March Wrap Up: New Indie Films, Saying Goodbye to Sitcoms, Women’s History Month, and more.

Welcome to a new segment on the Making It: Women in Film zine: Monthly wrap-ups. Here we will be covering new movie releases, television that’s streaming and being broadcast, significant events, and new MIWIF projects. Enjoy—don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @MakingItWomenInFilm to participate in selecting the news we will be featuring. First up we have new film releases; which ones are worth it, where you can watch them, and what to… avoid.

The Great

Stray

Documentary | Written-directed by Elizabeth Lo | Available on demand for £7.99 on YouTube & Google Play, and £9.99 on Amazon Prime Video

“Stray takes a patient, meditative look at the lives of Istanbul’s stray dog population — and uncovers truths of the human condition in the process.” – Rotten Tomatoes

Stray (2021) dir. Elizabeth Lo

Moxie

Coming of Age Drama | Directed by Amy Poehler, written by Tamara Chestna and Dylan Meyer | Available to watch on Netflix

“Inspired by her mom’s rebellious past and a confident new friend, a shy 16-year-old publishes an anonymous zine calling out sexism at her school.” – IMDB

Hadley Robinson and Alycia Pascual in Moxie (2021)
Jessica Barr in Sophie Jones (2021)

Sophie Jones

Drama | Directed by Jessie Barr, written by Jessie and Jessica Barr | Available in theatres and to rent through Virtual Cinema for $12

“After her mother’s death sixteen-year-old Sophie Jones is trying everything she can to feel something again and make it through high school.” – IMDB

Disney: Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)

Raya and the Last Dragon

Animated Adventure | Directed by Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada, written by Adele Lim and Qui Nguyen | Available to watch on Disney+

“Another gorgeously animated, skillfully voiced entry in the Disney canon, Raya and the Last Dragon continues the studio’s increased representation while reaffirming that its classic formula is just as reliable as ever.” – Rotten Tomatoes

The Good

Violation

Horror | Written and directed by Dusty Mancinelli & Madeleine Sims-Fewer | Available to watch on Shudder

Violation presents a powerful depiction of one woman’s trauma — and its uncomfortably gripping aftermath.” – Rotten Tomatoes

Madeleine Sims-Fewer in Violation (2021)

Zack Snyder’s Justice League

Action | Directed by Zack Snyder, written by Chris Terrio | Available to watch on HBO Max

“Determined to ensure Superman’s ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne aligns forces with Diana Prince with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions.” – IMDB

Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot, and Ray Fisher in Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)
Eddie Murphy in Coming 2 America (2021)

Coming 2 America

Comedy | Directed by Craig Brewer, written by Kenya Barris, Barry W. Blaustein, and David Sheffield. Available to watch on Amazon Prime Video (subscription)

“The African monarch Akeem learns he has a long-lost son in the United States and must return to America to meet this unexpected heir and build a relationship with his son.” – IMDB

Eric Andre and Lil Rel Howery in Bad Trip (2021)

Bad Trip

Comedy | Directed by Kitao Sakurai, written by Sakurai, Eric Andre, and Dan Curry | Available to watch on Netflix

“This mix of a scripted buddy comedy road movie and a real hidden camera prank show follows the outrageous misadventures of two buds stuck in a rut who embark on a cross-country road trip to NYC. The storyline sets up shocking real pranks.” – IMDB

The Avoid-At-All-Costs-Bad

Deadly Illusions

Psychological Thriller | Written and directed by Anna Elizabeth James | Available to (please don’t do it) watch on Netflix.

“After a bestselling novelist suffering from writer’s block hires a new nanny for her children, the line between fiction and reality starts to blur.” – IMDB

This movie is the equivalent of that black cracked nail polish on a pink base that had a moment in 2012. It should only, if at all, be viewed while under the influence.

Greer Grammer in Deadly Illusions (2021)

Series of the Month: Superstore, by Justin Spitzer

Colton Dunn as Garrett and Kaliko Kauahi as Sandra in Superstore

This month, we watched another fantastic sitcom meet its end as the NBC comedy Superstore, about essential workers in a big box store in St. Luis, crossed its t’s and dotted its i’s. From its impeccable and unyielding comedy that perfected the balance between goof-ball and dark humour, to its commendable commitment to inclusivity and diversity behind and in front of the scenes, it is a show that will truly be missed.

The first five seasons are available on Netflix, and the sixth season is currently residing on NBC’s Peacock.

Other notable shows from March:

Kim’s Convenience

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Andrea Bang in Kim’s Convenience

While airing its final episodes (ending on April 13 after having been cancelled), the sitcom about the Korean-Canadian family Kim living in Toronto continues to bring authentic stories with joy, humour, and heartfelt laughs that makes your belly hurt.

