As Sundance is quickly approaching, many cinephiles are excited to see the impending films scheduled to premiere at this year’s festival. Sundance launches the start of the film festival circuit each year and many films have gone on to win coveted awards.
This year Sundance has a list of films directed by women. This year the festival has over 30 films directed by women. This list includes features, web episodics, and shorts.
Sundance begins this week Jan 24th and ends Feb 2nd. If there are any films you wish to see or support with women directors, check out the list below:
Advocate / Israel, Canada, Switzerland (Directors: Rachel Leah Jones, Philippe Bellaïche, Producers: Philippe Bellaïche, Rachel Leah Jones, Paul Cadieux, Joelle Bertossa) Lea Tsemel defends Palestinians: from feminists to fundamentalists, from non-violent demonstrators to armed militants. As a Jewish-Israeli lawyer who has represented political prisoners for nearly 50 years, Tsemel, in her tireless quest for justice, pushes the praxis of a human rights defender to its limits. World Premiere ONE
Always in Season / U.S.A. (Director: Jacqueline Olive) — When 17-year-old Lennon Lacy is found hanging from a swing set in rural North Carolina in 2014, his mother’s search for justice and reconciliation begins as the trauma of more than a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present. World Premiere
Animals / United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia (Director: Sophie Hyde, Screenwriter: Emma Jane Unsworth, Producers: Sarah Brocklehurst, Rebecca Summerton, Cormac Fox, Sophie Hyde) — After a decade of partying, Laura and Tyler’s friendship is strained by Laura’s new love and her focus on her novel. A snapshot of a modern woman with competing desires, at once a celebration of female friendship and an examination of the choices we make when facing a crossroads.Cast: Holliday Grainger, Alia Shawkat. World Premiere
Clemency / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Chinonye Chukwu, Producers: Bronwyn Cornelius, Julian Cautherley, Peter Wong, Timur Bekbosunov) — Years of carrying out death row executions have taken a toll on prison warden Bernadine Williams. As she prepares to execute another inmate, Bernadine must confront the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is sanctioned to kill. Cast: Alfre Woodard, Aldis Hodge, Richard Schiff, Wendell Pierce, Richard Gunn, Danielle Brooks. World Premiere
Dirty God / Netherlands, United Kingdom, Belgium, Ireland (Director: Sacha Polak, Screenwriters: Sacha Polak, Susanne Farrell, Producers: Marleen Slot, Michael Elliott) — Jade is a young mother in the prime of her life when an acid attack leaves her severely burned. While her face has been reconstructed, her beauty is lost beneath the scars. Descending a self- destructive path with relationships crumbling, Jade must take drastic action to reclaim her life. Cast: Vicky Knight, Katherine Kelly, Eliza Brady-Girard, Rebecca Stone, Bluey Robinson, Dana Marienci. International Premiere
Greener Grass / U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe, Producer: Natalie Metzger) — A deliciously twisted comedy set in a demented, timeless suburbia where every adult wears braces on their straight teeth, couples coordinate meticulously pressed outfits, and coveted family members are swapped in more ways than one in this competition for acceptance. Cast: Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe, Beck Bennett, Neil Casey, Mary Holland, D’Arcy Carden. World Premiere
Judy & Punch / Australia (Director and screenwriter: Mirrah Foulkes, Producers: Michele Bennett, Nash Edgerton, Danny Gabai) — In the anarchic town of Seaside, nowhere near the sea, puppeteers Judy and Punch are trying to resurrect their marionette show. The show is a hit due to Judy’s superior puppeteering but Punch’s driving ambition and penchant for whisky lead to a inevitable tragedy that Judy must avenge. Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Damon Herriman, Tom Budge, Benedict Hardie, Lucy Velik, Terry Norris. World Premiere
