March 8, 2022
This International Women’s Day, WIF once again encourages you to take on the #52FilmsByWomen challenge. Introduced a few years ago, the basic rules are simple: watch 52 films directed by women within the course of one year. Share about the films you’re watching on social media, using the hashtag #52FilmsByWomen to spread the word, and get more people talking about the women filmmakers that don’t always get attention. You can even browse cinephiles’ lists that they’ve made on Letterboxd, and create your own! Here’s a sample schedule you could follow to watch #52FilmsByWomen before International Women’s Day 2023—this list includes new releases, notable anniversaries, and recent films you may have missed. Let us know what’s on your list on Twitter and Instagram!
- Turning Red, directed by Domee Shi
The first Pixar feature to have a woman holding sole directing credit, this animated film about a Chinese-Canadian teenager who transforms into a giant red panda during puberty debuts on Disney+ on March 11, 2022.
- Rescued by Ruby, directed by Katt Shea
This family-friendly feature debuts on Netflix on March 17, 2022.
- Alice, directed by Krystin Ver Linden
Debuting in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, this shocking feature inspired by true events stars Keke Palmer as a woman who escapes slavery to discover that the year is 1973. A theatrical release is scheduled for March 18, 2022.
- Cheaper by the Dozen, directed by Gail Lerner
A new take on the family favorite starring Gabrielle Union, this film debuts on Disney+ on March 18, 2022.
- Master, directed by Mariama Diallo
Another star of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at Sundance, this insidious academia-set film stars Regina Hall and debuts on Prime Video on March 18, 2022.
- Umma, directed by Iris K. Shim
This supernatural horror film boasts Sandra Oh as its star and Sam Raimi as one of its producers, and opens theatrically on March 18, 2022.
- Mothering Sunday, directed by Eva Husson
Based on the novel set in the aftermath of World War I, this film which premiered at Cannes in 2021 will have a limited theatrical release on March 25, 2022.
- Along for the Ride, directed by Sofia Alvarez
This romantic teen drama based on the novel by Sarah Dessen debuts on Netflix on April 22, 2022.
- Petite Maman, directed by Céline Sciamma
This festival favorite French film about a young girl’s grieving process opens theatrically in the U.S. on April 22, 2022.
- Hatching (a.k.a. Pahanhautoja), directed by Hanna Bergholm
This Finnish horror film about a young gymnast with a demanding mother debuted in the MIDNIGHT section at Sundance, and will open in theaters and on VOD on April 29, 2022.
- Happening (a.k.a. L’événement), directed by Audrey Diwan
Winner of the Golden Lion at the 2021 Venice International Film Festival, this film takes place in 1960s France when abortions were illegal. It is scheduled to open theatrically on May 6, 2022.
- Cléo from 5 to 7 (a.k.a. Cléo de 5 à 7), directed by Agnès Varda (1962)
This French New Wave classic celebrates the 60th anniversary of its Cannes Film Festival debut on May 10, 2022. It is available to stream on HBO Max.
- Saving Face, directed by Alice Wu (2004)
In May, which is observed as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, there are many excellent films from Asian American women directors to include in your film canon. Streaming on Prime Video, this film tells the story of a mother and daughter balancing secrets with tradition.
- Shirkers, directed by Sandi Tan (2018)
In case you missed this unconventional documentary, take this opportunity to stream it on Netflix. Watch the film about Tan’s own time spent making a film in Singapore in 1992, then check out her latest novel, Lurkers.
- Watcher, directed by Chloe Okuno
This thriller that premiered in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at this year’s Sundance will be distributed theatrically and on Shudder on June 3, 2022.
- Neptune Frost, directed by Anisia Uzeyman & Saul Williams
Featured in the Spotlight section at Sundance, this Afrofuturist sci-fi musical with an anticipated June 3, 2022 release date.
- Miss Juneteenth, directed by Channing Godfrey Peoples (2020)
An emotional mother-daughter story centered around a beauty pageant and women’s resilience; streaming on BET+.
- Desert Hearts, directed by Donna Deitch (1985)
Celebrate Pride Month in June by watching one of the first films ever to have a wide release which positively portrays lesbian characters and relationships. Streaming on HBO Max.
- A League of Their Own, directed by Penny Marshall (1992)
On July 1st, celebrate the 30th anniversary of this women’s sports classic starring Geena Davis and Lori Petty; streaming on Peacock.
- Crip Camp, directed by Nicole Newnham & James Lebrecht (2020)
Disability Pride Month is celebrated in July, marking the anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990. Watch this documentary on Netflix about how disability rights advocates fought for civil rights legislation.
- City of God (a.k.a. Cidade de Deus), directed by Kátia Lund & Fernando Meirelles (2002)
This Brazilian crime drama turns 20 this year, and is widely critically acclaimed as one of the best films of the 21st Century. Stream it on HBO Max.
- Where the Crawdads Sing, directed by Olivia Newman
Based on the best-selling novel by Delia Owens, this drama starring Normal People‘s Daisy Edgar-Jones opens theatrically on July 22, 2022.
- CinemAbility: The Art of Inclusion, directed by Jenni Gold (2012)
Released 10 years ago on the anniversary of the ADA, this documentary explores portrayals of disability onscreen, and is available to watch on Tubi.
