Weekly Update for July 24: Women Centric, Directed, and Written Films You Can Watch from Home

FILMS ABOUT WOMEN COMING TO STREAMING/VOD

Yes, God, Yes – Written and Directed by Karen Maine 

“Yes, God, Yes”

Described by writer-director Karen Maine as “a love story between one woman and her vagina,” “Yes, God, Yes,” stars “Stranger Things’” Natalia Dyer as a teenage girl who discovers the joys of masturbation — but also feels ashamed about her budding sexuality. Alice (Dyer) been raised to be a good Catholic girl, but ever since an AOL chat led to self-exploration, the 16-year-old Midwesterner has been been overcome with the desire to masturbate — a habit that she’s been taught to see as a sin that she should repent and regret. Desperate to seek redemption, Alice attends a religious retreat with the hopes of suppressing her urges. “Yes, God, Yes” celebrates its teenage protagonist’s sexuality without sexualizing her. Alice is desperately horny, but she’s never portrayed in anything resembling a titillating light. The comedy, which is set in the early 2000s, sees Alice dealing with all sorts of embarrassing situations but it never feels like the movie is mocking her inexperience or repressed desires. It’s both rare and refreshing to see a story about a teenage girl’s nascent sexuality that doesn’t reduce her to the butt of a joke. (Laura Berger)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Karen Maine.

“Yes, God, Yes” is now available via virtual cinemas and select drive-in theaters. It will be available on VOD July 28. Find screening info here.

Song Without a Name – Directed by Melina León; Written by Melina León and Michael J. White

Based on harrowing true events, “Song Without a Name” tells the story of Georgina (Pamela Mendoza), an indigenous Andean woman whose newborn baby is whisked away moments after its birth in a downtown Lima clinic — and never returned. Stonewalled by a byzantine and indifferent legal system, Georgina approaches journalist Pedro Campas, who uncovers a web of fake clinics and abductions — suggesting a rotting corruption deep within Peruvian society.

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Melina León.

“Song Without a Name” is now available via virtual cinemas. Find screening info here.

Radioactive – Directed by Marjane Satrapi 

“Radioactive”

“Radioactive” is the incredible, true story of Marie Curie (Rosamund Pike) and her ground-breaking scientific achievements. In Paris, 1893, Marie meets fellow scientist Pierre Curie (Sam Riley). The pair go on to marry, raise two daughters, and change the face of science forever by jointly winning the Nobel Prize for the discovery of radium in 1903. Marie Curie was the first female scientist to win the esteemed prize. Intercut between past and various sections of the present, we see how their science shaped both modern medicine and the advent of nuclear power and weapons.

“Radioactive” is now available on Amazon Prime.

Made in Islam (Documentary) – Directed by Siba Shakib

In her feature documentary “Made In Islam,” director Siba Shakib introduces young inventive women who create Muslim fashion as a means of self-expression and distiction. In their attempt to bring Muslims and Western culture closer together, these women use their modest fashion creations to ease the constraints and limitations of religious covering, while not breaking with the religious tradition as such.

“Made in Islam” is now available on VOD in Germany. Find screening info here.

The Kissing Booth 2

Elle Evans (Joey King) just had the most romantic summer of her life with her reformed bad-boy boyfriend Noah Flynn (Jacob Elordi). But now Noah is off to Harvard, and Elle heads back to high school for her senior year. She’ll have to juggle a long-distance relationship, getting into her dream college with her best friend Lee (Joel Courtney), and the complications brought on by a close friendship with a handsome, charismatic new classmate named Marco (Taylor Zakhar Perez). When Noah grows close to a seemingly-perfect college girl (Maisie Richardson-Sellers), Elle will have to decide how much she trusts him and to whom her heart truly belongs

“The Kissing Booth 2” is now available on Netflix.

Offering to the Storm

In Pamplona, capital of Navarra, Amaia Salazar (Marta Etura) is called in to investigate the death of a still-born baby girl and the arrest of the child’s father. The investigation of this case will lead Amaia and her team to discover some procedural irregularities in similar cases that occurred in the nearby valley of Batzán many years ago.

“Offering to the Storm” is now available on Netflix.

Again Once Again – Written and Directed by Romina Paula

Romina (Romina Paula), on a break from her boyfriend, stays in Buenos Aires with her mother and her son. Trying to figure out who she is after three years of all-consuming love for her boy and a demanding relationship, she sees friends, discovers the possibilities of new love, and reflects on her German heritage.

