Though we're still in the middle of swampy heat wave season, it's almost time to start looking forward to fall — crisp leaves, cool weather, and an entire slate of new films to catch in theaters. That includes 11 fall 2018 movies made by women, works either written or directed by lady filmmakers. If it surprises you there are only 11 on this list, consider that a recent Directors Guild Of America study showed diversity in directing is at a five year low, as the Guardian reports, even during a time when Hollywood has promised more inclusion in its hiring..
That's a real shame, as it'd been proven time and again that films focusing on stories about or created by women and minorities do exceedingly well. Yet the industry keeps pumping millions into "proven" properties (comic-based universes, remakes of horror classics, etc.), too afraid to take the smallest chance on new stories. But audiences will come out if you give them something compelling to come out for, and for Hollywood studios looking to pique interest, sticking with the usual boys' club when looking for filmmakers only undercuts them further. The movies below, all made by women, are asbolutely worth seeing — but only a small sample of the stories that deserve to be told.
1. 'I Am Not A Witch'
Director/Writer: Rungano Nyoni
The first feature by award-winning shorts director Rungano Nyoni tells the story of 9-year-old Shula, a girl sent to witch camp after a trivial village incident. Tethered to a rope and told she'll turn into a goat if she tries to cut it and escape, Shula begins to incite rebellion in the camp. Originally released in 2017, the film's coming to a select number of theaters throughout the fall.
2. 'A Simple Favor'
Writer: Jessica Sharzer
When a lowly blogger (Anna Kendrick) learns her beautiful, wealthy friend (Blake Lively) has disappeared, her search for the truth leads down some twisted paths in this small-town noir.
In theaters September 14.
Director: Amy Scott
This documentary examines the life and work of Hal Ashby, whose films (Harold and Maude, Being There, and Shampoo, among many others) influenced a generation of filmmakers and actors.
In theaters September 7.
4. 'Love Gilda'
Director: Lisa Dapolito
The first cast member chosen for Saturday Night Live and an outstanding comedian, Gilda Radner gets her story told in her own words in this documentary. There are personal recordings and writing read out loud by the many comedians she influenced, including Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, and Melissa McCarthy.
In theaters September 21.
Writer: Kelly Marcel
Actor and writer Kelly Marcel brings one of the comic world's most beloved antiheroes to the big screen in this big-budget tentpole adaptation. It stars Tom Hardy as a reporter infected with the space symbiote, and features Michelle Williams, Woody Harrelson, and Jenny Slate.
In theaters October 5.
6. 'After Everything'
Directors/Writers: Hannah Marks, Joey Power
Office drone Mia's first date with brash sandwich-slinger Elliot comes right on the tail of his cancer diagnosis. Ironically it's the potential death sentence that pushes and frees both of them to actually live their lives.
In theaters October 12.
7. 'What They Had'
Director/Writer: Elizabeth Chomoko
Hilary Swank is Bridget Ertz, a woman who drops her life to head back to Chicago after her Alzheimers-suffering mother wanders out into a blizzard. She and her brother have to convince their father that it's time for her to be placed in a home for care.
In theaters October 19.
8. 'The Hate U Give'
Writer: Audrey Wells, based on a novel by Angie Thomas
Starr Carter moves between two worlds — her poor black neighborhood and the wealthy enclave of her mostly-white prep school. After her childhood friend is shot, the media twist his story and protests break out. Starr must figure out how and if she can reconcile her two lives to speak up.
In theaters October 19.
9. 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?'
Director: Marielle Heller, Writer: Nicole Holofcenter
Based on the bizarre true story of celebrity biographer Lee Israel (played by Melissa McCarthy) who turned to forging literary letters when she found herself down on her luck.
In theaters October 19.
Writer: Gillian Flynn
From the writer of Gone Girl and director of 12 Years A Slave comes the story of four women with nothing in common but their husbands' murders during a failed heist. Coming together out of tragedy, the widows decide to finish the job themselves.
In theaters November 16.
11. 'The Favourite'
Writer: Deborah Davis
This is the first screenplay from Davis, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster). An ill Queen Anne rules in title only, with dear friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) ruling in her stead. When a new servant (Emma Stone) arrives and cozies up to the Queen, she threatens to upset everything.
In theaters November 23.
Though the numbers are still a lot lower than you'd hope for in this day and age, the variety of genre and stories being told only confirm that greater inclusion — of women or anyone else underrepresented — leads to a wider diversity of stories that we all benefit from.