Woman with a Movie Camera
Great films incite, others vex, a few elate. From pre-war to the present day, these remarkable works by international women directors do all that and more.
The place of female filmmakers in cinema history demands correction, and the future looks bright. Keep up with this dedicated collection.
Romance2018110 minsDirector: Chanya Button
Gemma Arterton and Elizabeth Debicki relive a literary love affair, fiery and forbidden, with a remarkable legacy.
Drama2018120 minsDirector: Joanna Hogg
Winner of Sundance 2019's Grand Jury Prize, The Souvenir is the compelling, semi-autobiographical drama from acclaimed writer-director Joanna Hogg.
Science Fiction2018113 minsDirector: Claire Denis
The messiness of sex, the mysteries of birth and the moving spectacle of devoted parenting in the face of impending oblivion create a potent atmosphere in Claire Denis’ English-language debut.
Period drama2018136 minsDirector: Jennifer Kent
A young Irish convict enlists the help of an Aboriginal tracker in her quest for vengeance, in this ferociously powerful revenge drama from Jennifer Kent (The Babadook).
Drama2018128 minsDirector: Alice Rohrwacher
Alice Rohrwacher follows The Wonders with a delightfully singular, time and genre-bending rumination on the fate of innocence when faced with corruption and greed.
Animation & Artists Moving Image193619 minsSilentDirector: Helen Biggar
Norman McLaren and Helen Biggar’s urgent work of animated agit-prop uses rapid editing to create an incisive polemic against arms spending.
Comedy2019109 minsDirector: Sophie Hyde
Sophie Hyde's joyous ode to female friendship stars Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat as two 30-something women navigating booze, boyfriends, wild nights and blurry mornings.
Crime2018109 minsDirector: Carol Morley
Carol Morley (Dreams of a Life, The Falling) returns with a wonderfully stylised, offbeat noir thriller about a murder investigation and multiple realities.
Thriller201894 minsDirector: Mélanie Laurent
Ben Foster and Elle Fanning play fugitives on the run from a criminal gang, in this gritty crime thriller from the creator of True Detective.
Thriller2018121 minsDirector: Karyn Kusama
Nicole Kidman is astonishing – and almost unrecognisable – as a jaded police detective haunted by her past in Karyn Kusama’s brooding thriller.
Drama2017108 minsDirector: Tali Shalom Ezer
Starring Ellen Page and Kate Mara, this sophomore feature from Tali Shalom-Ezer is a beautiful and poignant love story between two women from vastly different backgrounds and opposing political views.
Maggie Gyllenhaal gives a career-best performance as a kindergarten teacher who finds herself in an ethical quagmire after discovering the poetic talents of a precocious student.
Drama2018126 minsDirector: Nadine Labaki
Acclaimed Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki delivers her most assured and affecting work yet, with this astonishing and heart-wrenching depiction of life in the shadows.
Drama201895 minsDirector: Georgia Parris
Modern dance is an evocative narrative tool in Georgia Parris’ debut, which investigates a young woman’s identity and the complex relationship she has with her mother and sister.
Biopic2018116 minsDirector: Emily Atef
This intimate, unconventional biopic of one of the great stars of European cinema - Romy Schneider (La Piscine, The Trial) - follows the reclusive actress as she battles a journalist - and her demons - during an intensive, three-day interview.
Documentary201899 minsDirector: Margarethe von Trotta
Internationally renowned director Margarethe von Trotta examines the filmmaker's life and work with his closest collaborators as well as a new generation of filmmakers.
Documentary2018117 minsDirector: Jane Magnusson
A fascinating and unflinching study of the brilliance of Ingmar Bergman’s extraordinary career, crafted around one of his most prolific and creatively fruitful years.
Thriller201888 minsDirector: Isabella Eklöf
A lavish trip to the Turkish Riviera goes horribly awry in this disturbing tale of power, exploitation and complicity from the writer of Border.
Documentary2019101 minsDirector: Lauren Greenfield
The matriarch of the Marcos dynasty hopes to see her maternal delusions validated and political power restored, while Philippine activists fight for transparency and democracy, in this captivating study by Lauren Greenfield.
Documentary2018106 minsDirector: Lauren Greenfield
Acclaimed filmmaker Lauren Greenfield examines modern greed amid the world of the 1%. Travelling through America and beyond, she meets the international elite and families overwhelmed by debt, yet determined to live the ‘luxury lifestyle.
Documentary2017115 minsDirector: Sophie Fiennes
Grace Jones is laid bare in this intimate and electrifying insight into the fascinating world of a pop-cultural phenomenon.
Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel BasquiatBoom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat
Documentary201775 minsDirector: Sara Driver
The story of how one of the 20th century's most important artists emerged from the post-punk, b-boy and graffiti scenes of late '70s New York.
Documentary201791 minsDirector: Nancy Buirski
Nancy Buirski's vital documentary revisits an unjustly forgotten chapter of American history; the story of an immensely brave woman who refused to be silenced.
Drama2015102 minsDirector: Marielle Heller
The US indie hit tells the bold, bawdy and hilarious story of a teenager's sexual awakening after she sleeps with her mother’s boyfriend.
Documentary201789 minsDirector: Alexandra Dean
Fascinating documentary about the glamorous Hollywood star who was also a genius inventor of military technology.
Drama201792 minsDirector: Desiree Akhavan
Desiree Akhavan’s award-winning follow-up to Appropriate Behaviour, with Chloë Grace Moretz as a teen sent to a gay conversion camp.
Comedy201792 minsDirector: Malgorzata Szumowska
The first man in Poland to receive a full face transplant achieves national notoriety, but struggles with his own identity in this ingenious tragicomedy.
Drama201786 minsDirector: Christina Choe
Andrea Riseborough is extraordinary in this disquieting drama about a woman convinced that she was kidnapped as a child and might have found her real parents.
Drama201798 minsDirector: Eliza Hittman
Gripping account of repressed sexual desire in a hyper-masculine environment, with British newcomer Harris Dickinson as a virulently macho Brooklyn teen.
Comedy2016104 minsDirector: Kelly Fremon
Kelly Fremon Craig’s coming-of-age comedy eschews quirkiness for genuine warmth, while boasting a hilarious supporting turn from Woody Harrelson.
Comedy201791 minsDirector: Trudie Styler
Alex Lawther is outstanding as a teenage rebel in this tale of an unrepentant high-school outsider, directed by Trudie Styler.
War2008131 minsDirector: Kathryn Bigelow
Kathryn Bigelow won the Best Director Academy Award in 2010 for this visceral, thrilling story of an American maverick bomb disarmer in Iraq.
Action and Adventure2012157 minsDirector: Kathryn Bigelow
Kathryn Bigelow's masterful, meticulous account of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden is a thrilling account of contemporary history.
Drama2017143 minsDirector: Kathryn Bigelow
John Boyega excels as the security guard caught up in a violent conflagration during the riots of 1967, in Kathryn Bigelow's blistering thriller.
Musical2004107 minsDirector: Gurinder Chadha
Gurinder Chadha’s Bollywood retelling of Austen’s classic romance is an all-round joy, adding colour and song to Austen’s evergreen wit.
Comedy1993101 minsDirector: Gurinder Chadha
Gurinder Chadha's charming and critically acclaimed comedy about a group of British Asian women from Birmingham who bond during a day-trip to Blackpool.
Drama2017115 minsDirector: Lucrecia Martel
Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel returns with a fine adaptation of Antonio Di Benedetto’s existential novel. In her first feature since 2008’s The Headless Woman, Martel creates a richly layered exploration of personal malaise.
Drama201572 minsDirector: Anna Rose Holmer
Toni, an eleven year-old tomboy, finds a new purpose when an epidemic of seizures strikes her dance class, in this riveting and psychological character portrait from filmmaker Anna Rose Holmer.
Drama2013100 minsDirector: Claire Denis
Claire Denis’ moody and atmospheric thriller about an absent brother returning to the fold to investigate his family’s murky secrets.
Drama200995 minsDirector: Jessica Hausner
Jessica Hausner’s cool, compassionate exploration of religious faith follows various believers and non-believers hoping for miracle cures in Lourdes
Thriller2017108 minsDirector: Coralie Fargeat
Coralie Fargeat's gloriously bloody tale of one woman's retribution; a razor-sharp feminist subversion of the revenge-thriller.
Drama201793 minsDirector: Rungano Nyoni
Welsh-raised, Zambian-born Rungano Nyoni delivers a dazzling debut with this dark satirical fairy tale about a little girl accused of being a witch.
Drama200894 minsDirector: Ursula Meier
Ursula Meier's dark semi-comic fable concerns a family living next to an unused motorway. Isabelle Huppert and Olivier Gourmet excel as the parents
Horror2014101 minsDirector: Ana Lily Amirpour
If you only see one Iranian vampire western this year, make sure it’s this one. A female vampire stalks a ghost town in Ana Lily Amirpour’s arresting debut.
