Films Directed by Women at NYFF

Women In Film is pleased to present this list of films directed by women at 2016’s New York Film Festival (running 9/30-10/16). Ava DuVernay’s THE 13TH, will break ground as the first documentary to open the festival. In addition to showing these thirty films by women, New York Film Festival also supports director Alice Rohrwacher as their 2016 filmmaker in residence.

Scroll down to learn more about the films, and click the titles to purchase tickets. If you are in New York this fall, this is a great way to support female filmmakers (and add to your list of #52FilmsByWomen)!

 

The 13TH

The 13TH

Directed by Ava DuVernay

Main Slate

Ava DuVernay’s extraordinary and galvanizing nonfiction film refers to the loophole in the 13th Amendment that allowed for a progression from slavery to the horrors of mass incarceration and the prison industry. The director lays this out with a bracing lucidity that makes for a work of grand historical synthesis and an overwhelming emotional experience. To quote Woodrow Wilson on another movie, it’s like writing history with lightning.

 

 Certain Women

Certain Women

Directed by Kelly Reichardt

Main Slate

Adapting short stories by Maile Meloy, Kelly Reichardt constructs a lean triptych of subtly intersecting lives in Montana, starring Laura Dern, Michelle Williams and Kristen Stewart. Shooting on 16mm, Reichardt creates understated, uncannily intimate dramas nestled within a clear-eyed depiction of the modern American West.

 

 The Rehearsal

The Rehearsal

Directed by Alison Maclean

Main Slate

Alison Maclean (Jesus’ Son) returns to her New Zealand filmmaking roots with a multilayered coming-of-age story about a young actor searching for the truth of a character he’s playing onstage and the resulting moral dilemma in his personal life.

 

 Things to Come

Things to Come

Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve

Main Slate

The new film from Mia Hansen-Løve (Eden) is an exquisite expression of time’s passing. Isabelle Huppert is Nathalie, a Parisian professor of philosophy who comes to realize that the tectonic plates of her existence are slowly but inexorably shifting. Huppert’s remarkable performance is counterpointed by the quietly accumulating force of the action.

 

 Toni Erdmann

Toni Erdmann

Directed by Maren Ade

Main Slate

An audacious twist on the screwball comedy, in which the twosome is an aging-hippie prankster father and his corporate-ladder-climbing daughter, Toni Erdmann delivers art and entertainment in equal measure and charmed just about everyone who saw it at the Cannes Film Festival this year.

 

 Dobro

Dobro

Directed by Marta Hernaiz Pidal

Shorts

Selma is determined to get rid of the Romani woman sitting on her apartment’s entrance steps.

 

 And The Whole Sky Fit In The Dead Cow’s Eye

And The Whole Sky Fit In The Dead Cow’s Eye

Directed by Francisca Alegria

Shorts

Emeteria is visited by a ghost she believes has come to take her to the afterlife. But he has more devastating news.

 

 What Happened to Her

What Happened to Her

Directed by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan

Shorts

A biting, beautifully gruesome exploration of female corpses, as portrayed nude on screen.

 

 Kitty

Kitty

Directed by Chloë Sevigny

Shorts

Sevigny’s highly anticipated directorial debut is an adaptation of a Paul Bowles short story, a hypnotic and ethereal fairy tale for today about a young girl’s feline reveries.

 

 This Castle Keep

This Castle Keep

Directed by Gina Telaroli

Shorts

The shapeshifting latest from the multi-hyphenate Telaroli is a moving elegy for that which gets lost over the years in a changing city.

 

 Brillo Box

Brillo Box

Directed by Lisanne Skyler

Shorts

Andy Warhol’s Brillo Box sculpture makes its way from a family’s living room to a record-breaking Christie’s auction in this exploration of how we navigate the ephemeral nature of value.

 

 Everything Else

Everything Else

Directed by Natalia Almada

Explorations

In her empathetic first fiction feature, documentarian Natalia Almada focuses on a Mexico City government clerk (Oscar nominee Adriana Barraza) all but dehumanized by 35 years of bureaucratic servitude.

 

 Regal

Regal

Directed by Karissa Hahn

Projections

An old Regal Cinemas pre-show animation is further degraded as it’s run through a ringer of format transfers, each layer representing a different viewing space.

 

 See a Dog, Hear a Dog

See a Dog, Hear a Dog

Directed by Jesse McLean

Projections

This tragicomic analysis of communication between humans, animals, and machines was made with original video footage, computer animations, and internet media, including YouTube dog videos, chatbot dialogue windows, and images from iTunes visualizer.

 

 Burning Mountains That Spew Flame

Burning Mountains That Spew Flame

Directed by Helena Girón and Samuel Delgado

Projections

Scientific claims made by 17th-century Jesuit polymath Athanasius Kircher and political ones made by the Invisible Committee are examined in this journey into the volcanoes of Lanzarote.