Late Night / U.S.A. (Director: Nisha Ganatra, Screenwriter: Mindy Kaling, Producers: Ben Browning, Howard Klein, Jillian Apfelbaum, Mindy Kaling) — Legendary late-night talk show host’s world is turned upside down when she hires her only female staff writer. Originally intended to smooth over diversity concerns, her decision has unexpectedly hilarious consequences as the two women separated by culture and generation are united by their love of a biting punchline. Cast: Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, John Lithgow, Paul Walter Hauser, Reid Scott, Amy Ryan. World Premiere
The Nightingale / Australia (Director and screenwriter: Jennifer Kent, Producers: Kristina Ceyton, Bruna Papandrea, Steve Hutenski, Jennifer Kent) — 1825. Clare, a young Irish convict woman, chases a British officer through the Tasmanian wilderness, bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence he committed against her family. On the way she enlists the services of Aboriginal tracker Billy, who is marked by trauma from his own violence-filled past. Cast: Aisling Franciosi, Sam Claflin, Baykali Ganambarr, Damon Herriman, Harry Greenwood, Ewen Leslie. North American Premiere
One Child Nation / China, U.S.A. (Directors: Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, Producers: Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, Julie Goldman, Christoph Jörg, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn) — After becoming a mother, a filmmaker uncovers the untold history of China’s one-child policy and the generations of parents and children forever shaped by this social experiment. World Premiere
Paradise Hills / Spain, U.S.A. (Director: Alice Waddington, Screenwriters: Nacho Vigalondo, Brian DeLeeuw, Producers: Adrian Guerra, Núria Valls) — A young woman is sent to Paradise Hills to be reformed, only to learn that the high-class facility’s beautiful facade hides a sinister secret. Cast: Emma Roberts, Danielle Macdonald, Awkwafina, Eiza González, Milla Jovovich, Jeremy Irvine. World Premiere
Queen of Hearts / Denmark (Director: May el-Toukhy, Screenwriters: Maren Louise Käehne, May el-Toukhy, Producers: Caroline Blanco, René Ezra) — A woman jeopardizes both her career and her family when she seduces her teenage stepson and is forced to make an irreversible decision with fatal consequences. Cast: Trine Dyrholm, Gustav Lindh, Magnus Krepper. World Premiere
Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins / U.S.A. (Director: Janice Engel, Screenwriters: Janice Engel, Monique Zavistovski, Producers: James Egan, Janice Engel, Carlisle Vandervoort) — Molly Ivins was six feet of flame-haired Texas trouble, a prescient political journalist, best-selling author and Bill of Rights warrior. She took no prisoners, leaving both sides of the aisle laughing and craving more of her razor-sharp wit. It’s time to Raise Hell like Molly! World Premiere
This Is Personal / U.S.A. (Director: Amy Berg, Producers: Amy Berg, Paul McGuire, Ruchi Mital, Joy Gorman Wettels and Rebecca Walker) — While the 2016 election catalyzed the Women’s March and a new era of feminist activism, Tamika Mallory and Erika Andiola have been fighting for their communities for decades. Their stories expose the fundamental connection between personal and political and raise the question: what’s intersectionality and can it save the world? World Premiere
Selah and the Spades / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Tayarisha Poe, Producers: Lauren McBride, Lucas Joaquin, Drew Houpt, Tayarisha Poe, Jill Ahrens) — Five factions run the underground life of the prestigious Haldwell boarding school. At the head of the most powerful faction – The Spades – sits Selah Summers. By turns charming and callous, she chooses whom to keep close and whom to cut loose, walking the fine line between being feared and loved. Cast: Lovie Simone, Celeste O’Connor, Jharrel Jerome, Gina Torres, Jesse Williams. World Premiere
Share / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Pippa Bianco, Producers: Carly Hugo, Tyler Byrne, Matt Parker) — After discovering a disturbing video from a night she doesn’t remember, sixteen-year-old Mandy must try to figure out what happened and how to navigate the escalating fallout. Cast: Rhianne Barreto, Charlie Plummer, Poorna Jagannathan, J.C. MacKenzie, Nick Galitzine, Lovie Simone. World Premiere