Comedy201596 minsDirector: Rachel Tunnard
Anna (Jodie Whittaker) is an emotionally stunted 30-year-old living in her mum’s shed, learning to confront adult reality, in Rachel Tunnard’s quirky debut.
Thriller201598 minsDirector: Alice Winocour
A broken soldier guards a tycoon's family in this involving thriller with hints of Taxi Driver, starring Matthias Schoenaerts and Diane Kuger.
Documentary201590 minsDirector: Crystal Moselle
Meet the Angulos: seven siblings imprisoned for most of their childhoods who learnt much of life’s lessons from film and TV; the subjects of this captivating documentary.
Documentary201587 minsDirector: Jane Preston
Documentary portrait of the mercurial football genius who inspired the game’s modern renaissance while battling personal demons.
Romance2014119 minsDirector: Naomi Kawase
Naomi Kawase’s visually ravishing, beautifully composed film tells the story of two youths growing up and falling in love on a Japanese island.
Documentary200872 minsDirector: Xiaolu Guo
British-Chinese filmmaker Xiaolu Guo follows her ageing parents' journey to the West as they visit Europe. A rare chance to see one of Guo’s most personal films.
Drama2014119 minsDirector: July Jung
Lee Chang-dong (Poetry) produces this offbeat drama about a policewoman who becomes protector of an abused teen in a town riven by corruption and alcoholism.
Drama2016103 minsDirector: Maysaloun Hamoud
Three strong, independent Israeli-Palestinian women try to square their liberated, hedonistic lifestyles with the stultifying restrictions of conservative family life, in Maysaloun Hamoud's charming and vital drama.
Documentary201084 minsDirector: Gillian Wearing
Artist Gillian Wearing’s ‘documentary’ observes seven people creating (fantasy?) identities in collaboration with a drama teacher. Raw and revealing.
Drama200890 minsDirector: Shamim Sarif
Sweeping romantic drama about two Indian women who fall for each other in the hostile environment of apartheid South Africa.
Documentary200689 minsDirector: Louise Osmond
Riveting account of the disastrous attempt by novice sailor Donald Crowhurst to compete in a round-the-world, solo yachting race.
Documentary201694 minsDirector: Louise Osmond
Louise Osmond's funny, provocative and revealing account of the life and career of one of Britain’s most celebrated and controversial filmmakers.
Documentary201486 minsDirector: Louise Osmond
The inspirational, larger-than-life true story of how a group of friends in a poor mining village took on the elite 'sport of kings' and breed themselves a racehorse.
Drama2016163 minsDirector: Andrea Arnold
Andrea Arnold dazzles with a sun-soaked and tune-filled epic about door-to-door teenage magazine sellers (led by Shia LeBeouf) traversing the American highways.
Drama2010112 minsDirector: Lynne Ramsay
Tilda Swinton gives a BAFTA-nominated performance as the mother of a teenager who commits a high school massacre. With Ezra Miller and John C. Reilly.
Thriller201790 minsDirector: Lynne Ramsay
Lynne Ramsay journeys with Joaquin Phoenix into the mind of an ex-soldier gun-for-hire whose own demons are as brutal as the actions of his adversaries.
Drama199618 minsDirector: Lynne Ramsay
An ex-drug addict reflects on life in and out of prison in this short by BAFTA-winner Lynne Ramsay, based on real accounts.
Documentary200050 minsDirector: Carol Morley
Carol Morley's exploration of Manchester in the early 1980s, and the five years of her life she lost to alcoholism.
Documentary201191 minsDirector: Carol Morley
Carol Morley's drama-documentary investigates the tragic death of a woman whose body lay undetected for almost three years.
Drama201689 minsDirector: Clio Barnard
Clio Barnard follows The Selfish Giant and The Arbor with this searing and eloquent Yorkshire-set drama exploring the fragility of familial relationships.
Drama201391 minsDirector: Clio Barnard
Two Yorkshire tearaways struggle with life and friendship in this challenging, compassionate growing-up tale by the director of The Arbor.
Historical drama2015106 minsDirector: Sarah Gavron
The time is now for factory worker Maud (Carey Mulligan) as she joins the campaign movement for women’s votes, in Sarah Gavron’s stirring social history.
Animation & Artists Moving Image195472 minsDirector: Joy Batchelor
Sixty years young, this British cartoon of George Orwell’s political ‘fairy story’ is still the most abiding adaptation of this powerful, cautionary tale for all ages.
