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Weekly Update for September 20: Women Centric, Directed, and Written Films Playing Near You




Always in Season (Documentary) – Directed by Jacqueline Olive

Claudia Lacy wants answers. When her 17-year-old son, Lennon, was found hanging from a swing set in Bladenboro, North Carolina, the authorities quickly ruled his death a suicide. In light of suspicious details surrounding his death, and certain that her son would not take his own life, Claudia is convinced Lennon was lynched. Jacqueline Olive’s unwavering debut film puts Lacy’s pursuit for justice into a wider historical context, inspiring a powerful discussion about lynching across racial lines.

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Jacqueline Olive.

Find screening info here.

Britt-Marie Was Here – Directed by Tuva Novotny; Written by Tuva Novotny, Anders Frithiof August, and Øystein Karlsen

“Britt-Marie Was Here”

Britt-Marie (Pernilla August), a woman in her 60s, decides to leave her husband and start anew. Having been a housewife for most of her life and living in the small backwater town of Borg, there aren’t many jobs available and soon she finds herself coaching a youth soccer team.

Send Me to the Clouds – Written and Directed by Congcong Teng

Diagnosed with ovarian cancer, iron-willed journalist Sheng Nan — “surpass men” in Chinese — is pressured to make a quick fortune and find mind-blowing sex before the costly surgery numbs her senses. Taking on a businessman’s biography writing job, she hikes into the misty mountains, where a chain of outbursts with her dysfunctional family, grumpy client, misogynistic co-worker, and dreamlike romantic interest hilariously unfold.

Find screening info here.

Ride Like a Girl – Directed by Rachel Griffiths; Written by Elise McCredie and Andrew Knight (Opens September 26 in Australia)

“Ride Like a Girl”

As a little girl, Michelle Payne (Teresa Palmer) dreams of the impossible: winning the Melbourne Cup — horse-racing’s toughest two-mile race. The youngest of 10 children, Michelle is raised by single father Paddy (Sam Neill). She leaves school at 15 to become a jockey and after early failures she finds her feet, but a family tragedy, followed by her own near fatal horse fall all but ends the dream. But with the love of her dad and her brother Stevie, Michelle will not give up. Against all the medical advice, and the protests of her siblings, she rides on, and meets the Prince of Penzance. Together they overcome impossible odds for a shot at the dream: a ride in the 2015 Melbourne Cup, at odds of 100 to 1. The rest is history.

Find screening info here.

Ms. Purple (Now Playing in Select Theaters)

“Ms. Purple”: Sundance

“Ms. Purple” is a poignant drama about a sister and brother, Kasie (Tiffany Chu) and Carey (Teddy Lee), who were raised and are now seemingly stuck in Koreatown. Abandoned by their mother and brought up by their father, the siblings continue to struggle with profound emotional wounds from the difficulty of the parental dynamic. Now, with their father on his death bed, the estranged Carey comes home to help Kasie care for him. Old ties are renewed and a relationship restored in this vibrant, deeply affecting portrait of Asian American siblinghood in Los Angeles.

Find screening info here.

Trauma Is a Time Machine – Written and Directed by Angelica Zollo (Opens in NY and LA) (Also Available on VOD)

“Trauma Is a Time Machine” explores a woman named Helen’s self destruction and healing from the traumatic aftereffects of rape within her relationship. She goes through many different steps including the taking on of her perpetrator in order to try and understand what happened to her.

The Zoya Factor – Written by Neha Sharma and Pradhuman Singh Mall

Zoya (Sonam Kapoor), who was born on the day that India won its first World Cup, became her father’s lucky charm. From there on she was the luck that made India win the matches — or so her father believed. Zoya grows up disliking cricket as a result of this obsession, till she comes at the romantic crossroads with the Indian cricket captain who is struggling to keep his team from losing. Enter Zoya and the team starts winning. The players believe she is their lucky charm — their 12th woman. What happens when the Lucky Charm of India romances the Indian cricket captain who leaves nothing to luck?

Coming Up For Air – Written by Deborah Staples and Roger Rapoport

When single mom Anna Russell (Deborah Staples), a ceramics artist, discovers that her son, Stan (Chase Yi), a star college athlete and academic star, is unraveling, she must act quickly to avoid tragedy. In denial and further and further out of reach, Stan suddenly disappears. Anna must find him on a journey that highlights the importance of mental health, high stakes athletics vs. academic excellence, and what it takes to be a loving and devoted parent.

Find screening info here.

Ambition – Written by Jenna Lyn Wright and John Rocco (Also Available on VOD)

In the gripping, suspenseful thriller “Ambition,” Jude (Katherine C. Hughes) is an intense, driven musician preparing for the biggest performance of her life — but her ambition could end up killing her. As her competitors begin to die bizarre deaths, she recognizes a pattern that seems to connect her. Is she next?

The Wedding Year (Also Available on VOD)

Meet Mara (Sarah Hyland). She’s a carefree aspiring photographer who just started dating Jake (Tyler James Williams), an aspiring chef. After wedding invitations pour in, Mara and Jake embark on a year-long adventure that puts their new relationship to the test.


