Female Film Directors In 2017

500 Days Of Film Looks At 64 Movies From Female Directors In 2017

Despite calls for diversity and greater opportunity, the number of women working in film is pitiful. According to a report from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, women comprised just 7% of all directors working on the 250 highest-grossing US domestic releases in 2016.

 

These statistics (and others like them) are, of course, familiar all over the world. While it is important to engage in conversation, action is now desperately needed. One of the ways that we, as cinema going audience members, can help is by seeking out and championing those films directed by women. Money still talks the loudest after all. 

 

This year, as you can see below, there have been a number of hugely impressive films across a variety of genres released in 2017 (UK release dates) from female directors.  

Films Directed By Women In 2017

All This Panic

Director: Jenny Gage

Genre: Documentary

Rated: 15

Synopsis: A look at the lives of a group of teenage girls growing up in New York.

 

Almost Heaven

Director: Carol Salter

Genre: Documentary

Rated: 12

Synopsis: A Chinese woman trains to become a mortician.

 

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power

Director: Bonni Cohen (co-directed with Jon Shenk)

Genre: Documentary

Rated: PG

Synopsis: Climate change campaigner, Al Gore, explores the ongoing environmental crisis.

 

Band Aid

Director: Zoe Lister-Jones

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music

Rated: 15

Synopsis: A couple attempt to save their marriage by turning their arguments into songs.

 

Battle Of The Sexes

Director: Valerie Faris (co-directed with Jonathan Dayton) 

Genre: Drama, True Life

Rated: 12

Synopsis: In 1973, tennis champion, Billie Jean King, accepts a challenge from former men’s champion, Bobby Riggs, to a winner takes all match.

 

Beach Rats

Director: Eliza Hittman

Genre: Drama

Rated: 15

Synopsis: A young man struggles to come to terms with his sexuality in New York.

 

Before I Fall

Director: Ry Russo-Young

Genre: Drama

Rated: 12

Synopsis: Sam is stuck reliving the same day over and over until she can solve the mystery of her death.

  

 

Berlin Syndrome

Director: Cate Shortland

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Rated: 15

Synopsis: A tourist begins a relationship with a schoolteacher who soon reveals an unsettling and dangerous obsession.

 

Bunch Of Kunst

Director: Christine Franz 

Genre: Music, Documentary

Rated: 18

Synopsis: A documentary about the British band, the Sleaford Mods.

 

By The Time It Gets Dark

Director: Anocha Suwichakornpong

Genre: Drama

Rated: 12

Synopsis: The story of the making of a film about a famous writer who, as a student activist, witnessed a massacre in 1976. 

 

Cameraperson

Director: Kirsten Johnson

Genre: Documentary

Rated: 15

Synopsis: Filmmaker, Kirsten Johnson, shares key and insightful moments from her career as a cinematographer.

 

Casting Jonbenet

Director: Kitty Green

Genre: Documentary, Drama

Rated: 15

Synopsis: An exploration of the continued fascination with one of America’s most infamous child murders.

 

David Lynch: The Art Life

Director: Olivia Neergaard-Holm (directed with Jon Nguyen and Rick Barnes)

Genre: Documentary

Rated: 15

Synopsis: Exploring the formative years of director, writer and artist, David Lynch.

 

Destination Unknown

Director: Claire Ferguson

Genre: Documentary

Rated: 12

Synopsis: Survivors of Nazi death camps talk about their experiences and feelings.

  

 

Detroit

Director: Kathryn Bigelow 

Genre: Drama, True Life

Rated: 15

Synopsis: A group of people find themselves in a nightmarish and horrendous situation during the 1967 Detroit riots.  

  

Embrace

Director: Taryn Brumfitt

Genre: Documentary

Rated: 12

Synopsis: Exploring society's worrying obbession with female body image. 

 

First They Killed My Father

Director: Angelina Jolie

Genre: War, Drama, True Life

Rated: 15

Synopsis: The story of Cambodian author and human rights activist, Loung Ung, and her experiences under the regime of the Khmer Rouge. 

 

From The Land Of The Moon

Director: Nicole Garcia

Genre: Romance, Drama

Rated: 15

Synopsis: A married woman is sent to the Alps to treat her kidney stones, where she falls in love with another man.

 

Grace Jones Bloodlight and Bami

Director: Sophie Fiennes

Genre: Documentary, Drama, Music

Rated: 15

Synopsis: A documentary about the life of singer, Grace Jones.

