Back to IndieWire

Weekly Update for August 1: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Weekly Update for August 1: Women Centric, Directed and Written Films Playing Near You

Films About Women Opening

Around the Block — Written and Directed by Sarah Spillane

Writer-director Sarah Spillane explores Australian racism today in Around the Block, a drama about an American teacher trying to do right by her minority students. In my review for the LA Times, I wrote: “Christina Ricci stars as Dino, a California expat in Sydney mounting a stage production of Hamlet starring her 11th-grade class. Because her students are Maori, Lebanese and several other ethnicities disfavored by mainstream Australian society, Dino is met with skepticism from the administration and her Aussie boyfriend (Daniel Henshall). Her secret weapon is her lead actor Liam (Hunter Page-Lochard), a dreamy, lanky truant with an imprisoned white father (Matt Nable), an unemployed Aboriginal mother (Ursula Yovich), and fluency in iambic pentameter.” (Inkoo Kang)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Sarah Spillane about Around the Block.

War Story — Co-Written by Kristin Gore

A battle-scarred photojournalist (Catherine Keener) risks her life to rescue a young refugee in this gripping, ripped-from-the-headlines thriller. Sir Ben Kingsley also stars. (IFC Films)

Films About Women Currently Playing

Very Good Girls – Written and Directed by Naomi Foner
Happy Christmas
A Five Star Life – Directed by Maria Sole Tognazzi; Co-Written by Francesca Marciano and Maria Sole Tognazzi
Tammy – Co-Written by Melissa McCarthy
Belle – Directed by Amma Asante; Written by Misan Sagay
Obvious Child – Written and Directed by Gillian Robespierre
The Fault in Our Stars 
Maleficent – Written by Linda Woolverton
We Are the Best!
Under the Skin

Films Directed by Women Opening

Rich Hill (doc) — Co-Directed by Tracy Droz Tragos

“People expect me to have a better future than I do. I don’t know what to do anymore.” So declares a twelve-year-old boy less than five minutes into this film, and at once we are ruthlessly pulled into a place that is both a trap and a home. Set in the small town of Rich Hill, Missouri, a once prosperous community turned to rubble, Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Troz Palermo’s Sundance award-winning documentary follows the daily lives of three boys and their families — Andrew, Harley, and Appachey — all of them suffering from the staggering effects of poverty. In this section of America’s agricultural heartland, buildings crumble and low income is commonplace. With a population of 1,393, Rich Hill is a town where families struggle to keep roofs over their heads, a mother waits out a prison sentence after an astounding failure of the justice system, and single parents struggle to sustain themselves. Yet despite the seemingly unending hardships, the boys nurture their dreams of the future while navigating the fragile tightrope of adolescence in a birthplace where survival is uncertain from day to day. Captured with unflinching honesty, Rich Hill is both a heartbreaking coming-of-age saga and a searing revelation of a wrenching aspect of rural life, illuminating the faces behind the statistics of poverty and making their voices heard. (Kelcie Mattson)

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with co-director Tracy Droz Tragos about Rich Hill.

Raw Cut — Directed by Zoe Quist

When Adam Cohen invites his best college friends, Jack and Amanda, to his new Wyoming home for a week’s getaway to meet his new fiancée, Stephanie, the two couples get much more than the peace and solitude they were hoping for. Stephanie asks for help with her thesis film, a ‘found footage’ piece. The friends are going to play-act a traditional horror story: two ingénues are stalked and murdered by two crazed hillbillies. But who is stalking whom? How far are we willing to go for our art? How much will people take before they burst? Raw Cut explores the meta world between found footage and reality. What starts as a traditional horror film turns into something far darker, more suspenseful. How well do any of the friends really know each other? And who will survive the cut? (Lock & Monkey Productions)

Read director Zoe Quist’s guest post on her journey to making her film.

Films Directed by Women Currently Playing

Step Up All In – Directed by Trish Sie
Land Ho! – Co-Directed by Martha Stephens
Citizen Koch (doc) – Co-Directed by Tia Lessin
Fed Up (doc) – Co-Written and Directed by Stephanie Soechtig

Films Written by Women Opening

Guardians of the Galaxy — Co-Written by Nicole Perlman

An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits — Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon; Groot, a tree-like humanoid; the deadly and enigmatic Gamora; and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand–with the galaxy’s fate in the balance. (

Films Written by Women Currently Playing

Sex Tape – Co-Written by Kate Angelo
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Co-Written by Amanda Silver


The Amazing Catfish – Written and Directed by Claudia Sainte-Luce
It Felt Like Love – Written and Directed by Eliza Hittman
On My Way – Directed and Co-Written by Emmanuelle Bercot
The Other Woman – Written by Melissa Stack
Finding Vivian Maier (doc)
Breastmilk (doc) – Directed by Dana Ben-Ari
Mining for Ruby – Directed by Zoe Quist

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Features and tagged