2019 was the year where the film industry was met with unexpected and pioneering directing styles, record-breaking earnings in theaters and South Korean cinema taking home the gold. However, 2019 was also the year for serious questions to be asked about equality and inclusion in the film world; no women were nominated for Best Directing at the Oscars this year. Film enthusiasts everywhere were frustrated with the outcome of their favorite movies (Little Women, The Farewell, Hustlers, etc.) being snubbed… I know I was. Don’t get me wrong, the Oscar’s is not the end-all-be-all of defining talent or skill, but it carries an impact large enough to undermine minorities (and not solely women) that are equally as deserving of a title that only men received this year. And that is the tea I am serving today.
With that being said, in honor of International Women’s day that recently passed on March 8th, I am shining a bright light on all of the female directors to be on the lookout for and their amazing movies that are coming out or have already been released in theaters this year. Let’s begin!
A win for Best Screenplay and a nomination for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Céline Sciamma has made a name for herself in cinema through her 4th feature film: “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” that wide released on February 14th in theaters. According to a handful of reviews, this movie is a masterpiece that highlights womanhood and the LGBTQ+ community at large.
Autumn de Wilde
Autumn de Wilde is a film director who has a keen eye for photography, best known for her work shooting portraits and making music videos for musicians. Now, her first adapted film “Emma” starring Anya Taylor-Joy that released in theatres March 6th has rightfully impressed film critics with gorgeous filming styles and seamless storytelling.
Recruiting a cast filled with stellar actors, Emerald Fennell who is an actress herself and showrunner for Killing Eve season 2 (which is also spectacular) makes her directorial debut with her film “Promising Young Women” starring Carey Mulligan and Bo Burnham. This film strikes at topics that are deemed to be bold, but Fennell does not hesitate to raise feminist issues in a satirical and thought-provoking way. This film is set to be released on April 17th.
Wanted to see a steamy romance directed by a woman? Then Stella Meghie, director of “Everything, Everything” has got you covered and more – she directed and wrote “The Photograph” which stars Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield (mcm). It was released on February 14th and critics have continuously praised the refreshing and heart-warming love story.
The movie we have all been waiting for. Cate Shortland, an Australian film director-writer, is directing one of the most iconic female superheroes of the Marvel universe: “Black Widow.” Set to release on April 24th, Natasha Romanova is getting the standalone movie that she deserves! Cate Shortland’s other films “Berlin Syndrome” “Lore” and “Somersault” have also met high praise, including approval from Scarlett Johansson herself.
Speaking of Marvel… Chinese film director, writer and producer, Chloé Zhao, is directing one of the largest and newest Marvel casts to date in “The Eternals.” This movie is so anticipated that Marvel already set up a countdown until its release on November 6th. Chloé Zhao showed the world just how talented she is through her two films, “The Songs my Brother Taught Me” and “The Rider” which have both met critical acclaim at various award shows and film festivals.
I will definitely be watching these movies in theaters. If you want to check out more female directors coming out with movies this year, here is a list of 20 more movies that were made by extremely talented women!