 

Graduation

Director: Cristian Mungiu

Genre: Drama

Rated: 15

Synopsis: A father is faced with challenging decisions when his daughter’s academic future is compromised. 

 

Half Way

Director: Daisy-May Hudson

Genre: Documentary

Rated:

Synopsis: The story of the UK’s hidden homeless, told via the experiences of one family.  

 

 

Heal The Living

Director: Katell Quillévéré

Genre: Drama

Rated: 12

Synopsis: Two strangers become inexorably linked after a fatal car crash

 

Home Again

Director: Hallie Meyers-Shyer

Genre: Romance, Drama, Comedy

Rated: 12

Synopsis: A newly separated woman takes in three young filmmakers as lodgers.

 

I Am Not A Witch

Director: Rungano Nyoni  

Genre: Drama

Rated: 12

Synopsis: A nine-year old Zambian girl is accused of witchcraft and sent to a witch camp.

  

 

In Between

Director: Maysaloun Hamoud

Genre: Drama

Rated: 15

Synopsis: Three Arab-Israeli women, living in a flat in Tel-Aviv, try to find a balance between traditional and modern culture.

  

Kedi

Director: Ceyda Torun

Genre: Documentary

Rated: U

Synopsis: Following the thousands of feral cats living on the streets of Istanbul and the residents who care for them.

 

Letters from Baghdad

Director: Zeva Oelbaum, Sabine Krayenbüehl

Genre: Documentary

Rated: PG

Synopsis: Exploring the life of English writer, traveller, political officer, administrator and archaeologist, Gertrude Bell.

 

Lost In Lebanon

Director: Georgia Scott and Sophia Scott

Genre: Documentary

Rated: 

Synopsis: Four Syrians in Lebanon attempt to rebuild their lives amidst the chaos of war.

 

Lost In Paris

Director: Fiona Gordon and Dominique Abel

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Drama

Rated: 12

Synopsis: A Canadian woman goes to Paris to help her elderly aunt.

 

LoveTrue

Director: Alma Har'el

Genre: Documentary

Rated: 15

Synopsis: Three people from different backgrounds discuss their feelings about love, family and relationships.

 

Maudie

Director: Aisling Walsh

Genre: Drama, True Life

Rated: 12

Synopsis: The life story of Canadian artist, Maud Lewis.

 

Most Beautiful Island

Director: Ana Asensio

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Rated: 18

Synopsis: An illegal immigrant in New York City is drawn into a dangerous game after being offered a lucrative job by a friend.

 

Mudbound

Director: Dee Rees

Genre: Drama

Rated: 15

Synopsis: A woman struggles to raise her kids on her husband’s Mississippi Delta farm when two brothers return from war to work on the land. 

 

My Pure Land

Director: Sarmad Masud

Genre: Drama

Rated: 15

Synopsis: A mother and her two daughters have to defend their home from a relative.

 

On Body And Soul

Director: Ildikó Enyedi

Genre: Romance, Drama

Rated: 18

Synopsis: Love blossoms between two abattoir employees after they discover that they share the same dreams each night.

 

One Of Us

Director: Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing

Genre: Documentary

Rated: 12

Synopsis: Within the insular world of New York’s Haisdic community, three individuals are driven to break away.

 

Primaire / Elementary

Director: Hélène Angel

Genre: Drama

Rated: 12

Synopsis: A primary school teacher is tested by the arrival of a challenging pupil.

  

 

Professor Marston And The Wonder Woman

Director: Angela Robinson

Genre: Drama, True Life

Rated: 15

Synopsis: The story of psychologist William Moulton Marston, the polyamorous relationship between his wife and his mistress, the creation of his beloved comic book character Wonder Woman, and the controversy the comic generated.

 

P.S Jerusalem

Director: Danae Elon

Genre: Documentary

Rated: 

Synopsis: Following a family’s journey to establish themselves in Jerusalem.

 

Raw

Director: Julia Ducournau  

Genre: Drama, Horror

Rated: 18

Synopsis: A young girl’s life is changed forever after an initiation ritual at her vetinary college. 

 

Risk

Director: Laura Poitras

Genre: Documentary

Rated: 15

Synopsis: Following Julian Assange after the Wikileaks release of the Iraq War Logs in 2010 and through his years of refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

 

Rough Night

Director: Lucia Aniello

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Rated: 15

Synopsis: A wild hen party goes fatally wrong.