 

 Bending to Earth

Bending to Earth

Directed by Rosa Barba

Projections

Helicopter shots circle variously colored shapes carved into desert landscapes. We discover these manmade inscriptions are storage cells for radioactive material designed to eventually return to the soil.

 

 Bad Mama, Who Cares

Bad Mama, Who Cares

Directed by Brigid McCaffrey

Projections

A portrait of geologist Ren Lallatin, who inhabits the blazing heat of the Mojave desert, this structural-lyrical landscape film is shot on richly tinted film.

 

 The Illinois Parables

The Illinois Parables

Directed by Deborah Stratman

Projections

Eleven episodes from the history of Illinois stand in for the United States at large. Working in her essayistic, political mode, Deborah Stratman synthesizes an array of materials into a rigorous yet playful consideration of the catastrophe of the state and the resilience of those who make up the nation.

 

 Flowers of the Sky

Flowers of the Sky

Directed by Janie Geiser

Projections

Named after a medieval term for comets, Flowers of the Skyfinds a seemingly infinite number of ways of looking at and into two mid-century postcards depicting the Freemasonic Order of the Eastern Star, using a macro lens and a variety of printing and masking techniques.

 

 Answer Print

Answer Print

Directed by Mónica Savirón

Projections

Answer Print is assembled with pieces of deteriorating 16mm color stock. Not only the images themselves but also the world that produced them and which they reproduce—here suspended in the red aspic of faded color dye—threatens to disappear.

 

 Athyrium filix-femina

Athyrium filix-femina

Directed by Kelly Egan

Projections

This homage to botanist and photography pioneer Anna Atkins was made in cyanotype photograms and reanimated film stills on stock exposed in the sun. Handcrafted with historically domestic, feminine tools, it’s structured as a narrative in quilting patterns.

 

 Spotlight on a Brick Wall

Spotlight on a Brick Wall

Directed by Alee Peoples and Mike Stoltz

Projections

An abstracted nightclub performance, its constituent parts—stand-up comedy, a capella, a laconic bass-and-drum rock duo, a slapstick mime—wrenched apart and recombined.

 

 Há Terra!

Há Terra!

Directed by Ana Vaz

Projections

The camera jerks quickly across a field in the Brazilian Sertão, homing in on a young Maroon woman crouching in the tall grass. A hand feels around in the brush, caressing the earth. From these two images, Ana Vaz’s film proceeds on tracks that neither fully merge nor completely diverge, expressing the incommensurability of filmmaker and subject.

 

 An Aviation Field

An Aviation Field

Directed by Joana Pimenta

Projections

Using warm, darkly saturated 16mm images shot on the volcanic island of Fogo, Cape Verde, and in modernist Brasilia, and sounds that range between trebly crackle and aquatic gurgle, Pimenta constructs a surreal and mythical landscape from the remnants of Portuguese colonialism.

 

 Electrical Gaza

Electrical Gaza

Directed by Rosalind Nashashibi

Projections

Commissioned by London’s Imperial War Museum, Electrical Gaza combines vérité documentary scenes of public life in Gaza shot by Nashashibi in 2014, portraits of her crew, and uncanny, painterly computer animations modeled from the footage, rendering it unreal—as the Israeli government would claim and Palestinians would like to make it.

 

 Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds

Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds

Directed by Alexis Bloom

Spotlight on Documentary

Unlike today’s newly minted celebrities, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds are open books. Bright Lights is an affectionate, often hilarious and unexpectedly moving valentine to the mother-daughter act to end all mother-daughter acts.

 

 The Cinema Travellers

The Cinema Travellers

Directed by Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya

Spotlight on Documentary

A colorful, five-years-in-the-making documentary about two itinerant film projectionists in the Central Eastern Indian province of Maharashtra, this is a melancholy but joyful experience, about the wonder of still images coming to life at 24 frames per second.

 

 Karl Marx City

Karl Marx City

Directed by Petra Epperlein, Michael Tucker

Spotlight on Documentary

The filmmaking team of Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker turn their attention to the former East Germany of Epperlein’s childhood, and specifically to the possibility that her father might have been one of the many thousands of citizens recruited as informers by the Stasi.

 

 Patria O Muerte: Cuba, Fatherland or Death

Patria O Muerte: Cuba, Fatherland or Death

Directed by Olatz López Garmendia

Spotlight on Documentary

Olatz López Garmendia’s film is a sharp, vivid portrait of Cuba as it is right now, on the verge of change, seen through the eyes of citizens who are struggling to live freely.

 

 Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan

Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan

Directed by Linda Saffire, Adam Schlesinger

Spotlight on Documentary

The extraordinary Wendy Whelan, principal dancer at New York City Ballet for 23 years, is followed throughout a passage of life that all dancers must face, when she must confront the limits of her own body and adapt to a different relationship with the art form she loves so madly.