Weekly Update for June 14: Women Centric, Directed, and Written Films Playing Near You



American Woman

In a blue-collar town in Pennsylvania, a 32-year-old woman’s (Sienna Miller) teen daughter goes missing and she is left to raise her infant grandson alone. The story is told over the course of 11 years: We journey with her from the time her daughter vanishes, through the trials-and-tribulations of subsequent years, and ultimately to the long-awaited discovery of the truth.

Pause – Directed by Tonia Mishiali; Written by Tonia Mishiali and Anna Fotiadou (Opens in LA) (Also Available on VOD)


Elpida (Stela Fyrogeni), a middle-aged housewife, is trapped in the misery of an oppressive marriage with a man who has no consideration for her feelings and needs. Her monotonous life is disrupted when a young painter is employed to paint the building she lives in. Her imagination then starts to flourish as she is confronted with her unquenchable desires, her body, and the husband she has no love for. After he sells her car without her consent, she becomes vindictive and violent towards him, but her perception of reality is questioned when she has no recollection of events that actually happened.

Find screening info here.

Saving Flora (Also Available on VOD)

“Saving Flora”

Flora is a circus elephant who can no longer perform her tricks. The night before she’s scheduled to be euthanized, the circus owner’s 14-year-old daughter, Dawn (Jenna Ortega), sneaks Flora from the circus. All that stands between them and the safety of the elephant preserve is two hundred kilometers of woods, one raging river, two elephant hunters, and the fear of not making it.

Daughter of the Wolf (Also Available on VOD)

An ex-military specialist (Gina Carano) receives a big inheritance from her late father only to see her son kidnapped and held for ransom. Rather than pay for his return, she abducts one of the kidnappers and forces him to lead her to her son.


“Paris Is Burning”

Paris Is Burning (Documentary) (Theatrical Re-Release) – Directed by Jennie Livingston (Opens in NY; Opens in LA July 5)

Nearly 30 years since its original release, “Paris Is Burning” has received a new restoration and is returning to theaters — and it feels as timely as ever. The doc explores New York City’s late-’80s ball culture. Not only were these balls the birthplace of voguing and throwing shade, they were sanctuaries for the queer community, especially queer people of color. As the subjects reiterate throughout the film, balls were the one place in the world where they could be 100 percent themselves without fear. Whether they identify as gay, drag queens, trans, or something else entirely, everyone is welcome. Everyone is allowed to live their dream for a little bit. (Rachel Montpelier)

Find screening info here.

Back to the Fatherland (Documentary) – Directed by Kat Rohrer and Gil Levanon; Written by Susan Korda and Anneliese Rohrer (Opens in NY)

“Back to the Fatherland”: GreenKat Productions

“Back to the Fatherland” is the story of young people leaving their home country to try their luck somewhere else. A universal tale in today’s globalized world, young women and men are moving from Israel to the countries where their families were persecuted and killed less than a century ago, Germany and Austria.

Find screening info here.

Being Frank – Directed by Miranda Bailey

It’s 1992, the year Grunge music becomes mainstream, hitting middle American teenagers directly in their angst. Phillip (Logan Miller) longs to leave his small town for music school in The Big Apple. His dreams are dashed when his overbearing father, Frank (Jim Gaffigan), forbids it. In retaliation to his father’s dictatorial parenting, he sneaks away for a wild spring break. However, when he crosses state lines he instead finds a charming lake community where he spots his father with another woman. Turns out, his father lives in this town and has an entire other family. With this new heartbreaking information, Philip realizes he can wallow in his father’s deceit or take matters into his own hands.

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Miranda Bailey.

Find screening info here.

Head Count – Directed by Elle Callahan (Also Available on VOD)

Newcomer Evan (Isaac Jay) joins a group of teens on a getaway in Joshua Tree. While exchanging ghost stories around the campfire, Evan reads aloud a mysterious chant from an internet site. From that moment, someone — or something — is among them. As unsettling, inexplicable events become more frequent, Evan realizes this summoned shape-shifting creature is targeting them to fulfill a deadly ritual.

Find screening info here.

Say My Name – Written by Deborah Frances-White (Also Available on VOD)

When a one night stand gets interrupted by a robbery, two complete strangers are forced to navigate the seedy underbelly of a sleepy Welsh isle in order to get back their stolen property. Along the way, their opposite personalities and differing outlooks on life bring them to an outcome neither of them could have predicted.

Find screening info here.

Life Overtakes Me (Documentary) – Directed by Kristine Samuelson and John Haptas (Available on Netflix)

Hundreds of refugee children in Sweden, who have fled with their families from extreme trauma, have become afflicted with “uppgivenhetssyndrom,” or Resignation Syndrome. Facing deportation, they withdraw from the world into a coma-like state, as if frozen, for months, or even years.

The Edge of Democracy (Documentary) – Written and Directed by Petra Costa (Opens June 19) (Also Available on Netflix)

“The Edge of Democracy”

A cautionary tale for these times of democracy in crisis — the personal and political fuse to explore one of the most dramatic periods in Brazilian history. With unprecedented access to Presidents Dilma Rousseff and Lula da Silva, we witness their rise and fall and the tragically polarized nation that remains.