“Again Once Again” will be available on Mubi July 29.

FILMS MADE BY WOMEN COMING TO STREAMING/VOD

Amulet – Written and Directed by Romola Garai 

“Amulet”: PMKBNC

“Amulet” features several horror staples: a derelict house, a mysterious family, a handsome, tortured hero, and a young woman in need. And yet Romola Garai’s feature directorial debut is not just another run-of-the-mill horror pic. It’s a genuinely surprising — and, yes, scary — tale of gender, curses, and redemption that stays with you. The film sees Tomaz (Alec Secareanu), a haunted ex-soldier-turned-refugee, being hired to fix up Magda’s (Carla Juri) house, at the behest of kindly nun Sister Claire (Imelda Staunton). Magda is taking care of her dying mother and has little time for anything else and, understandably, feels suffocated and depressed. Because of her illness, Magda’s mother is confined to the attic — which should be a big ol’ red flag for anyone familiar with the Gothic genre. The less you know about “Amulet” going in, the better, but I will say Garai and her film repeatedly interrogate horror tropes — and societal norms. Why does it so often fall on women to care for sick loved ones, even when it means sacrificing their autonomy and mental health? Why do we view women as mere devices meant to aid men’s personal growth? Can we ever truly move beyond our demons? (Rachel Montpelier)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Romola Garai.

“Amulet” is now in theaters and on VOD. Find screening info here.

Days of the Whale – Written and Directed by Catalina Arroyave Restrepo

Set in the bustling city of Medellín, Colombia’s second-largest city, “Days of the Whale” follows Cristina (Laura Tobón) and Simon (David Escallón), two young graffiti artists who tag spots around where they live. Simón comes from a more working-class background and lives with his grandmother. Cristina is a college kid from an upper-middle-class family who finds herself living with her dad because her mother is a journalist who moved to Spain when threatened by the city’s criminal street gangs. The love that unites them, and their friendship with other artists, keeps Cristina from leaving the city as tensions rise when their rebellious, restless spirit leads them to defy this same gang by painting a mural over a threatening tag at the center.

“Days of the Whale” is now available via virtual cinemas. Find screening info here.

The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion (Documentary) – Directed by Lisa Cortes and Farah X; Written by Lisa Cortes, Farah X, Emil Wilbekin, and Andrew Mer

“The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion”: Dove Clark

This documentary is the story of how hip hop changed fashion, leading to the stratospheric and global rise of street wear. It is a journey of African American creativity and the limitless possibilities of a cultural movement on a global scale.

“The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion” is now available on Netflix.

Fisherman’s Friends – Written by Meg Leonard, Piers Ashworth, and Nick Moorcroft

A fast living, cynical London music executive (Daniel Mays) heads to a remote Cornish village on a stag weekend where he’s pranked by his boss (Noel Clarke) into trying to sign a group of shanty singing fishermen (led by James Purefoy). He becomes the ultimate fish out of water as he struggles to gain the respect or enthusiasm of the unlikely boy band and their families, who value friendship and community over fame and fortune. As he’s drawn deeper into the traditional way of life, he’s forced to reevaluate his own integrity and ultimately question what success really means.

“Fisherman’s Friends” is now available on VOD.

An Accidental Studio (Documentary) – Directed by Kim Leggatt, Bill Jones, and Ben Timlett

Coming to the rescue of “Life of Brian” when the money fell at the last minute, George Harrison offered to fund the entire movie, mortgaging his house and his office to do so. As a “Monty Python” fan, he credited the Python’s humour for saving his sanity whilst he was a Beatle. Now it was his turn to pay them back. The film was a massive hit, so successful in fact that they decided to set up a company — HandMade Films. In a rare moment in film history HandMade dominated the British movie scene with its ethos of making and releasing maverick films that everyone else had rejected. “An Accidental Studio” explores HandMade’s baptism by fire, the risks it took in producing uniquely crafted intelligent films, and the stories that grew up around it.

“An Accidental Studio” will be available on VOD July 28.

Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind (Documentary) – Directed by Joan Tosoni and Martha Kehoe

“Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind”

In Canada’s history, there are few people who signified the nation’s modern confidence in its arts more than Gordon Lightfoot. This singer-songwriter’s singular talent in music changed the world’s opinion of Canada’s culture with his tremendous variety of songs that both celebrated the nation and touched its soul. Sparing nothing about Lightfoot’s personal weaknesses and failures as well as his triumphs, this film covers Lightfoot’s career from his own words and his closest associates with recordings of his greatest hits.