The first four seasons are available on Netflix, and the fifth season is currently being broadcast on CBC.

Resident Alien | Sci-fi Dramedy | Created by Chris Sheridan | Airing on Syfy and Sky

It’s a Sin | Drama | Created by Russel T. Davies | Airing on Channel 4, available online

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier | Action Drama | Created by Malcolm Spellman and directed by Kari Skogland | Streaming on Disney+

Snowpiercer

Daveed Digs and Jennifer Connelly in Snowpiercer

We also said goodbye to the second season of the sci-fi thriller based on Bong Joon Ho’s 2013 movie of the same name. With grit, fast heartbeats, and gripping performances, the final two episodes directed by Clare Kilner delivered satisfaction beyond expectations. The show, surrounding the last few thousand people alive on Earth living on a running train in an over-frozen world, better return with a season three as soon as possible!

All seasons of the show are currently streaming on Netflix.

Genius: Aretha | Drama | Created by Susan-Lori Parks | Streaming on Disney +

Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil | Documentary | Directed by Michael D. Ratner | Streaming on YouTube

The Irregulars | Supernatural Crime | Created by Tom Bidwell | Streaming on Netflix

Women’s History Month

As we wrap up Women’s History Month, we also took to our Instagram stories (@MakingItWomenInFilm, don’t miss out!) to ask you who some of your favourite women working in the film and television industry are. From past to present, these are the twenty women most mentioned (in alphabetical order):

  • Agnès Varda | French new-wave filmmaker and artist. Notable work: Daguerréotypes (1976), Vagabond (1985), and Kung Fu Master! (1989)
  • Anna Biller | American feminist filmmaker. Notable work: Viva (2007) and The Love Witch (2016)
  • Audrey Hepburn | British actress and humanitarian. Notable work: The Nun’s Story (1959), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) and My Fair Lady (1964)
  • Awkwafina | American actress and comedian. Notable work: Oceans 8 (2018), Crazy Rich Asians (2018), and The Farewell (2019)
  • Carrie Fisher | American actress and writer. Notable work: The original Star Wars Trilogy (1977-83), When Harry Met Salley (1989), Bright Lights (2016)
  • Greta Gerwig | American writer, director, and actress. Notable work: Frances Ha (2012), Lady Bird (2017), and Little Women (2019)
  • Halle Berry | American actress. Notable work: Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999), Monster’s Ball (2001), the X-Men trilogy (2000-03),
  • Ida Lupino | English American actress, director, and producer. Notable work: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939), The Hitchhiker (1953), and The Bigamist (1953)
  • Judy Garland | American actress and performer. Notable work: The Wizard of Oz (1939), Summerstock (1950), and A Star is Born (1954)
  • Laura Dern | American actress and filmmaker. Notable work: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992), The Tale (2018), Big Little Lies (2017-19)
  • Lois Weber | American filmmaker, actress, and pioneer. Notable work: Hypocrites (1915), Tarzan of the Apes (1918), and The Blot (1921)
  • Lupita Nyong’o | Kenyan-Mexican actress. Notable work: 12 Years a Slave (2013), Black Panther (2018), and Us (2019)
  • Meryl Streep | American actress. Notable work: Sophie’s Choice (1982), The Devil Wears Prada (2006), and Mamma Mia! (2008)
  • Mira Nair | Indian-American filmmaker. Notable work: Salaam Bombay! (1988), Monsoon Wedding (2001), and Queen of Katwe (2016)
  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge | English actress, writer, and TV producer. Notable work: Fleabag (2016-2019) and Killing Eve (2018-)
  • Reese Witherspoon | American actress and producer. Notable work: Legally Blonde (2001), Walk the Line (2005), Little Fires Everywhere (2020)
  • Regina King | American actress and director. Notable work: If Beale Street Could Talk (2018), Watchmen (2019), One Night in Miami… (2021)
  • Rooney Mara | Actress and activist. Notable work: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), Her (2013), and Carol (2015)
  • Saoirse Ronan | Irish-American actress. Notable work: The Lovely Bones (2009), Ladybird (2017), and Little Women (2019)
  • Viola Davis | American actress. Notable work: How to Get Away with Murder (2014-20), Widows (2018), and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020).

We also curated a list honouring even more women in the industry to accompany our Women in Film History special podcast episode. Read the list here, and listen to the show on all major podcast platforms.

MIWIF March Projects

Podcast

#27 | Eating Disorder Awareness in Film & TV with Brooke Trantor Making It: Women in Film

#28 | Women's Day 2021 Special Making It: Women in Film

#29 | Making the Casting Room a Safe Space with Casting Director Suzanne Smith Making It: Women in Film

#30 | Women's Film History Making It: Women in Film

#31 | Mental Health in Film with Self Charm Director Ella Greenwood and Producer Karina Michel Making It: Women in Film

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