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First Preview List of Women-Directed Films at the 2016 New York Film Festival

By Nora Lee Mandel

The 54th Annual New York Film Festival of the Film Society of Lincoln Center opens September 30, with a new documentary by Ava DuVernay, above, renowned for Selma. Running through October 16, the slate includes by my count of all the sections: 11 new feature-length films (fiction and documentary), plus one restored revival, and 18 short films directed by women. I will be covering and reviewing as many of these films as possible for FF2 Media. My Complete Guides to Women-Directed Films at NYFF: the 11 Feature Films and the 18 Short Films. Many filmmakers attend the screenings for post Q and A’s, held at several theaters on the Lincoln Center campus.

As more information is available, I’ll identify the films created with women in other positions, particularly writers, cinematographers, editors, and composers, as I did for the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival when I also spotlighted other women collaborators. I will also update when more theatrical distribution is announced.

MAIN SLATE: Women Directors: Feature Films
Opening Night - 13th - directed by Ava DuVernay (USA) World Premiere (Netflix will debut her film globally on October 7, 2016, as well as in a limited theatrical release.)
Film and Screening Information


Certain Women - directed by Kelly Reichardt (Old Joy) (USA) (IFC Films set for release October 14, 2016)
Film and Screening Information


(Alison Maclean - photo credit: Matthew Kliltscher, courtesy of Hibiscus Films/THE FILM)
The Rehearsal - directed by Alison Maclean (The Crush; Jesus' Son) (New Zealand) US Premiere (IFC Films set for release October 6, 2016)
Film and Screening Information

Things to Come (L’Avenir) - directed by Mia Hansen-Løve (The Father of My Children (Le père de mes enfants)) (France/Germany) (Sundance Selects release set for December 2, 2016)
Film and Screening Information

(Maren Ade – photo courtesy of Iris Jangke)
Toni Erdmann - directed by Maren Ade (Everyone Else (Alle Anderen) (Germany – selected submission for Foreign Language Oscar) Ade is the only woman director who will be participating in one of the free Directors Dialogue Q&A on Sunday, Oct 2, at 7pm, in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater (presented by HBO). (Sony Pictures Classics will release her film December 25, 2016.)
Film and Screening Information


EXPLORATIONS Women Directors: Feature Films
Everything Else (Todo lo demás) - directed by Natalia Almada (Mexico) North American Premiere
Film and Screening Information


SPOTLIGHT ON DOCUMENTARY Women Directors: Feature Films
Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds - directed by Alexis Bloom & Fisher Stevens (USA) (HBO Documentary Films moved up their showing in late 2016 after the tragic, almost simultaneous deaths of the mother and daughter.)
Film and Screening Information

The Cinema Travellers - directed by Shirley Abraham & Amit Madheshiya (India) US Premiere
Film and Screening Information

Karl Marx City - directed by Petra Epperlein & Michael Tucker (The Prisoner Or: How I Planned To Kill Tony Blair) (USA/Germany) (Distributed by BOND/360, first at Film Forum beginning March 29, 2017)
Film and Screening Information

Cuba, Fatherland or Death (Patria O Muerte) - directed by Olatz López Garmendia (Cuba/USA) (HBO Documentary Films will premiere her film in November 2017.)
Film and Screening Information

Wendy Whelan: Restless Creature - directed by Linda Saffire & Adam Schlesinger) (USA) (Abramorama releases the film nationally beginning May 24, 2017.)
Film and Screening Information

[also of note about a woman artist: Errol Morris’s The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography - Neon to distribute in 2017]

REVIVALS Only Woman Director:
Harlan County USA (1976) - directed by Barbara Kopple (Running From Crazy) (USA)
The restoration of was funded by New York Women in Film & Television in 2004 through a Women's Film Preservation Fund Legacy Grant and underwritten by the Academy Film Archive.
Film and Screening Information


SHORTS PROGRAMS Women Directors:
Dobro (15m) - directed by Marta Hernaiz Pidal (Bosnia and Herzegovina/Mexico) U.S. Premiere
Showing in Program 1: Narrative

