18* Upcoming Films by Female Directors
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18* Upcoming Films by Female Directors

By Cindy Davis | Seriously Random Lists | January 24, 2013 | Comments ()


A new study commissioned by the Sundance Institute and Women in Film set out to determine whether a gender gap still exists among directors of independent film, and to no one's surprise, the menfolk still reign supreme. But, we shall not fret. Rather than focus on folly, let us take note: women came out in force at Sundance this year; approximately half the dramatic film line-up featured female directors. We've still a long road to equality, but these ladies are busting down the boy's club doors.

*Technically, 17 films and one series.

(Several of the Sundance videos feature the directors/actors giving more information about each film.)

1. Anne Fontaine (My Worst Nightmare, Coco Before Chanel)


Currently premiering: Two Mothers at Sundance; starring Naomi Watts, Robin Wright and Ben Mendelsohn . Lifelong friends fall for each others' sons.

2. Sally Potter (Orlando, Rage)


Upcoming: Ginger & Rosa at the London Film Festival; starring Christina Hendricks, Elle Fanning, Annette Bening, Timothy Spall, Oliver Platt and Alice Englert. Set in 1960s London, a friendship between two teenaged girls is tested by the events that shape their lives. March 15, 2013.

3. Stacie Passon


Premiering : Concussion at Sundance; Robin Weigert, Maggie Siff and Johnathan Tchaikovsky. Wealthy suburban housewife begins living a double life.

4. Liz W. Garcia


Premiering: The Lifeguard at Sundance; starring Kristen Bell, Mamie Gummar, John Finn and Lisa Ann Goldsmith. A 30 year old reporter quits her job, goes back to cougartown her hometown and gets involved with a 16 year old.

5. Lynn Shelton (Your Sister's Sister, Humpday)


Premiering: Touchy Feely at Sundance; starring Rosemarie DeWitt, Hans Altwies, Kate Bayley and Alycia Delmore. A massage therapist and her dentist brother each experience mysterious changes to their practices.

6. Jerusha Hess


Premiering: Austenland at Sundance; starring Keri Russell, JJ Feild, James Callis, Jane Seymour and Jennifer Coolidge. Keri Russell is an American so fascinated by a BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, she travels to "Austenland," a theme park for those who share her obsession.

7. Lake Bell


Premiering: In a World at Sundance; starring Lake Bell, Fred Melamed, Demetri Martin, Nick Offerman, Gina Davis. Bell stars as a vocal coach who sets out to outdo her "king-of-movie-trailers father," and become a voiceover star.

8. Francesca Gregorini (Tanner Hall)


Currently premiering: Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes at Sundance; starring Jessica Biel, Kaya Scodelario and Frances O'Connor. A "troubled" girl becomes entranced with a new neighbor who looks like her dead mother.

9. Jill Soloway (Valencia)


Premiering: Afternoon Delight at Sundance; starring Juno Temple, Josh Radnor, Kathryn Hahn and Jane Lynch. A bored housewife thinks she can save a stripper by hiring the girl on as a nanny.

10. Jane Campion (Bright Star, In the Cut, Holy Smoke, The Piano)


Premiering: "Top of the Lake" (Seven Part Series) at Sundance; starring Elizabeth Moss, Holly Hunter, Cohen Holloway and Peter Mullan. Moss plays a detective investigating a missing pregnant 12 year old girl.

11. Susanne Bier (In a Better World, Things We Lost in the Fire, After the Wedding)



Upcoming: Serena, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Rhys Ifans, Toby Jones. Adaptation of the Ron Rash novel, Lawrence and Cooper play Serena and George, newlyweds who start a timber company in 1930s North Carolina. Serena proves to be ruthless, powerful, and perhaps even murderous when she finds she cannot bear a child. Release date tba, 2013.

12. Kimberly Peirce (Stop-Loss, Boys Don't Cry)


Upcoming: Carrie, starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore and Judy Greer. Update/Remake of the Stephen King novel. October 18, 2013.

13. Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin, Morvern Callar)



Upcoming: Jane Got a Gun, starring Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman and Joel Edgerton. In this Western/Drama, Jane (Portman) needs help defending her farm home and critically injured husband (Edgerton) against a gang. Who you gonna call? (Fassbender) Release date tba, 2014.

14. Kelly Reichardt (Meek's Cutoff, Wendy and Lucy)

Kelly Reichardt.jpg


Upcoming: Night Moves, starring Dakota Fanning, Jesse Eisenberg and Peter Sarsgaard. Environmental terrorists plan to blow up a hydroelectric dam. September 20, 2013.

15. Nicole Holofcener (Friends with Money, Lovely and Amazing)



Upcoming: Untitled..., starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener, Toni Collette, Rob Mayes and Ben Falcone. New friends, new guy...is new friend's old guy. Got it? Release date tba, 2013.

