Weekly Update for February 1: Women Centric, Directed, and Written Films Playing Near You

Weekly Update for February 1: Women Centric, Directed, and Written Films Playing Near You


Miss Bala – Directed by Catherine Hardwicke

“Miss Bala”: Columbia Pictures

Gloria (Gina Rodriguez) finds a power she never knew she had when she is drawn into a dangerous world of cross-border crime. Surviving will require all of her cunning, inventiveness, and strength.

Find screening info here.

Daughter of Mine – Directed by Laura Bispuri; Written by Laura Bispuri and Francesca Manieri (Opens in NY and LA)

The story of a girl about to turn 10, the woman she believes is her mother, and the biological mother who just wasn’t ready for parenthood, “Daughter of Mine” explores love, maturity, and desperation — and refuses to judge any of its characters. Tina (Valeria Golino) has raised Vittoria (Sara Casu) pretty much since her birth, when Angelica (Alba Rohrwacher) gave her up. Facing the prospect of leaving town due to a cash flow problem, Angelica decides to get to know Vittoria while she still can. Vittoria is quickly smitten: she sees Angelica as the fun, worldly older sister she’s always wanted. As Vittoria and her birth mother grow closer, Tina feels more and more threatened — and frightened she’s losing her daughter. Angelica, however, becomes more and more maternal toward Vittoria, but knows deep down she doesn’t have the capacity to raise a child. As you watch the emotional desires and needs of these three characters collide, you wish there was some way both mothers could have Vittoria. There’s no right answer, and that’s why “Daughter of Mine” sticks with you. (Rachel Montpelier)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Laura Bispuri.

Find screening info here.

Braid – Written and Directed by Mitzi Peirone (Also Available on VOD)


Two wanted women (Madeline Brewer, Imogen Waterhouse) decide to rob their wealthy yet mentally unstable friend who lives in a fantasy world they all created as children. To take her money, the girls must take part in a deadly and perverse game of make believe throughout a sprawling yet decaying estate. As things become increasingly violent and hallucinatory, they realize that obtaining the money may be the least of their concerns.

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Mitzi Peirone.

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga – Directed by Shelly Chopra Dhar; Written by Shelly Chopra Dhar and Gazal Dhaliwal

Some love stories are not simple, and Sweety’s (Sonam Kapoor) is one such story. She has to contend with her over-enthusiastic family that wants to get her married, a young writer who is completely smitten by her, a secret that she harbours close to her heart and ultimately the truth that her true love might not find acceptance in her family and society. Resolving these issues proves hilarious, touching and life changing.

Dear Ex – Directed by Mag Hsu and Chih-Yen Hsu; Written by Mag Hsu and Shih-yuan Lu (Available on Netflix)

“Dear Ex”

When Sanlian’s (Ying-Xuan Hsieh) ex-husband passes away, she discovers he has altered his insurance policy, cutting out their son in favor of a stranger named Jay (Roy Chiu). Outraged, Sanlian decides that she and her son will confront Jay, but Jay proves equal to her scheme. However, when her son unexpectedly moves in with Jay, she is forced to reassess her relationship with them both.

The Golem (Opens in LA) (Available on VOD February 5)

During an outbreak of a deadly plague, a young woman, Hanna (Hani Furstenberg), must save her tight-knit Jewish community from invaders. Turning to Jewish mysticism, she conjures a dangerous entity to protect her and her people. However, the powerful creature she summons may be far more evil than anything she could have ever imagined.

Find screening info here.


“St. Bernard Syndicate”: Meta Film

St. Bernard Syndicate – Written by Lærke Sanderhoff (Available on VOD February 5)

Two men head to China to make money selling Saint Bernard Dogs in this oddball comedy film. One of the pair has recently learned he has A.L.S. and wants to seize the day, the other sees a potential business opportunity and a partner with the funds to make it happen. Together they head off on a clueless assignment where this unlikely pairing do anything but thrive.


