In the last few years, movements like Me Too, He for She and Time’s Up have sparked a massive shift in the way women are viewed in the entertainment industry; it has brought female-driven entertainment to the forefront, it has seen women unite and vow to champion gender equity on set, behind the camera and on screen. Despite a record year for women in Hollywood – specifically behind the camera – the Golden Globes, which aired live on Sunday, January 6th, snubbed female-helmed movies and didn’t nominate a single female director in the category of Best Director. Movies like Destroyer, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, and Mary, Queen of Scots were all directed by women and all among the list of directorial credits snubbed by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association last weekend.
In my endless frustration that brilliant female directors and their films are constantly being overlooked for their male counterparts, this list of buzz-worthy movies helmed by women has been composed. This year, I vowed to myself – although I imagined the moment quite like Frances McDormand’s 2018 Oscars speech – that the entertainment I consume will focus on female-driven films and I challenge you to do the same. Support films directed by women, stories of real women and media to empower and uplift women. Moving into 2019, check out the exciting projects being released by women this year!
Adult Life Skills – Rachel Tunnard (January 18th)
Miss Bala – Catherine Hardwick (February 1st)
With a killer female lead in Gina Rodriguez, seasoned director Catherine Hardwick brings a new perspective to the 2001 Mexican film about a kidnapped American in Tijuana who is forced into a world of drugs and crime.
The Rhythm Section – Reed Morano (February 22nd)
Morano (I Think We’re Alone Now, The Handmaiden’s Tale) helms the 2019 thriller following a woman (Blake Lively) as she tries to figure out the truth behind the plane crash that killed her family.
Captain Marvel – Anna Boden (March 8th)
One of the most anticipated films of 2019, Captain Marvel, boasts not only a bad-ass female lead in a Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero movie (It’s about damn time!), it is also co-directed by Anna Boden.
Girls of the Sun – Eva Husson (April 12th)
This film won critical acclaim at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival for its powerful portrayal of a battalion of Kurdish women who battle extremists out of their town.
Little – Tine Gordon Chism (April 12th)
Now this movie is big, not just because it is directed and starring a powerhouse cast of women, but Marsai Martin – who is responsible for pitching the movie to Black-ish producers when she was only 10 – will become the youngest executive producer in Hollywood!
The Third Wife – Ash Mayfair (May 15th)
Mayfair makes her directorial debut with the story about a teenage Vietnamese girl who becomes the third wife of a powerful, wealthy man in the 1800s.
The Sun Is Also A Star – Ry Russo-Young (May 17th)
Adapting Nicola Yoon’s young adult novel of the same name, Russo-Young partners with Yara Shahidi and Charles Melton to tell this story of young love in the middle of familiar and political chaos.
Booksmart – Olivia Wilde (May 24th)
In her directorial debut, Wilde takes on the story of a group of academically-minded teenage girls and their wild graduation night.
The Kitchen – Andrea Berloff (September 20th)
With an Oscar nod under her belt for writing the screenplay for Straight Outta Compton, Berloff moves behind the camera to portray the wives of elite gangsters, who take over their husbands’ business after they go to jail.
A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood – Marielle Heller (October 18th)
After her stellar direction of Can You Ever Forgive Me? in 2018, Heller brings childhood classic Mr. Rogers to the screen. Starring Tom Hanks, Heller’s film is one of the few films of the year directed by women and starring a male lead.
Charlie’s Angels – Elizabeth Banks (November 1st)
Elizabeth Banks takes on one of the most iconic female-led action franchises of all time. Starring Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska, the reboot of the popular show boasts modern twists and a powerhouse cast.
Queen and Slim – Melina Matsoukas (November 27th)
The Insecure director works with Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith in this drama about an African-American couple pulled over by the police on their first date.
Little Women – Greta Gerwig (December 25th)
Greta Gerwig. Emma Watson. Saoirse Ronan. Florence Pugh. Meryl Streep. Laura Dern. Period.