Drama2017100 minsDirector: Kaouther Ben Hania
Kaouther Ben Hania’s bold and defiant fiction debut tells the story of a sexual assault in nine stunning single-take sequences.
Horror2013102 minsDirector: Hélène Cattet
Another giallo-inspired exercise in operatic violence from Belgian duo Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, directors of the acclaimed Amer.
Drama2011106 minsDirector: Mia Hansen-Løve
The pangs and pains of young love are artfully and respectfully rendered in this subtle and sensitive drama from Mia Hansen-Løve (Eden).
Drama2016102 minsDirector: Jenny Lu
A Taiwanese graduate begins work at a massage parlour, in this illuminating and authentic depiction of the migrant experience at London's margins.
Documentary201498 minsDirector: Kim Longinotto
Kim Longinotto’s inspirational documentary about Brenda, a Chicagoan charity worker who helps vulnerable prostitutes leave the industry.
Documentary201474 minsDirector: Kim Longinotto
A hundred years of love and courtship on the silver screen, with music created by celebrated Sheffield singer-songwriter-producer Richard Hawley.
Drama1997115 minsDirector: Kasi Lemmons
Samuel L. Jackson stars in this seething slice of Southern Gothic, about the travails of a Louisiana family bedevilled by infidelity, incest and witchcraft.
Drama2013105 minsDirector: Joanna Hogg
Joanna Hogg's sleek and minimalist comedy about a pair of artists and their emotional attachment to their ultra-modernist apartment.
Drama201589 minsDirector: Esther May Campbell
Beth Orton stars in a fragile and subtly nuanced drama that explores the toll of physical and mental illness on a fractured family.
Documentary2015118 minsDirector: Chantal Akerman
Chantal Akerman’s rigorously observational portrait of her late mother takes on a whole new significance in the wake of the director’s own premature passing.
Drama201594 minsDirector: Eva Husson
High-school students start a private orgy society in Eva Husson’s dazzlingly shot, no-holds-barred drama.
Documentary199671 minsDirector: Andrea Weiss
Mapping how British film and TV depicts the gay and lesbian lifestyle, Andrea Weiss raids the archives for her funny and persuasive documentary.
Comedy201685 minsDirector: Mercedes Grower
Breakups have never been funnier, as Mercedes Grower's all-star, ensemble comedy charts the end of various affairs. With Julian Barratt, Steve Oram, Julia Davis and Noel Fielding.
Drama201483 minsDirector: Monika Treut
A troubled teen finds love during a summer spent at a horse ranch, in this captivating lesbian drama from cult director Monika Treut.
Biopic198817 minsDirector: Ngozi Onwurah
Experimental monologue about the trauma of racial harassment and self-hate that accompanies growing up mixed-race in Britain.
Drama200793 minsDirector: Gillian Armstrong
The great illusionist Harry Houdini (Guy Pearce) meets his match when the charming and manipulative Mary McGarvie (Catherine Zeta-Jones) magically appears in his life.
Drama201596 minsDirector: Helen Walsh
In this spiky and stylish debut from novelist Helen Walsh, two girls from different backgrounds form an unlikely bond, setting off on a dangerous course.
Drama199394 minsDirector: Ngozi Onwurah
A ferocious dystopian nightmare, this was the first film directed by a Black British woman to receive a UK theatrical release.
Drama2014110 minsDirector: Susanne Bier
Two of the planet’s biggest stars – Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence – align in this extravagant period drama set in depression-era America.
Drama2016111 minsDirector: Amma Asante
Amma Assante (Belle) directs this impassioned drama starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike depicting an interracial romance that changed the world.
Comedy2005101 minsDirector: Annie Griffin
Stephen Mangan and Chris O’Dowd star in this sharp comedy following the trials of a trio of ambitious comedians aiming to take the Fringe by storm.
Drama198092 minsDirector: Anthea Kennedy
A German-Jewish musician seeks exile in Cold War London in this rich experimental work.
Drama2015112 minsDirector: Anna Muylaert
A maid for a rich São Paulo family is allowed to take her provincial teenage daughter into the household, but tensions quickly surface between her old and new lives.
Romance195521 minsDirector: Wendy Toye
Playful, charming, Oscar-nominated take on the Christmas song directed by queen of the dance Wendy Toye and designed by the great Ronald Searle.
Drama2019105 minsDirector: Haifaa Al-Mansour
Celebrated Saudi director Haifaa Al Mansour (Wadjda) returns with an inspiring drama about a young doctor unexpectedly becoming an electoral candidate.