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  • Writer's pictureEllen Cheshire

#52FilmsByWomen - 4th Year of films Directed by Women

Updated: May 5, 2023

The #52FilmsByWomen pledge was started in 2015 by Los Angeles’ Women in Film, an organisation dedicated to promoting equal opportunities for women in the film industry. Encouraging filmgoers to watch at least 52 films a year directed by a women, and to tweet using hashtag #52FilmsByWomen. This was one of the initiatives to raise the profile of women in film which I wrote about for an article in Chichester Cinema at New Park's Ruby Anniversary maagazine.

In my 3rd year I finished a few weeks ahead of schedule, but each year it is getting easier to find films to watch, so this year I have now seen 52 films directed by women a few months ahead of schedule. (However, it should be noted that I don't keep a track of all films I watch - so it would be interesting to note what percentage of films I watch each year are directed by women/men - perhaps something for 'Year 5'.)

Read blogs for Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3.

There were three revisits...

The Producers (2005, Susan Stroman) I watched in preparation for a round in a Musical themed Film Quiz (we won!). Bride and Prejudice (2004, Gurinder Chadha) I watched to get me in the mood for her 2019 release, Blinded by the Light. Yentl (1983, Barbra Streisand) I watched after listening to an interesting BBC Film Programme special on the film - listen here.

As for new releases it was once again thanks to Chichester Cinema at New Park’s Film Festival in August that I saw a number of features and documentaries directed by women. This year I saw The Conductor (2018, Maria Peters), Phoenix (2018, Camilla Strom Henriksen), Kings (2018, Deniz Gamze Erguven) and Blue Note Records: Beyond The Notes (2018, Sophie Hubert). I had been particularly looking forward to see Deniz Gamze Erguven's Kings, as I had so liked her debut Mustang, which I wrote about for #DirectedbyWomen's Crucial 21st Century Cinema blog.

Outside of the Film Festival I managed to see 5 new releases in cinemas (Mary Queen of Scots, Capernaum, Captain Marvel, Blinded by the Light and For Sama) and one classic film (Unrelated) at the BFI Southbank. The rest at home, and a fair few were thanks to Netflix.

Classics from the past included a number of late 20s/early 30s films from Dorothy Davenport aka Mrs Wallace Reid which I watched as part of research I did for an essay in the BFI's Box Set of Early Women Filmmakers. Then a couple decades jump to Ida Lupino's The Bigamist (1953), and then two from the 80s - Documenteur (1981, Agnès Varda) and Yentl (1983, Barbra Streisand). I spoke about Ida Lupino as part of the Perfect Night In podcast, which you can hear/watch here.

In the documentary field I was very taken with Faces Places (2017, Agnès Varda and JR) and For Sama (2019, Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts).

Of the films new to me this year, my top five (in no particular order) would be…

In a World... (2013, Lake Bell)

Learning to Drive (2014, Isabel Coixet)

Unrelated (2007, Joanna Hogg)

For Sama (2019, Waad al-Kateab/Edward Watts)

Phoenix (2018, Camilla Strom Henriksen)

And here’s the full list…

157. Bird Box (2018, Susanne Bier)

158. Leave No Trace (2018, Debra Granik)

159. Christmas in Mississippi (2017, Emily Moss Wilson)

160. A Christmas Contract (2018, Monika Mitchell)

161. The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018, Desiree Akhavan)

162. Set it Up (2018, Claire Scanlon)

163. To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018, Susan Johnson)

164. Mary Queen of Scots (2018, Josie Rourke)

165. Battle of the Sexes (2017, Valerie Faris & Jonathan Dayton)

166. Private Life (2018, Tamara Jenkins)

167. Jupiter Ascending (2015, The Wachowskis)

168. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018, Marielle Heller)

169. Capernaum (2018, Nadine Labaki)

170. The Producers (2005, Susan Stroman)

171. Captain Marvel (2019, Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck)

172. The Intern (2015, Nancy Meyers)

173. The Bookshop (2017, Isabel Coixet)

174. Faces Places (2017, Agnès Varda and JR)

175. Dumplin' (2018, Anne Fletcher)

176. Linda (1928, Mrs Wallace Reid)

177. Sucker Money (1933, Dorothy Davenport & Melville Shyer)

178. The Red Kimona (1925, Walter Lang & Dorothy Davenport aka Mrs Wallace Reid)

179. Detroit (2017, Kathryn Bigelow)

180. The Woman Condemned (1934, Mrs Wallace Reid)

181. The Tempest (2010, Julie Taymor)

182. Yes I Do (2018, Christie Will Wolf)

183. Home Again (2017, Hallie Meyers-Shyer)

184. Get a Clue (2002, Maggie Greenwald)

185. The Road to Ruin (1934, Mrs Wallace Reid & and Melville Shyer)

186. Raw (2017, Julia Ducournau)

187. Unicorn Store (2017, Brie Larson)

188. The Levelling (2016, Hope Dickson Leach)

189. Documenteur (1981, Agnès Varda)

190. The Rehearsal (2016, Alison Maclean)

191. Whisky Galore! (2016, Gillies MacKinnon)

192. Wine Country (2019, Amy Poehler)

193. A Vigilante (2018, Sarah Daggar-Nickson)

194. The Bigamist (1953, Ida Lupino)

195. Always Be My Maybe (2019, Nahnatchka Khan)

196. Learning to Drive (2014. Isabel Coixet)

197. Bride and Prejudice (2004, Gurinder Chadha)

198. The Conductor (2018, Maria Peters)

199. Blinded by the Light (2019, Gurinder Chadha)

200. Phoenix (2018, Camilla Strom Henriksen)

201. Kings (2018, Deniz Gamze Erguven)

202. Yentl (1983, Barbra Streisand)

203. Unrelated (2007, Joanna Hogg)

204. Blue Note Records: Beyond The Notes (2018, Sophie Hubert)

205. For Sama (2019, Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts)

206. Out of Blue (2019, Carol Morley)

207. Rough Night (2017, Lucia Aniello)

208. In a World... (2013, Lake Bell)

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