This month’s VOD and web series picks are projects driven by the evocative experiences and masterful talents of women.
Available on VOD are works that dive head-first into the depths of women’s struggles. The documentary “UDITA” follows five years in the lives of unionized women who helped instigate a fight for better working conditions for garment workers in Bangladesh. In “The Last Survivors,” a young woman struggles to protect her people in a post-apocalyptic desert landscape.
Our web series picks are lighter, propelled by the wit and humor of accomplished comedians paving the way for female artists online. “SHAM” is a series about two thirty-year-olds planning a fake wedding neither bride nor groom are interested in. “Reasons I Don’t Have a Boyfriend” follows two best friends as they support one another through dreaded dating exploits. “Livin’ The Dream” explores the life of a creatively frustrated filmmaker who can’t seem to make it big after film school.
Here are a few new women-centric titles for you to enjoy online this month.
The “UDITA” team describes their documentary on their website as “a powerful firsthand account of the struggle of female garment workers for better working conditions in Bangladesh. ‘UDITA’ tells this story of progress from the point of view of the workers themselves, as well as their union and its leaders.” The film provides profoundly thought-provoking insight into the exploitative world of “fast fashion” and the devastating effects of Western consumerism on the lives of abused women workers.The production company behind the film’s creation, Rainbow Collective, has made the film available to watch for free on YouTube in celebration of International Workers’ Day.
“The Last Survivors” is a film that follows 17-year-old Kendal (Haley Lu Richardson) across a desert landscape in a fight against greedy water baron Carson (Jon Gries), a patriarchal figure who lays claim to what little of the invaluable resource remains left. Following in the footsteps of kick-ass, post-apocalyptic female protagonists such as Tank Girl (“Tank Girl”) and Furiosa (“Mad Max: Fury Road”), Kendal must rally together a group of desperate survivors and battle for her stake in a new world. It’s enough to make her predecessors proud.
“Sham” follows the story of Lizzy and Tim, two just-turned-30-year-olds who, following through on a flippant pact made in their twenties, are now forcing themselves to get hitched lest they end up alone. The web series, created by Brooklyn-based comedian Lizzy Bryce, takes a satirical stab at contemporary (Western) culture’s obsession with getting married — or rather, the sugar-coated notion of the big, white wedding, complete with its hetero-inspired “happily ever after.”
For anyone who’s ever been asked those dreaded (and presumptuous) questions about your dating life, “Reasons I Don’t Have a Boyfriend” is a comedic web series created by Molly McQueen and Caitlin Harris that playfully highlights the sexist notions surrounding what women “should” or “should not” do to bag themselves a bachelor. With female friendship at the fore, the series explores the minefields of modern dating and the pressures often placed on women to find a soul mate.
Inspired by their own experiences working within a predominantly male entertainment industry, the Spurlock sisters created “Livin’ The Dream,” a web series that follows colorful Kit Scanlon (Laura Campbell), a 40-something woman desperately trying to make it as a filmmaker. Following her success at film school, Kit now fears that she has hit a wall and faces the possibility that she might not become the admired indie director she always aspired to be. The series explores the hardships of being a talented woman forced to navigate through the difficulties of the male-dominated entertainment world.