What Happened to Her (15m) - directed by Marta Hernaiz Pidal (USA)
Showing in Program 3: Genre Stories

Kitty (15m) - directed by Chloë Sevigny (USA) North American Premiere
This Castle Keep (14m) - directed by Gina Telaroli (USA) World Premiere
Both showing in Program 4: New York Stories

Brillo Box (3¢ off) (40m) - directed by Lisanne Skyler (USA) (BRILLO BOX (3¢ OFF) will air exclusively on HBO in 2017. On the Short List for Academy Awards Documentary Short)
Showing in Program 5: Documentaries plus the World Premiere of Lewie Kloster’s Legal Smuggling with [director] Christine Choy (4m) (USA)


PROJECTIONS Women Directors:
Regal (2m) - directed by Karissa Hahn (USA)
See a Dog, Hear a Dog (18m) - directed by Jesse McLean (USA) World Premiere
Both showing in Program 1: The Spaces Between The Words

Burning Mountains That Spew Flame (Montañas Ardientes Que Vomitan Fuego) (14m) - directed by Helena Girón and Samuel Delgado (Spain) U.S. Premiere
Bending to Earth (15m) - directed by Rosa Barba (USA/Germany) U.S. Premiere
Bad Mama, Who Cares (12m) - directed by Brigid McCaffrey (USA) World Premiere
Showing in Program 2: Beyond Landscape

The Illinois Parables (60m) - directed by Deborah Stratman (USA)
Program 3 (U.S. theatrical premiere run at Anthology Film Archives November 16 – 22, 2016)

Flowers of the Sky (9m) - directed by Janie Geiser (USA) US Premiere
Answer Print (5m) - directed by Mónica Savirón (USA) World Premiere
Athyrium filix-femina (for Anna Atkins) (5m) - directed by Kelly Egan (Canada) World Premiere
Showing in Program 4: Fade Out

Spotlight on a Brick Wall (8m) - directed by Alee Peoples and Mike Stoltz (USA)
Showing in Program 7: Pop Culture Clash

Há Terra! (13m) - directed by Ana Vaz (Brazil/France) US Premiere
An Aviation Field (Um Campo de Aviação) (13m) - directed by Joana Pimenta (Brazil/France) US Premiere
Electrical Gaza (18m) - directed by Rosalind Nashashibi (Brazil/France)
Showing in Program 9: Event Horizons


[Also of “special event” note about a woman artist: Terence Davies’s bio-pic of Emily Dickinson A Quiet Passion, presented by FSLC’s journal Film Comment. Music Box Films will release in the first quarter of 2017.] ]

Will I get to see them all? Will you? Member tickets for the 2016 New York Film Festival pre-sale starts September 6; public tickets will go on sale September 11. For more specifics: about NYFF tickets, including a complete list of on-sale dates, prices, discount options, and their rush and standby policies The Festival does sometimes add showings for popular selections. Already available are such benefits as, according to FSLC, “VIP passes and subscription packages offer the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival's biggest events including Opening and Closing Nights, and Centerpiece. VIP passes also provide access to many exciting events, including the invitation-only Opening Night party, “An Evening with…” dinner, Filmmaker Brunch, and VIP Lounge. Benefits vary based on the pass or package type purchased. VIP passes and subscription packages are on sale now.”

updated 3/12/2017

Nora Lee Mandel is a member of New York Film Critics Online and the Alliance of Women Film Journalists. Her reviews are counted in the Rotten Tomatoes TomatoMeter:


Complete Index to Nora Lee Mandel's Movie Reviews

Since August 2006, edited versions of most of my reviews of documentaries/indie/foreign films are at Film-Forward; since 2012, festival overviews at FilmFestivalTraveler; and, since 2016, coverage of women-made films at FF2 Media. Shorter versions of my older reviews are at IMDb's comments, where non-English-language films are listed by their native titles.



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