Five Netflix originals created by women set for April

Five new films distributed exclusively by Netflix will be available for streaming in April.

Olivia Newman’s First Match dropped on the streaming platform March 30 after its initial premiere at Austin’s South by Southwest. Based on Newman’s original short film, the story follows Mo, the only girl on her high school wrestling team who uses the experience to channel her aggression and find a support system. Newman recently spoke with FF2’s Lesley Coffin about directing her debut feature, an original and inspiring coming-of-age story about a female athlete.

Daryl Hannah makes her feature directorial debut with Paradox, which was released on Netflix and in select theaters March 23. An experimental film starring Neil Young and shot partially on smartphone, FF2 critic Katusha Jin saw the 73-minute piece as more of a concert film than a cinematic feature, but explained that it “defied the rules of storytelling.”

Comic actors Dave Franco (Neighbors, 21 Jump Street) and Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) take on their first dramatic roles in 6 Balloons. They play a heroin-addicted brother and his disappointed sister, who grapple with relapse, rehab and the upbringing of his toddler. Written and directed by Marja-Lewis Ryan, the film also stars Tim Matheson and Jane Kaczmarek. Available to stream April 6, 6 Balloons is currently 100 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Known for her roles on House and Once Upon A Time, actress Jennifer Morrison went behind the lens for Sun Dogs, her feature directorial debut. Though it premiered last summer at the Los Angeles Film Festival, the film will be available to stream April 6. Written by Anthony Tambakis, Sun Dogs won Best Picture at the 2018 Mammoth Film Festival and stars Michael Angarano, Melissa Benoist, Allison Janney and Ed O’Neill on a self-described “misguided family adventure.”

Dude stars familiar YA-genre faces Lucy Hale, Alex Wolff and Alexandra Shipp as teenagers dealing with life after high school. Written and directed by Olivia Milch – the only credited woman screenwriter on the upcoming all-female Ocean’s 8 Dude boasts a predominantly female cast and a credited female editor and cinematographer. Dude is sure to pass the Bechdel-Wallace test and will be available for streaming April 20.

62 percent of original film releases scheduled to be distributed by Netflix this month are created by women. For a streaming platform that is beginning to pride itself on original content, it should be praised for the opportunities its unique distribution is providing female filmmakers who might not find them elsewhere.

© Georgiana E. Presecky (4/5/18) FF2 Media

Top Photo: Franco and Jacobson as siblings in 6 Balloons. 

Middle Photo: Elvire Emanuelle is Mo in First Match, who joins the all-male wrestling team to connect with her father.

Bottom Photo: Angarano and Benoist in Morrison’s Sun Dogs.

Photo Credits: Netflix US

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