Shooting the Mafia / Ireland (Director: Kim Longinotto, Producer: Niamh Fagan) — Sicilian Letizia Battaglia began a lifelong battle with the Mafia when she first pointed her camera at a brutally slain victim. Documenting the Cosa Nostra’s barbaric rule, she bore unflinching witness to their crimes. Her photographs, art, and bravery helped to bring an end to a shocking reign of slaughter. World Premiere
Sister Aimee / U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: Samantha Buck, Marie Schlingmann, Producers: Bettina Barrow, David Hartstein, Katherine Harper) — In 1926 America’s most famous evangelist is a woman. And she’s looking for a way out. Fed up with her own success, she gets swept up in her lover’s daydreams about Mexico and finds herself on a wild road trip towards the border. Based on true events. Mostly made up. Cast: Anna Margaret Hollyman, Michael Mosley, Andrea Suarez Paz, Julie White, Macon Blair, Amy Hargreaves. World Premiere
Sonja – The White Swan / Norway (Director: Anne Sewitsky, Screenwriters: Mette Marit Bølstad, Andreas Markusson, Producers: Cornelia Boysen, Synnøve Hørsdal) — The true story of one of the world’s greatest athletes and the inventor of modern figure skating, who took Hollywood by storm in the 1930s, sacrificing everything to stay in the spotlight. Cast: Ine Marie Wilmann, Valene Kane, Eldar Skar, Anders Mordal, Pål Sverre Hagen, Aiden McArdle. International Premiere
The Farewell / U.S.A.,China (Director and screenwriter: Lulu Wang, Producers: Daniele Melia, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub, Chris Weitz, Andrew Miano, Anita Gou) — A headstrong Chinese- American woman returns to China when her beloved grandmother is given a terminal diagnosis. Billi struggles with her family’s decision to keep grandma in the dark about her own illness as they all stage an impromptu wedding to see grandma one last time. Cast: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Zhao Shuzhen, Lu Hong, Jiang Yongbo. World Premiere
The Sharks / Uruguay, Argentina, Spain (Director and screenwriter: Lucía Garibaldi, Producers: Pancho Magnou Arnábal, Isabel García) — While a rumor about the presence of sharks in a small beach town distracts residents, 14-year-old Rosina begins to feel an instinct to shorten the distance between her body and Joselo’s. Cast: Romina Bentancur, Federico Morosini, Fabián Arenillas, Valeria Lois, Antonella Aquistapache. World Premiere
The Souvenir / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Joanna Hogg, Producers: Luke Schiller, Joanna Hogg) — A quiet film student begins finding her voice as an artist while navigating a turbulent courtship with a charismatic but untrustworthy man. She defies her protective mother and concerned friends as she slips deeper and deeper into an intense, emotionally fraught relationship which comes dangerously close to destroying her dreams. Cast: Honor Swinton Byrne, Tom Burke, Tilda Swinton. World Premiere
Bootstrapped / U.S.A. (Creator: Danielle Uhlarik, Director: Stephanie Laing) — Best friends Madeline and Aimee are underdog entrepreneurs who launch a fashion and tech startup out of a garage in their hometown of Kansas City. The duo’s overly positive attitude convinces two other coders to join them on their broke-ass entrepreneurial journey to make BitchThatWouldLookBetterOnMe.Com a household name. Cast: Danielle Uhalrik, Maribeth Monroe, Sam Richardson, Kezii Curtis, Nancy Lenehan, Erika Alexander. World Premiere
Delivery Girl / U.S.A (Director and screenwriter: Kate Krieger) — Tricia is a woman struggling with her identity, living in a fiercely Catholic household leading a double life, selling drugs to make ends meet and carrying on an affair. She fights for the courage to embrace her future as the first of many delivery girls. Cast: Kate Krieger, Adam LeFevre, Liz Larsen, Joe Holt. World Premiere
Maggie / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Sasha Gordon) — A darkly comedic series about a struggling new mom who ditches her dreary postpartum group for the stand-up comedy class next door. In the pilot episode, Maggie struggles with inappropriate fantasies about her live-in nanny. Cast: Christine Woods, David Walton, Maddison Ridley, Veronica Mosey, Dina Hashem, Jon Bander. World Premiere