16. Sandra Nettelbeck (Helen, Mostly Martha)



Upcoming: Mr. Morgan's Last Love, starring Gillian Anderson, Michael Caine and Clémence Poésy. Adaptation of Francoise Dorner's La Douceur Assassine; a widowed professor (Caine) falls for a young French woman (Poésy). Release date tba, 2013.

17. Cate Shortland (Somersault)


Upcoming: Lore, starring Saskia Rosendahl, Nele Trebs, André Frid. Selected as the Australian entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar (not chosen for the shortlist). A story of family, set against the backdrop of the end of WWII. February 8, 2013.

18. Sofia Coppola (Somewhere, Marie Antoinette, Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides)


Upcoming: The Bling Ring, starring Emma Watson, Leslie Mann, Taissa Farmiga and Gavin Rossdale. Celebrity obsessed group of teens find the homes of their favorite celebs, and rob them. Based on true events. Release date tba, 2013.

Cindy Davis, (Twitter)

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Daniel Valentin

    Mr. Morgan's Last Love I'm gonna see the day it comes out. The idea of Michael Caine finding romance with a younger lover, for some reason, sparks the feels in me.

  • Daniel Valentin

    Am I the only one who chuckled at reading the plot of Anne Fontaine's next movie and realizing the plot's already done before and way better?


  • MrPA

    <3 Touchy Feely <3

  • Withnails

    I will leave this message until a site administrator sees and responds.

    your fucking website pop-up ads fucking SUCK. I can't move my mouse anywhere without pop-up videos. Get a new Advertiser!

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    Wow, look at these casts, this is such a breakthrough for white people!

    2014, please.

  • Kirstini

    Typo: Lore is Austrian, not Australian. Ginger and Rosa looks great, but those are some slippery 'English' accents.

  • Less Lee Moore

    The press release for LORE confirms it is Australian.

  • John W

    If you haven't seen "We Need to Talk About Kevin" I highly recommend it.

  • John W

    Did Sarah Polley not have anything at Sundance?

  • Nope.

  • Less Lee Moore

    Not true. Stories We Tell played there.

  • John W


  • csb

    Two Mothers... Lifelong friends fall for each others’ sons.


  • e jerry powell

    Pretty much.

  • e jerry powell

    Now I'm wishing that Grigorini and Alexandra Hedison would hook up and do something maybe a little mean to Portia de Rossi like I wish Linda Hamilton and Kathryn Bigelow would join forces and decimate James Cameron.

  • JJ

    'White' female directors, which, if you are are celebrating increasing diversity in film production, is meaningful too.

  • e jerry powell

    Seems that most of the black female directors screening at Sundance this year are in the documentary competition.

    Come to think of it, how long has it been since Kasi Lemmons put anything out there?

    Oops. Spoke too soon. She's in preproduction for a 2014 project. A Langston Hughes gospel musical, no less.

  • Chalaohp

    What about "il Futuro" directed by Alicia Sherson. It's going to be gooooood!!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

  • lowercase_ryan

    This really is so cool. I would like to see them all now please.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Not only do about 75% of these upcoming projects look interesting, the catalog of these women consists of mostly excellent films. Or maybe I only think that 'cuz I'm wommenfolk.

  • Bedewcrock

    So many things.........
    1. This post makes me extra happy.
    2. Is that Tig Notaro and Rob Corddry almost kissing?? Any Tig, anywhere, makes me all aflutter.
    3. I can't wait for The Bling Ring since I watched that weird reality TV show Pretty Wild on E! about those girls when one of them was arrested in the middle of the show. Very weird melding of fake reality and real I'm-getting-arrested-for-stealing-Paris-Hilton's-handbag reality.
    4. Sadly, anything Jessica Biel is in.....anyone remember Summer Catch? That's what I expect every one of her movies to be like. I'm sorry, Jessica, I tried.

  • lowercase_ryan

    It IS Tig Notaro and Rob Corddry!! Nice eye.

  • A lot of films to look forward to (and, embarrassingly for me, to catch up on).

  • zeke_the_pig

    Might just be my own personal perversion, but not much turns me on as much as a woman director. Apart from a stripper obviously. Or maybe a combination of the two.

  • Groundloop

    So would that be a woman standing on stage, looking at a video monitor, calling "Action" and telling you to take it off while she bumps and grinds to the strains of Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight"?

    I can dig it.

  • zeke_the_pig

    Very close. Home Sweet Home by Motley Crue. But otherwise spot on.

  • Groundloop

    I'd support that change. After all, when it comes to soundtracks for The Five Dollar Ballet™, both of those songs are evergreen.

  • Artemis

    This makes me really happy. And look at how many of them have major roles for female actresses! It's almost like having more female directors in Hollywood broadens the types of stories that get told...

  • Pants-are-a-must

    I haven't been able to take Jane Campion seriously since Kate Winslet's story about her (and Harvey Keitel).

  • janetfaust

    Go on....

  • Sara_Tonin00


  • Pants-are-a-must

    Clearly embeding doesn't work here, so here is the link to the story: http://youtu.be/6mPW-tUPJU8

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