 

School Life

Director: Neasa Ní Chianáin (co-directed by David Rane)

Genre: Documentary

Rated: 12

Synopsis: The story of the teachers and pupils at a boarding school in Ireland.

 

Step 

Director: Amanda Lipitz

Genre: Documentary

Rated: PG

Synopsis: Following several members of a high school girls dance team.

 

The Bad Batch

Director: Ana Lily Amirpour

Genre: Science Fiction, Drama

Rated: 15

Synopsis: A young woman struggles to survive after being cast out into a landscape of cannibals and scavengers. 

 

The Beguiled

Director: Sofia Coppola

Genre: Thriller, Drama

Rated: 15

Synopsis: In Virginia during the American Civil War, a girl takes a wounded Union Soldier back to her school for girls. 

 

The Bye Bye Man

Director: Stacy Title

Genre: Horror

Rated: 15

Synopsis: A group of students accidentally unleash a terrifying supernatural entity.

 

The Fits

Director: Anna Rose Holmer

Genre: Drama

Rated: 12

Synopsis: A young girl joins a competitive dance team just as the girls fall victim to strange fainting fits.

 

Their Finest

Director: Lone Scherfig

Genre: Romance, Drama, Comedy

Rated: 12

Synopsis: A writing team is tasked with making morale-boosting propaganda films during World War 2.

 

The Levelling

Director: Hope Dickson Leach

Genre: Drama

Rated: 15

Synopsis: A trainee vet returns to her family’s farm after the suspicious death of her brother.

 

The Love Witch

Director: Anna Biller

Genre: Drama, Comedy, Horror

Rated: 15

Synopsis: A woman uses her magical potions and spells to try to find love.

 

The Party

Director: Sally Potter 

Genre: Drama, Comedy

Rated: 15

Synopsis: A civilised dinner party descends into chaos.

 

The Reagan Show

Director: Sierra Pettengill (co-directed with Pacho Velez)

Genre: Documentary

Rated: PG

Synopsis: A documentary about former US President Ronald Reagan.

 

The Zookeeper’s Wife

Director: Niki Caro

Genre: Drama, True Life

Rated: 12

Synopsis: Poland, 1939 - a couple join the Resistance and use their zoo to rescue people from the Warsaw Ghetto.

 

Through The Wall

Director: Rama Burshtein

Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy

Rated: U

Synopsis: After splitting up with her fiance on the eve of her wedding, an Israeli woman is determined to find a replacement husband. 

 

Tickling Giants

Director: Sara Taksler

Genre: Documentary

Rated: 

Synopsis: During the Egyptian revolution of 2011, surgeon turned comedian Bassem Youssef airs a television show that makes him popular with his countrymen but disliked by the government.

 

To The Bone

Director: Marti Noxon

Genre: Drama

Rated: 15

Synopsis: A young woman struggles with anorexia.

 

 

Toni Erdmann

Director: Maren Ade 

Genre: Drama, Comedy

Rated: 15

Synopsis: A father tries increasingly bizarre ways to reconnect with his daughter.

 

Uncertain

Director: Anna Sandilands (co-directed by Ewan McNicol)

Genre: Documentary

Rated:

Synopsis: A portrait of life in the Texan town of Uncertain.

 

Underworld: Blood Wars

Director: Anna Foerster

Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Action

Rated: 15

Synopsis: A vampire attempts to end the war between two clans.

 

Unforgettable

Director: Denise Di Nova

Genre: Thriller, Drama

Rated: 15

Synopsis: A woman tries to destroy the life of her ex-husband’s new fiancee.

 

Unrest

Director: Jennifer Brea

Genre: Documentary

Rated: 12

Synopsis: A woman documents her battle with chronic fatigue syndrome.

 

Viceroy’s House

Director: Gurinder Chadha

Genre: Drama, True Life

Rated: 12

Synopsis: Exploring Lord Mountbatten’s time as Viceroy of India.

 

Wonder Woman

Director: Patty Jenkins

Genre: Fantasy, Drama, Action

Rated: 12

Synopsis: A warrior princess leaves her idyllic home to bring an end to war. 

 

Who Are Your Favourite Female Film Directors?

Who are you favourite female directors? Have I missed anyone off my list? 

 

Do let me know in the comments section below or over on Facebook or Twitter (@500DaysOfFilm).

Write a comment

Comments: 1
  • #1

    Wendell Ottley (Sunday, 12 November 2017 20:58)

    Sadly, I've seen a couple of these. A handful more were already on my radar and I plan on watching those soon. Thanks for letting me know about the rest.