- Luck, directed by Peggy Holmes
Jane Fonda and Whoopi Goldberg star as voice talent in this original animated feature debuting on Apple TV+ on August 5, 2022.
- Fast Times at Ridgemont High, directed by Amy Heckerling (1982)
This icon of coming-of-age teen movies turns 40 on August 13. Stream it on AMC +.
- Margarita with a Straw, directed by Shonali Bose (2014)
This Hindi-language film follows an Indian teenager with cerebral palsy navigating relationships and an understanding of her sexuality. Streaming on Tubi.
- The Bride, directed by Jessica M. Thompson
A gothic horror starring Nathalie Emmanuel, opening theatrically on August 26, 2022.
- Harlan County, USA, directed by Barbara Kopple (1976)
Acknowledge Labor Day with a landmark documentary about a coal miner strike in rural Kentucky that lasts over a year. Streaming on HBO Max.
- Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. directed by Adamma Ebo
Featured in the Premieres section of Sundance, this film stars Regina Hall as the first lady of a Southern Baptist church in the aftermath of a scandal. A theatrical and same-day Peacock release is scheduled for September 2, 2022.
- Eve’s Bayou, directed by Kasi Lemmons (1997)
This southern gothic drama, which turns 25 on November 7, has been selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry. It is currently streaming on Tubi.
- Whale Rider, directed by Niki Caro (2002)
First debuting 20 years ago at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2002, this story of a young Māori girl’s quest to become the chief of her tribe, despite her gender. The film is available to rent.
- The Woman King, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood
This anticipated historical epic starring Viola Davis as the warrior general of an African kingdom. It is set to open theatrically on September 16, 2022.
- Don’t Worry, Darling, directed by Olivia Wilde
Florence Pugh stars in this upcoming psychological thriller set in the 1950s, opening theatrically on September 23, 2022.
- Portrait of Jason, directed by Shirley Clarke (1967)
This avant-garde, cinéma vérité documentary profiling an enigmatic performer has also been preserved in the National Film Registry. It turns 55 on October 2, and can be viewed on The Criterion Channel.
- Near Dark, directed by Kathryn Bigelow (1987)
On October 3, this vampire horror-noir turns 35; it’s available to stream on MovieSphere.
- LaDonna Harris: Indian 101, directed by Julianna Brannum (2014)
This chronicle of Harris, a Comanche activist and civil rights leader, is told by a Comanche filmmaker—perfect to watch Native stories told by Native voices on Indigenous Peoples Day. It is available to rent.
- Patu! directed by Merata Mita (1983)
A documentary about anti-Apartheid protests directed by Māori filmmaker Mita, this film can be viewed online at NZ On Screen. Mita’s son Heperi Mita documented her work and impact in the film Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen, which is on Netflix.
- I Like it Like That, directed by Darnell Martin (1994)
The first film produced by a major film studio to be helmed by an African-American woman director, this Bronx-set film about Afro-Latino characters is available to rent.
- Real Women Have Curves, directed by Patricia Cardoso (2002)
This film adaptation of the stage play turns 20 years old on Novemeber 8, and features the debut of actor America Ferrera. It’s streaming on HBO Max.
- Spellbound, directed by Vicky Jenson
This animated coming-of-age tale is set to debut on Apple TV+ on November 11, 2022.
- She Said, directed by Maria Schrader
Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan star as The New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey who broke the story of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuses. It opens theatrically on November 18, 2022.
- Trudell, directed by Heather Rae (2005)
Learn about American Indian poet and activist John Trudell in this documentary from Cherokee filmmaker Rae, which is streaming on IMDbTV.
- Lingua Franca, directed by Isabel Sandoval (2019)
Sandoval wrote, directed, and stars in this film about an undocumented Filipina trans woman working as a caregiver in Brooklyn. Streaming on Netflix.
- I Wanna Dance with Somebody, directed by Kasi Lemmons
Naomi Ackie stars as Whitney Houston in this upcoming biopic releasing on December 21, 2022.
- In Between Days (a.k.a. 방황의 날들), directed by So Yong Kim (2007)
A perfect watch for a winter’s day, this coming-of-age film centers a teenage Korean immigrant adjusting to her new surroundings in Canada. It is available to rent.
- Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay (2014)
A triumph of biographical narrative filmmaking, revisit this film on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January. It’s available to stream on Paramount+.
- Ruby Bridges, directed by Euzhan Palcy (1998)
The 25th anniversary of this television film’s debut falls on January 18, 2023. Streaming on Disney+.
- The Divine Order (a.k.a. Die göttiche Ordnung), directed by Petra Biondina Volpe (2017)
Learn about women’s fight for the right to vote in 1971 Switzerland from this comedy-drama, available to rent.
- Lionheart, directed by Genevieve Nnaji (2018)
Nnaji herself stars in this film, the first Netflix original film produced in Nigeria.
- The Seashell and the Clergyman (a.k.a La Coquille et le clergyman), directed by Germaine Dulac (1928)
This surrealist experimental French film celebrates its 95th anniversary on February 9, 2023. It is available to watch on YouTube (see below).
- The Marvels, directed by Nia DaCosta
MCU characters Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and Monica Rambeau return in this installment of the superhero franchise, opening theatrically on February 17, 2023.
- The Hitch-Hiker, directed by Ida Lupino (1953)
March 2023 marks the 70th anniversary of this film noir classic, streaming on Prime Video.