Quarter Life Poetry / U.S.A. (Creator: Samantha Jayne, Arturo Perez Jr., Screenwriter: Samantha Jayne) — Poems for the young, broke and hangry. Cast: Samantha Jayne, Tori Ward, Meredith Thomas, Hailey Harris, Samantha Dockser, Tyler Haines. World Premiere Work In Progress / U.S.A. (Creators and screenwriters: Abby McEnany, Tim Mason) — After her therapist dies mid-session and she begins to date a trans man, Abby is forced to re-evaluate her life choices, her dating options and whether or not to confront the woman responsible for ‘ruining her life’: SNL’s Julia Sweeney. Cast: Abby McEnany, Theo Germaine, Karin Anglin, Celeste Pechous, Julia Sweeney, Alison Gates. World Premiere
As Told To G/D Thyself / U.S.A. (Directors: Bradford Young, Terence Nance, Jenn Nkiru, Screenwriters: Terence Nance, Kamasi Washington, Bradford Young) — The cosmic journey of sacred youth, during which pain, pleasure and sublimation are non-negotiable. World Premiere
Edgecombe / U.S.A. (Director: Crystal Kayiza) — Through the deeply personal truths of three local residents, an examination of the ways trauma repeats and reinvents itself in rural Black communities.
The Field / France, United Kingdom, India (Director and screenwriter: Sandhya Suri) — A poor agricultural laborer leads a double life in the village’s last remaining cornfield. But the harvest is approaching.
The Rat / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Carlen May-Mann) — It’s Halloween night, and Renee is madly in love with Jim. On their way to a party, Jim detours to a haunted house, where Renee is forced to confront a terrifying situation. World Premiere
Adalamadrina / Spain (Director: Carlota Oms, Screenwriters: Joan Pàmies, Carlota Oms) — While she claims to be an expert in sex and love on YouTube, Ada can barely speak to her gym trainer, with whom she’s madly in love. When she sets her sights on him, everything changes. International Premiere
How Does It Start / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Amber Sealey) — With her self- absorbed parents distracted by their recent divorce, twelve-year-old Rain is left alone to navigate the complexities of love and adulthood, and learns to do it her own way. World Premiere
Hot Dog / Germany (Directors and screenwriters: Alma Buddecke, Marleen Valien) — Hannah, in a love-hate relationship with her vagina, chronicles how her feelings towards her sexuality have changed over time. Like that one moment when she discovered the vibration function of her PlayStation controller. International Premiere
Feathers / U.S.A., (Director A.V. Rockwell) — Elizier, an emotionally dejected new enrollee at the Edward R. Mill School for Boys, must overcome memories of a tragic past and current hazing by his peers in order to tackle larger issues dominating his young life.
Fuck You / Sweden (Director and screenwriter: Anette Sidor) — Alice is together with Johannes but she doesn’t have enough space to be herself. On a night out with friends, she steals a strap- on and challenges her boyfriend’s thoughts about girls. U.S. Premiere
Reneepoptosis / U.S.A., Japan (Director and screenwriter: Renee Zhan) — Three Renees go on a quest to find God, who is also Renee. As they traverse the mountains and valleys of Renee, they discover all the great joys, sorrows, and mysteries of being Renee. U.S. Premiere
Suicide By Sunlight / U.S.A. (Director: Nikyatu Jusu, Screenwriters: Nikyatu Jusu, R. Shanea Williams) — Valentina, a day-walking Black vampire protected from the sun by her melanin, is forced to restrain her bloodlust to regain custody of her estranged daughters. World Premiere
Desires of the flesh / Brazil (Director and screenwriter: Rafaela Camelo) — Blessed be the Sunday, that it is the day to see Giovana. International Premiere
What's Your Reaction?
Jamie Broadnax is the creator of the online community for Black women called Black Girl Nerds. Jamie has appeared on MSNBC's The Melissa Harris-Perry Show and The Grio's Top 100. Her Twitter personality has been recognized by Shonda Rhimes as one of her favorites to follow. She's the primary film critic for BGN and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critic Association