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni.

“Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind” will be available via virtual cinemas on July 29. Find screening info here.

The Speed Cubers (Short Documentary) – Directed by Sue Kim

Set within the quirky, competitive world of speed-cubing, this is the story of the rivalry/friendship between the two best Rubik’s cubers in the world: 17-year-old Max Park and 23-year-old Feliks Zemdegs.

“The Speed Cubers” will be available on Netflix July 29.

W&H AND TOGETHER FILMS LAUNCH #WOMENTOGETHER

We are very excited to introduce Women Together, a new initiative brought to you by Women and Hollywood and Together Films, with the goal of promoting women-created and women-centric content. Together, we want to use our expertise to set up the infrastructure and engagement to promote women in our industry.

Whether a project needs a closed “influencer” screening, an online outreach campaign for its opening weekend, or a curated post-show Q&A, we work in a variety of ways to increase visibility, viability, impact, and traffic. Our only criteria? To promote content by and/or about women for everyone.

If you are interested in chatting to us about an upcoming project, please reach out at WomenTogether@TogetherFilms.org.

TV PREMIERES

Helter Skelter: An American Myth (Docuseries) – Directed by Lesley Chilcott (Premieres July 26 on Epix)

In the most comprehensive telling of the Manson Family yet told in a visual medium, “Helter Skelter: An American Myth” features never-before-accessed interviews from former family members and journalists first on the scene and in the courtroom, weaving these original narratives with archival footage and newly-unearthed images. It will upend what people think they know about this layered and complex story, and cast an entirely new light on the Crime of the Century.

Advocate (Documentary) – Directed by Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaïche; Written by Rachel Leah Jones (Premieres July 27 on PBS)

“Advocate”

A political firebrand in her home country, Israeli lawyer Lea Tsemel is known by political opponents as “the devil’s advocate” for her decades-long defense of Palestinians who have been prosecuted for resisting the occupation, both violently and non-violently. The thought-provoking, heart-wrenching documentary film “Advocate” both captures Tsemel in cinema verité fashion fighting on behalf of her clients in Israel’s challenging two-tier justice system and delves into Tsemel’s personal and political history, by revisiting her landmark cases.

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Rachel Leah Jones.

Don’t Look Deeper – Directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Premieres July 27 on Quibi)

Set in Merced, California, “15 minutes into the future,” “Don’t Look Deeper” centers on a high school senior who can’t seem to shake the feeling that something about her just isn’t right. And that something is: she’s not human, not one of us. This revelation of what she really is, where she comes from, and who has started looking for her, sets in motion a series of events that suddenly puts her entire life in jeopardy.

Frayed – Created by Sarah Kendall (Premieres July 30 on HBO Max)

Set in 1988, London housewife Sammy Cooper (Sarah Kendall) returns to her hometown in Australia with her two children after the death of her husband, and moves in with her mother (Kerry Armstrong) and brother (Ben Mingay).

In My Skin – Created and Written by Kayleigh Llewellyn; Directed by Lucy Forbes (Premieres July 30 on Hulu)

“In My Skin”

Sixteen-year-old Bethan (Gabrielle Creevy) deals with the anxieties and insecurities of teenage life, along with the stark reality of a home life that is far removed from what she projects to her friends.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE WEEK

Audience members at a Film Streams Event: Film Streams/Anna Finocchiaro

Guest Post: Reconsidering Film’s Past to See Change in the Future


Join the Girls Club for a Conversation with Catherine Hardwicke About “Don’t Look Deeper”


rePRO Film Festival Announces Inaugural Lineup


Michael B. Jordan and Color Of Change Introduce #ChangeHollywood Inclusion Initiative


Natalie Portman, Jennifer Garner, America Ferrera, & More Bringing Women’s Soccer Team to LA


Athena Film Festival Announces 2020 Virtual Writers Lab Participants


Naomi McDougall Jones Talks Her Book “The Wrong Kind of Women” and Revolutionizing Hollywood


Guest Post: By Creating a Living History of Women in Electronic Music, I’m Telling a Different Kind of Story


Venice Film Festival Will Honor Tilda Swinton and Ann Hui with Golden Lions for Career Achievement


Brenda Robinson Named Board President of International Documentary Association

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.

July 25, 2020
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