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 September 13 to 19 that are of particular interest:
- Fucking with Nobody – Mubi (streaming) – Finland – Finnish comedy written, directed, edited by and starring Hannaleena Hauru. After losing a film job to her nemesis Kristian, Hanna teams up with her sister and counterculture friends, to create a parody romance on Instagram between herself and young actor Ekku.
- Here for Life – Grasshopper Films (Metrograph Virtual Cinema) – UK – Documentary co-directed by Andrea Luka Zimmerman and Adrian Jackson. Hovering between fiction and fact, attention and act, 10 unruly Londoners navigate their wild and wayward way in a city framed by capital and loss, traveling on their own terms toward a co-existence far stronger than “community.” Screening virtually at Metrograph through September 16.
Tuesday, September 14
- Giddy Stratospheres – Gravitas Ventures (VOD) – UK – Drama written and directed by Laura Jean Marsh. Love and loss in the mid 2000s UK Indie Music Scene.
- The Influencer – Breaking Glass Pictures (VOD) – USA / Canada – Dramedy-thriller written and directed by Meghan Weinstein. A popular social-media influencer named Abbie Rose finds her Hollywood home overtaken by a group of activists who hack her social media empire to carry out a risky plan with a huge payout.
- What She Said – 1091 Pictures (VOD) – USA – Drama written by and starring Jenny Lester, directed by Amy Northup. When Sam decides to drop the charges against her rapist, her friends and siblings gather to stage a Thanksgiving intervention.
Friday, September 17
- Best Sellers – Screen Media Films (Cinemas, VOD) – Canada / USA – Dramedy directed by Lina Roessler, starring Aubrey Plaza, Cary Elwes and Michael Caine. A cranky, retired author reluctantly embarks on a final book tour to help out a young publisher.
- Between Waves – Trinity Creative Partnership (VOD) – Canada – Sci-fi / romance directed by Virginia Abramovich, co-written by Abramovich and Katherine Andrews. A woman faces inter-dimensional visits from her missing lover, a quantum physicist, seemingly from a parallel plane of existence.
- Civil War (or, Who Do We Think We Are) – (Theatrical Release) – USA – Documentary written and directed by Rachel Boynton. A journey across the United States to explore the story of the Civil War of Americans from President Obama’s final year in office through the present.
- Collection – Vertical Entertainment (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Thriller directed by Marianna Palka, shot by Meena Singh. A grieving father grapples with the seedy, manipulative world of high stakes debt collection while struggling to shed the tragedies of his past.
- The Eyes of Tammy Faye – Searchlight / Disney (Cinemas) – Canada / USA – Biopic starring Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield. An intimate look at the extraordinary rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker.
- Freeland – Dark Star Pictures (Cinemas) – USA – Drama co-written and directed by Mario Furloni and Kate McLean, starring Krisha Fairchild. An aging pot farmer finds her world shattered as she races to bring in what could be her final harvest.
- In Balanchine’s Classroom – Zeitgeist Films (Cinemas) – USA – Documentary directed by Connie Hochman about the glory years of George Balanchine’s New York City Ballet.
- Lady of the Manor – Lionsgate (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Comedy starring Melanie Lynskey, Judy Greer, Justin Long. An aimless ne’er-do-well becomes a tour guide in a historic estate and winds up befriending the manor’s resident ghost.
- Little Girl – Music Box Films (Cinemas) – France / Denmark – Documentary. The touching portrait of eight-year-old Sasha, who questions her gender and in doing so, evokes the sometimes disturbing reactions of a society that is still invested in a biological boy-girl way of thinking.
- The Mad Women’s Ball – (Amazon Prime) – France – Thriller written, directed by and starring Mélanie Laurent. A woman who is unfairly institutionalized at Paris asylum plots to escape with the help of one of its nurses. Based on the novel ‘Le bal des folles’ by Victoria Mas.
- My Name is Pauli Murray – Amazon (Cinemas) – USA – Documentary directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West. A look at the life and ideas of Pauli Murray, a non-binary Black lawyer, activist and poet who influenced both Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Thurgood Marshall.
- The Nowhere Inn – IFC Films (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Comedy / drama. The metafictional account of two creative forces banding together to make a documentary about St. Vincent’s music, touring life, and on-stage persona.
- Storm Lake – Iowa Theatrical Premiere – USA – Documentary co-directed by Beth Levison and Jerry Risius. Art Cullen and his family and colleagues at Iowa’s Storm Lake Times, fight for the survival of their biweekly small-town newspaper.
- Wife of a Spy – Kino Lorber (NY Premiere at IFC Center) – Japan – Drama directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. A Japanese merchant leaves his wife behind in order to travel to Manchuria, where he witnesses an act of barbarism. His subsequent actions cause misunderstanding, jealousy and legal problems for his wife.
Film descriptions are adapted from press releases. Titles highlighted in red have links to full reviews. Stay tuned in for next week’s releases! Contact us if we’ve overlooked anything.