by Matthew Butler-Hart, co-written by and starring Tori Butler-Hart as Jane, a woman trapped in a parallel universe who is forced to find a way to alter her reality before it is too late.
- The Macaluso Sisters – RAI (Cinemas) – Italy – Drama co-written and directed by Emma Dante. Maria, Pinuccia, Lia, Katia and Antonella are five sisters who live in an apartment in Palermo. When Antonella accidentally dies, the sisters’ relationships are turned upside down for the rest of their lives.
- She Ball – Vertical Entertainment (Cinemas) – USA – Drama co-written by Glenda L. Richardson. Avery Watts, a single father who lost his NBA dreams to gang violence enlists a women’s streetball league to help save an embattled community center in Inglewood, California, all while trying to raise his seven-year-old daughter.
- Swan Song – Magnolia Pictures (Cinemas) – USA – Drama starring Udo Kier and Jennifer Coolidge. A formerly flamboyant hairdresser takes a long walk across a small town to style a dead woman’s hair.
- Val – Amazon (Amazon Prime) – USA – Documentary centering on the life and career of Val Kilmer using never-before-seen footage shot by Val Kilmer. Directed by Ting Poo and Leo Scott.
- What We Left Unfinished – Dekanalog (Cinemas, VOD) – Afghanistan / Qatar / USA – Documentary that tells the story of five unfinished fiction feature films from the Communist era in Afghanistan (1978-1991), and the people who went to crazy lengths to make them. Directed by Mariam Ghani.
- Whirlybird – Greenwich Entertainment (Cinemas) – USA – Documentary set in 80s and 90s Los Angeles, when a couple revolutionized breaking news with their brazen helicopter reporting. Written by Andrea James.
Film descriptions are adapted from press releases. Highlighted titles link to full reviews. Stay tuned in for next week’s releases! Contact us if we’ve overlooked anything.