In a male-saturated industry like film, it’s always refreshing to see women paving their way, whether it’s through directing, screenwriting, or producing their own cinema. Read on to find out about five women doing just that, and why you should see their films.
1. Sarah Saidan
Sarah Saidan is an animation director, specializing in short films. Her animations are whimsical and childlike, while her films often touch on more everyday adult subjects, such as a broken down car. Saidan’s films are in French, which I don’t speak, but her animations still project the humor and playfulness of the characters’ chatter.
I love this film because it’s poignant even in its silence, if not especially so. It perfectly represents the awkwardness of teenagers reluctantly meeting, from the eye rolls to the weird, random banter. Every awkward moment (and trust me, there are quite a few) is both painfully embarrassing and completely relatable.
There are some great one-liners too, my favorite being, “Just because you feel stupid doesn’t mean you look stupid.” It’s a good thing to remember, and also shows the soft side of the teens. The short film was written by Amirpour, and directed by Milena Pastreich.
Amma Asante is best known for writing the 2013 British drama, Belle. The film is focused on an admiral’s daughter (played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw) who is often scorned by aristocrats for being half-black. Despite the cruelties she faces because of her race, she continues to stand up for herself, questioning why she’s not worthy to sit with her white family at dinner, but isn’t allowed to eat with the black slaves, either. She goes on to fight for the abolishment of slavery in England.
4. Lucy Mulloy
Lucy Malloy is a screenwriter and director from New York. Her debut film, Una Noche, centers on a young man’s action-packed race to escape his hometown in Cuba and flee to Miami. The film expertly blends tightknit family relations and excitement, making for thrilling yet heartwarming cinema.
Yoruba Richen is the director of The New Black, which might just be my favorite film on this list. It’s an incredibly compelling documentary focused on the intersection between the black community and the LGBT community. The film takes a close look at both the views of predominantly black anti-LGBT rights churches, as well as the perspectives of black LGBT activists.
These are the incredibly talented women in film I’ve been watching lately; who are the filmmakers you’ve had your eye on? Let me know in the comments.
Cover image courtesy of The Sunday Times.