This week in WIF: recapping the week for women in film

This week in WIF: recapping the week for women in film

September 17 - September 21

From the Emmy awards to exciting development announcements, we’re breaking down the week for women in film.

Marvelous Emmys: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel creator Amy Sherman-Palladino is the first woman in the Emmys’ 70-year history to win outstanding writing and directing for a comedy series. The first season of the comedy, now streaming on Amazon, also took home awards Sept. 18 for supporting and lead actresses Alex Borstein and Rachel Brosnahan and for outstanding comedy series. Sherman-Palladino, also known for creating Gilmore Girls and Bunheads, was the only female director nominated in the comedy category.

CIFF lineup announced: The Chicago International Film Festival lineup was announced Sept. 21, with 36 films directed by women on its list. 30 percent of the lineup is from female filmmakers, up from 25 percent last year. CIFF runs Oct. 10-21.

Female Filmmaker Friday: Eight new films from female filmmakers hit New York City theaters Sept. 21, including documentary Love, Gilda and feminist period piece Colette.

Reed Morano: Amazon announced Sept. 19 that director Reed Morano has signed a deal to produce series with the streaming service. The Emmy-award winner spoke with us about directing the apocalypse drama I Think We’re Alone Now starring Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning, in theaters now.

Marvel books Zhao: The Rider director Chloe Zhao will direct The Eternals for Marvel Studios, making her the first female director to helm a Marvel film without a male co-director (Anna Boden is co-directing Captain Marvel, out next year). Berlin Syndrome director Cate Shortland will direct the studio’s standalone Black Widow feature.

© Georgiana E. Presecky (9/21/18) FF2 Media

Photo Courtesy of NBC

September 10 - September 14

New films from female filmmakers hit theaters: 10 new films from female writers and directors hit New York City theaters Sept. 14, the most so far in 2018. The twisty, original comedy-thriller A Simple Favor is in theaters nationwide, written by Jessica Sharzer and starring Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick. Peter Dinklage, Elle Fanning, David Spade, James Earl Jones and Amandla Stenberg star in five new features from female directors. Four thoughtful documentary subjects include the international science fair, Roe v. Wade and Chinese labor reform.

Now streaming: New releases from female directors are now streaming on Netflix, including The Land of Steady Habits from writer-director Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said) and documentary Reversing Roe. These films come to the streaming service on the heels of massive straight-to-Netflix success for To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, both written by women (Sofia Alvarez and Lindsey Beer).

Actors go to bat for female filmmakers at TIFF: Keira Knightley (Colette) and Nicole Kidman (Destroyer, Boy Erased) both made discussing female filmmakers a priority last week during press coverage for their films at the Toronto International Film Festival. Out of the Blue star Patricia Clarkson said, “Women have always been a part of the fabric of this festival.” Read more here.

Kent wins Venice: The Nightingale director Jennifer Kent received the special jury prize at the Venice Film Festival. Her film was the only female-directed feature in competition this year. She told the crowd (via Deadline): To all those women out there wanting to make films, please go and do it. We need you. The feminine force is the most powerful and healing force on the planet. I hope and am confident we’ll see more and more women inhabiting this space.”

Documentary renaissance: There’s a reason director Ken Burns says we’re in a renaissance of the documentary - eight new documentaries from female directors have been released in the past month, from portraits of artists Hal Ashby and Yayoi Kusama to analysis of Russian meddling in American affairs and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

© Georgiana E. Presecky (9/14/18) FF2 Media

Photo Courtesy of Lionsgate

September 3 - September 7

From Venice to Toronto, it’s been a banner week for women in film.

Toronto International Film Festival prepares to #ShareHerJourney: A rally for women in film is being held by organizations ReFrame, TIME’S UP and #AfterMeToo on Toronto’s Festival Street at 10 a.m. this Saturday. It’s not too late to RSVP at, and check out the awesome lineup of guest speakers while you’re there. TIFF has other plans to honor women in film, including awarding director Claire Denis the Roger Ebert Golden Thumb Award and hosting a 30th anniversary screening of Penny Marshall’s Big, the first female-directed film to gross $100 million. Our FF2 senior contributors are in Toronto with plans to screen 40 films from female filmmakers and to speak with 15 female filmmakers. Click here for more on TIFF’s Share Her Journey initiative to change the narrative for women in film.

New films from female filmmakers hit theaters: From witch trials to call girls to underrated artists, six new releases from women writers and directors are in New York City theaters Sept. 7.

Captain Marvel makes debut: Entertainment Weekly’s latest cover gave Marvel fans the first glimpse at Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, the titular hero in Anna Boden’s upcoming feature. Set for release in 2019, Captain Marvel has four female screenwriters to its credit and is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe feature with a woman co-directing.

Jennifer Kent kills ‘em with kindness: The woman behind the breakout hit horror film The Babadook is the only female director represented at this year’s Venice Film Festival. After a member of the press shouted a derogatory name at her during the end credits of The Nightingale, his press accreditation was removed. “I think it’s of absolute importance to react with compassion and love for ignorance,” Kent said in response to the event. “There is no other option. The film speaks very clearly to that.” Thankfully, Kent and the positive early reviews for The Nightingale are the real star of the story here, not one person’s sexist comments.

RBG on TV: From directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen, the critically-acclaimed documentary about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg aired Sept. 3 on CNN and will run again Sunday, Sept. 9 at 8 p.m. EST. RBG is certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and dominated the specialty box office during its theatrical run. “I hope that people will get a greater understanding for what this woman accomplished and how she accomplished it,” West told FF2 Media in April. “How deliberate, determined and strategic she was in attacking these accepted practices and laws that discriminated against women.” Ginsberg’s story will be featured in theaters again in December with the release of director Mimi Leder’s On the Basis of Sex, starring Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer.

© Georgiana E. Presecky (9/7/18) FF2 Media

Photos courtesy of TIFF and Entertainment Weekly