Welcome back to Reel Women, the monthly feature that highlights the films being released in the UK that are written and/or directed by women. October is London Film Festival month and 38% of the films on show there are directed by women, so if you get the chance to attend the festival, try and see the hidden gems on offer. But if you’re not at the festival, there’s still films being released in cinemas and on Netflix this month that are made by women. This month we’ve got Netflix originals, documentaries, book adaptations and an anti-hero superhero movie.
Directed by Ruben Fleischer
Written by Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinker, Kelly Marcel and Will Beall
When reporter Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) acquires the powers of an alien symbiote, he finds he’s not alone in his own mind and body anymore.
Kelly Marcel is a screenwriter, producer and actress. Her previous screenwriting credits include Fifty Shades of Grey and Saving Mr. Banks.
A Thousand Girls Like Me
Directed by Sahara Mani
Written by Giles Gardner and Sahra Mani
Documentary about Kjatera, a 23-year-old Afghan woman, tells the story of how she was sexually abused by her father on national TV. She’s seeking punishment for her perpetrator and to shed light onto the faulty Afghan judicial system.
A Thousand Girls Like Me is Sahara Mani’s first film, as well as writing and directing it she also produced it.
Written and Directed by David Foenkinos and Stéphane Foenkinos
A divorced teacher suddenly becomes jealous of everyone, including her daughter, friends and neighbours.
Stéphane Foenkinos is an actor, writer, director and casting director. Jalouse is her second feature film, her first film Delicacy was nominated for Best First Film at the 2012 César Awards.
Directed by Heather Lenz
Written by Heather Lenz and Keita Ideno
Documentary about artist Yayoi Kusama who, along with experts, discuss her life and work.
This is Heather Lenz’s first feature-length documentary, as well as writing and directing it, she also edited and produced it. Kusama: Infinity was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.
Written and Directed by Tamara Jenkins
Author Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) and her husband Richard (Paul Giamatti) are going through multiple fertility treatments and it’s putting pressure on their relationship.
New to Netflix, Private Life is Jenkins’ third feature film. She was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for her previous film The Savages (2007).
Directed by Karey Kirkpatrick and Jason Reisig
Written by Karey Kirkpatrick and Clare Sera
Animated adventure about a yeti is convinced that the elusive creatures know as humans, or smallfoots, really do exist.
Clare Sera is an actress, director and screenwriter. Her previous screenplay was the Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler comedy film Blended.
Written and Directed by Leanne Welham
Pili (Bello Rashid) lives in rural Tanzania, working the fields for less than $1 a day to feed her two children and struggling to manage her HIV-positive status in secret. When she is offered the chance to rent a sought-after market-stall, Pili is forced to make increasingly difficult decisions in order to get the stall.
Pili is Leanne Welham’s first feature film as well as writing and directing it she also produced it. Previously she has directed five short films.
Make Me Up
Written and Directed Rachel Maclean
Siri wakes to find herself trapped inside a brutalist candy-coloured dreamhouse. Despite the cutesy decor, the place is far from benign, and she and her inmates are encouraged to compete for survival.
Make Me Up is Rachel Maclean’s second feature film. She edited it, acted it and was the production designer for the film.
Directed by Cristina Constantini and Darren Foster
Written by Cristina Costantini, Darren Foster and Jeff Plunkett
Documentary about nine high school students from around the world competing in an international science fair.
Science Fair is Cristina Constantini’s first film.
Touch Me Not
Written and Directed by Adina Pintilie
A documentary about filmmaker Pintilie as she and her characters venture into a personal research project about intimacy.
Touch Me Not is Adina Pintilie’s first feature film and has won both the Best First Feature Award and the Golden Berlin Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year.
The Hate U Give
Directed by George Tilman Jr.
Written by Audrey Wells
Starr (Amanda Stenberg) has two lives, one in her community and one in her private school. Those two lives come crashing down when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend by a police officer, and Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right.
Audrey Wells is a screenwriter and director. The Hate U Give is her ninth produced screenplay and it is an adaptation of the critically-acclaimed novel by Angie Thomas.
Utøya – July 22
Directed by Erik Poppe
Written by Siv Rajendram Eliassen and Anna Bache-Wiig
Teenager Kaja (Andrea Berntzen) struggles to survive as she searches for her younger sister during the July 2011 terrorist mass murder at a political summer camp on the Norwegian island of Utøya.
Anna Bache-Wiig is an actress and writer. Utøya – July 22 is her first feature film; however, she’s written a number of episodes of the TV show Acquitted which she also starred in.
Written and Directed by Sandi Tan
A documentary about Sandi Tan and her co-creators who made Shirkers which could’ve been a Singapore-made 1992 cult classic had the 16mm footage not been stolen by their enigmatic American collaborator who disappeared.
Shirkers is Sandi Tan’s first feature-length documentary. As well as writing and directing it, she also edited and produced it.
And that’s it for this month! Thirteen films that are made by women – ooh, thirteen unlucky for some, well it is October! Do let us know what you think of any of these films, or any of the films made by women at the London Film Festival, if you catch them this month.