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Petra Costa.


“Jessica Jones”

Jessica Jones – Created by Melissa Rosenberg (Season 3 Premieres June 14 on Netflix)

“You believe you can save the world, but you’re terrified you’ve already failed them — and you have, because you are not, and you never will be, a hero,” Krysten Ritter is told in the third and final season of “Jessica Jones.” Throughout the course of Melissa Rosenberg’s Netflix series, Jessica (Ritter) has grappled with what it means to be a hero. And she’s always been a reluctant one. The latest installment of the Marvel title sees Jessica confronted by a man determined to prove her a fraud, which, at her darkest moments, she herself seems to believe. One of the season’s most prominent, and interesting, themes is whether one is capable of feeling — and behaving — like a hero if no one realizes what they’ve accomplished. (Laura Berger)

Trinkets – Created by Kristen Smith, Amy Andelson, and Emily Meyer (Premieres June 14 on Netflix)

“Trinkets”: Allyson Riggs/Netflix

A grieving teen finds an unexpected connection with two classmates at her new high school after they all land in the same Shoplifters Anonymous group.

Leila – Created by Urmi Juvekar (Premieres June 14 on Netflix)

In a near-future world where an oppressive regime segregates society, one woman skirts the system to search for the daughter taken from her years ago.

Unit 42 – Created by Julie Bertrand, Annie Carels, Charlotte Joulia, and Guy Goossens (Premieres June 14 on Netflix)

While having to raise his three children on his own, Inspector Sam Leroy (Patrick Ridremont) joins Brussels’ Cyber Crime Unit. Confronted with new codes, he must collaborate with Billie Vebber (Constance Gay), a former hacker who covertly pursues objectives of her own.

Jett (Premieres June 14 on Cinemax)

World-class thief Daisy “Jett” Kowalski (Carla Gugino) is just out of prison and already being forced back into what got her there, by a group of eccentric and dangerous criminals.

Los Espookys – Written by Ana Fabrega, Julio Torres, and Fred Armisen (Premieres June 14 on HBO)

A group of friends turn their love of horror into a peculiar business, providing horror to those who need it in a dreamy version of present-day Mexico City, where the strange and eerie are just part of daily life.

Frankie Drake Mysteries – Created by Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci (Premieres June 15 on Ovation)

The series follows Frankie Drake (Lauren Lee Smith), the first female private detective operating in Toronto in the 1920s.

Euphoria (Premieres June 16 on HBO)


“Euphoria” follows a group of high school students as they navigate love and friendships in a world of drugs, sex, trauma, and social media.

Roll Red Roll (Documentary) – Directed by Nancy Schwartzman (Premieres June 17 on PBS)

“Roll Red Roll”

“Is this football town putting its daughters at risk by protecting its sons in a situation like this?” asks one of the characters in “Roll Red Roll,” a documentary exploring the crime that put Steubenville, Ohio, in national headlines. Nancy Schwartzman’s feature investigates how peer pressure, misogyny, and sports machismo factored into the rape of a young woman and its aftermath. “Roll Red Roll” is a brutal reminder of what one character describes as “the complete lack of empathy” shown towards the assaulted teen, known only as Jane Doe. As disturbing as it is, the film is also a testament to the power of women: a true crime blogger who raised awareness about the case features prominently, and the doc includes moving footage from a rally held in Jane Doe’s honor which saw many women standing up and sharing their own stories of assault. (LB)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Nancy Schwartzman.

Ambitions (Premieres June 18 on OWN)

A woman moves to a new city and finds herself going head to head with some of the town’s most powerful and deceitful players.

Reef Break – Created by Poppy Montgomery and Ken Sanzel (Premieres June 20 on ABC)

Impulsive, reckless, and irresistible, Cat’s (Poppy Montgomery) less-than-perfect past gives her an instinctive gift for understanding crime and criminals as she becomes enmeshed in fast-paced, high octane adventures and island intrigue. Cat’s reappearance also makes waves for old friends, enemies, and lovers, including an FBI agent ex-husband, her imprisoned crime boss, and a police detective lover who is in over his head.


“Fast Color”

Fast Color – Directed by Julia Hart; Written by Julia Hart and Jordan Horowitz (VOD, June 18)
Wonder Park (VOD, June 18)


Raising Films Survey: Carers Aren’t Getting Support They Need from the Industry
Desiree Akhavan & Haifaa al-Mansour Among ReFrame Rise’s Inaugural Class of Women Directors
Quote of the Day: Tessa Thompson on the Barriers Blocking Women of Color from Equal Pay
Laura Dern, Jennifer Yuh Nelson, & More Elected to Academy’s Board of Governors
Apply Now: North Face’s Move Mountains Grant for Women Directors
Banff Fest 2019: Fund Launched for Women in TV, Paul Feig Talks Equality & Representation
Study: Just Four Women Among Directors of the Top Animated Films 2007-2018
Ali Stroker, “Hadestown” Team, and More Make History at the 2019 Tony Awards
Angela Chen Receives Inaugural AGBO/AFI Conservatory Development Grant
Women in Animation Launches Global Fund, Has Already Raised Over $500K

Note: All descriptions are from press materials, unless otherwise noted.

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