Women to Watch: August New Releases in Film + Television
When I think August, I think END OF SUMMER. That's a frightening thought. So let's think AUGUST NEW RELEASES instead, shall we?
What's The Women to Watch List?
I started this project all the way back in May. Three months later and I'm both surprised and not surprised. Surprised, because there are SO MANY movies and television shows I would not have thought to watch (or even known were premiering), that are the product of women in the film industry. Not surprised, because (as you'll see with these August new releases) there just aren't enough.
August New Releases include ONLY TWO films by Women.
This has been the most disturbing month for theatrical releases thus far. TWO films have women in above-the-line positions, and only one is directed by a woman (an incredibly charged looking thriller from Maris Curran - trailer included below).
This, to me, is a tragedy. A damn shame. I'd encourage you to write your congressman/woman, but what good will it do? Instead, tell the production companies DIRECTLY how you feel by purchasing a ticket to these women-helmed films this month. And maybe put your strong words to work on Twitter (the only place people seem to listen anymore). Seriously, tag the studios. Tag these filmmakers. Retweet trailers and reviews. DO SOMETHING.
August New Releases in TV are all about the Docs.
Documentaries ranging from politics to toucans (I'm really excited about the toucans - it looks like I'll cry a lot). You'll see women's work this month on PBS, Animal Planet, and Discovery Channel. Please notice how varying their subject matter is.
For anyone concerned that the only types of films women make are films about other women (I know there are people honestly concerned about this - you're weird), this month you'll find films about a men's rowing team and the state of the Colorado river. We're a wide-ranging bunch of creators, FYI. Give us a chance
And if you do anything at all?
Just watch them.
The Disclaimer: I researched each title myself and had no singular source list. While this list is hopefully expansive, it is not exhaustive. If I'm missing a project that you know has a female writer or director (or creator/heavily female writer's room in the case of a tv show), drop me a line and I'll gladly add it to the list.
Women to Watch: August
Films set for an August 2016 release
Five Nights in Maine
(drama) - Written and Directed by Maris Curran, in theaters August 5 (Loveless/Yoruba Saxon Productions/FilmRise)
"After his wife dies in a tragic car accident, young Sherwin (David Oyelowo) is called to Maine by his terminally ill and estranged mother-in-law Lucinda (Dianne Wiest). Grappling with a lifetime of disagreements, Lucinda and Sherwin find themselves forced to cope with their failings and grief in a quiet journey of empathy, compassion and healing." [filmrise.com]
(action/thriller) - Co-Written by Andrea Berloff, in theaters August 12 (Why Not Productions)
"An ex-con reunites with his estranged wayward 16-year old daughter to protect her from drug dealers who are trying to kill her." [imdb]
Shows premiering or airing new episodes in July 2016
Take My Wife
(comedy) - Executive Produced by Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher, premieres August 11 on Seeso
"The single-camera series follows stars Esposito and Butcher, who wed in December 2015, as a married couple co-hosting a stand-up showcase. " [EW.com]
Meet The Donors: Does Money Talk?
(documentary) - Directed/Produced by Alexandra Pelosi, premieres August 1 on HBO
"Armed with her hand-held camera and a sense of humor, Alexandra Pelosi gains exclusive access to the donor class, and offers a peek into the lifestyles of the rich and political. Starting in New York City, arguably home to the most mega-donors and canapé-infused fundraisers, she drops into corner offices and cocktail soirees. Pelosi asks these billionaires and multi-millionaires about the extent of their contributions and giving philosophies." [HBO]
American Experience: The Boys of '36
(documentary) - Directed by Margaret Grossi, Produced by Margaret Grossi and Mary Carillo, premieres August 2 on PBS American Experience
"The story of nine working-class young men from the University of Washington who took the rowing world and America by storm when they captured the gold medal at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Their unexpected victory, against not only the Ivy League teams of the East Coast but Adolf Hitler's elite German rowers, gave hope to a nation struggling to emerge from the depths of the Great Depression." [PBS]
Killing the Colorado
(documentary) - Episode "Farming the Desert" directed by Barbara Kopple, and "Water for Sale" Co-directed by Susan Raymond, premieres August 4 on Discovery Channel
"... a glimpse into the serious manmade water shortage that threatens the very existence of the American West. Presented in association with ProPublica and based on reporter Abraham Lustgarten’s award-winning series of the same name, the film presents the grim reality that 40 million Americans could soon be without enough water and proposes innovative solutions to preserve this precious resource for future generations." [Discovery]
The Little Prince
(animation/adventure) - Co-Written by Irena Brignull, premieres August 5 on Netflix
"A little girl lives in a very grown-up world with her mother, who tries to prepare her for it. Her neighbor, the Aviator, introduces the girl to an extraordinary world where anything is possible, the world of the Little Prince." [imdb]
(documentary) - Directed by Paula Heredia, premieres August 24 on Animal Planet
"... the story of Grecia, the toucan in Costa Rica whose unconscionable abuse sparked international outrage and inspired a national animal welfare campaign." [Discovery.com]
Continuing this month:
Difficult People: Season 2
Fridays on Hulu
Black and White
Wednesdays at 10:30/9:30c on A&E
Angie Tribeca: Season 2
Mondays at 9/8c on TBS
Rizzoli & Isles: Season 7
Mondays at 9/8c on TNT
UnReal: Season 2
Mondays at 10/9c on Lifetime
Odd Mom Out: Season 2
Mondays at 10/9c on Bravo
Pretty Little Liars: Season 7
Tuesdays at 8/7c on Freeform
Ray Donovan: Season 4
Sundays at 9/8c on Showtime
Beauty and the Beast: Season 4
Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW
What are watching in August?
What August new releases are you raring to see? Watching anything from last month? Leave it the comments and let's talk about it.