Sundance FF 2024: Ten Female-Directed Documentaries on our Watch List – Leslie Combemale Reports

Although female directors usually find a much more hospitable home in documentary filmmaking, it’s still an incredibly challenging field. Fortunately Sundance is one festival in which female helmed and female focused documentaries are given a voice. A full 50% of documentaries being shown in the US Documentary Competition were directed by one or more filmmakers who identify as a woman, and even more impressive, 60% were directed by one or more who identify as a person of color. Six of the 9 films in the World Documentary Competition were directed by one or more artists who identify as women. We perused the list of premieres so our readership can get as excited as we are about what’s coming to Sundance. Five out of 10 are available to watch digitally during the fest, so buy your tickets now!

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PRETTY BABY: BROOKE SHIELDS – Review by April Neale

Is someone born with the lion’s mane of hair, perfect features, and length of limb as Brooke was, suffering imposter syndrome? Tale as old as time: Girls are under pressure to be physically perfect. What is perfect and how cultural shifts decide these markers are the only fluctuation, as it was for Shields, who comic Eddie Murphy described as the “most Caucasian” of women when making light of her friendship with Michael Jackson. Shields had a symmetry and arresting presence that she never had to grow into. She was born with it from day one, unlike many who weather the ugly duckling years until a swan is born. Shields was and is a showstopper in every regard.

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