“Russian Doll”

Russian Doll – Created by Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler, and Leslye Headland (Premieres February 1 on Netflix)

Like “Groundhog Day” and “Happy Death Day” before it, Netflix’s “Russian Doll” sees its lead character re-living the same day over and over. Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) can’t escape her 37th birthday celebrations alive. She gets hit by a car, falls down stairs, and finds death lurking behind pretty much every corner. The gifted video-game engineer is determined to find the bug in the universe’s code that brings her death — and re-birth — day after day. A surreal story about mortality, morality, and what it means to be human, “Russian Doll” reveals layer after layer in each 30-minute episode. Hilarious and tragic by turns, creators Lyonne, Amy Poehler, and “Sleeping with Other People” writer-director Leslye Headland go far beyond “Russian Doll’s” gimmicky-sounding premise and take it to unexpectedly deep and dark places. (Laura Berger)

Siempre Bruja: Always a Witch – Directed by Liliana Bocanegra and Mateo Stivelberg; Written by Isidora Chacon and Ana María Parra (Premieres February 1 on Netflix)

“Siempre Bruja”: Netflix

A young 17th-century witch (Angely Gaviria) time travels to the future to save the man she loves, but first must adjust to modern-day Cartagena and defeat a dark rival.

The ABC Murders – Written by Sarah Phelps (Premieres February 1 on Amazon Prime)

1933. Hercule Poirot (John Malkovich), older and greyer, receives letters threatening murder. The sender signs themselves only as “A.B.C.” When he takes the letters to the police looking for help, Hercule finds all his old friends have moved on. But soon there is a murder and the once-great detective must take matters into his own hands.

Song of Parkland (Short Documentary) – Directed by Amy Schatz (Premieres February 7 on HBO)

“Song of Parkland”: HBO

When Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School drama teacher Melody Herzfeld heard the fire alarm on February 14, 2018, she was rehearsing with her students for their annual children’s musical. An active shooter entered the school in Parkland, Florida, and Melody rushed her 65 students into a closet while the shooter took 17 lives. When they returned to school in the aftermath of the tragedy, the students resolved to continue with their production. Coming together in a process that would ultimately lead them to a moving performance at the Tony Awards, they find a path to healing for themselves and their community.


“A Private War”

Sweet Inspirations – Directed by Brittany Yost (PureFlix.com, February 1)
Painkillers – Directed by Roxy Shih (VOD, February 4)
Anywhere with You – Written and Directed by Hanna Ladoul and Marco La Via (VOD, February 5)
The Girl in the Spider’s Web (VOD, February 5)
The Heat: A Kitchen (R)evolution (Documentary) – Written and Directed by Maya Gallus (VOD, February 5)
A Private War (VOD, February 5)
Widows – Written by Gillian Flynn and Steve McQueen (VOD, February 5)


How today’s female directors broke out of ‘movie jail’ (The Guardian)
Universal Is the First Big Studio to Sign the Female-Director Challenge (Bloomberg)


Niki Caro’s “Mulan” is on Disney’s slate: Disney

Women Directing 40 Percent of Upcoming Disney Films, CEO Announces
Berlinale Will Sign the Gender Parity Pledge
Apply Now: “Women Writing Competition” with Year-Long Development Deal
Universal Is First Major Studio to Accept 4% Challenge
Lauren Greenfield Launches Girl Culture Films to Address Lack of Diversity Behind the Scenes in Advertising
You’re Invited: Join W&H at Berlinale 2019 for Talk About Women Creating Change in the Biz
4% Challenge: Inclusion Initiative & Time’s Up Aim to Boost Number of Women Directing Top Films
Sundance Pic “Hala” Adopted the Inclusion Rider
Study: Sundance Boasts Impressive Pipeline of Women & POC Directors, But Still Has Work to Do
Inclusive Film Programming Collective Launches at Sundance

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

Follow Women and Hollywood on Twitter @WomenaHollywood and Melissa Silverstein @melsil

To contact Women and Hollywood, email melissa@womenandhollywood.com.

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