Anthropocene: The Human Epoch (Documentary) – Directed by Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, and Edward Burtynsky (Opens September 25)

“Anthropocene: The Human Epoch”: Anthropocene Films Inc. © 2018

“Anthropocene: The Human Epoch” follows the research of an international body of scientists, the Anthropocene Working Group which, after nearly 10 years of research, is investigating how the Holocene Epoch gave way to the Anthropocene Epoch in the mid-20th century as a result of the profound and lasting changes humankind has made to the Earth. From concrete seawalls in China that now cover 60 percent of the mainland coast to the biggest terrestrial machines ever built in Germany, to psychedelic potash mines in Russia’s Ural Mountains, to metal festivals in the closed city of Norilsk, to the devastated Great Barrier Reef in Australia and massive marble quarries in Carrara, the film traverses the globe using state of the art camera techniques to document the evidence and experience of human planetary domination.

Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Jennifer Baichwal.

Find screening info here.

Dirty Bomb (Short) – Written and Directed by Valerie McCaffrey (One Week Only in LA)

Signing his own death warrant, a concentration camp prisoner (Ido Samuel) sabotages the construction of the Nazis’ V-2 bomb while American soldiers struggle to advance against the Germans.

Bloodline – Written by Avra Fox-Lerner, Henry Jacobson, and Will Honley (Also Available on VOD)

Evan (Seann William Scott) values family above all else, and anyone who gets between him, his wife, and newborn son learns that the hard way. But when it comes to violent tendencies, it seems the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.


Team Kaylie – Created by Tracy Bitterolf (Premieres September 23 on Netflix)

After another run-in with trouble, selfie-obsessed teen celebrity Kaylie Konrad (Bryana Salaz) is sent to serve her community as the leader of an after-school wilderness club for preteens. Kaylie’s idea of roughing it is braving a wrinkle on the red carpet, so this punishment seems like an absolute disaster. But being pushed out of her comfort zone will prove that she has so much more to offer than just a pretty face.

All Rise (Premieres September 23 on CBS)

“All Rise” is a courthouse drama that follows the chaotic, hopeful, and sometimes absurd lives of its judges, prosecutors, and public defenders, as they work with bailiffs, clerks, and cops to get justice for the people of Los Angeles amidst a flawed legal process. Among them is newly appointed Judge Lola Carmichael (Simone Missick), a highly regarded and impressive deputy district attorney who doesn’t intend to sit back on the bench, but instead leans in, immediately pushing the boundaries and challenging the expectations of what a judge can be.

Emergence – Created by Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas (Premieres September 24 on ABC)

“Emergence”: Virginia Sherwood/ABC/NBCUniversal Media

A police chief (Allison Tolman) takes in a young child she finds near the site of a mysterious accident and the investigation draws her into a conspiracy larger than she ever imagined.

Mixed-ish (Premieres September 24 on ABC)

“Mixed-ish”: ABC

Rainbow Johnson (Tracee Ellis Ross) recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the ’80s, and the constant dilemmas they had to face over whether to assimilate or stay true to themselves.

Birders (Documentary Short) – Directed by Otilia Portillo Padua (Premieres September 25 on Netflix)

A diverse number of migratory birds travel thousands of miles back and forth across the US-Mexico border each year. They have no regard for man-made laws and barriers. Dedicated Birders on both sides of the border, and all sides of the political spectrum, share a passion for these creatures and for their perilous journey. “Birders” celebrates those who observe, record, monitor, and fight for the rights and habitats of these species, demonstrating another way to think about the passage for survival that is migration.

Stumptown (Premieres September 25 on ABC)

Based on the “Stumptown” graphic novel series, “Stumptown” follows Dex Parios (Cobie Smulders) — a strong, assertive, and sharp-witted army veteran with a complicated love life, gambling debt, and a brother to take care of in Portland, Oregon. Her military intelligence skills make her a great PI, but her unapologetic style puts her in the firing line of hardcore criminals and not quite in alliance with the police.

Carol’s Second Act – Created by Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins (Premieres September 26 on CBS)

Emmy Award-winner Patricia Heaton stars in a new comedy about a woman who embarks on a unique second act after raising her children, getting divorced, and retiring from teaching: pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor. At age 50, Carol is a medical intern and must sink or swim with peers who are half her age. It’s her enthusiasm, perspective, and yes, even her age, that may be exactly what will make her second act a great success.

Evil – Created by Michelle King and Robert King (Premieres September 26 on CBS)

“Evil”: CBS

“Evil” is a psychological mystery that examines the origins of evil along the dividing line between science and religion. The series focuses on a skeptical female psychologist who joins a priest-in-training and a carpenter as they investigate the Church’s backlog of unexplained mysteries, including supposed miracles, demonic possessions, and hauntings. Their job is to assess if there is a logical explanation or if something truly supernatural is at work.

Perfect Harmony – Created by Lesley Wake (Premieres September 26 on NBC)

When former Princeton music professor Arthur Cochran (Bradley Whitford) unexpectedly stumbles into choir practice at a small-town church, he finds a group of singers who are out of tune in more ways than one. Despite the ultimate clash of sensibilities, Arthur and his newfound cohorts may just be the perfect mix of individuals to help each other reinvent and rediscover a little happiness, just when they all need it most.


“A Bread Factory”

Toss It – Written and Directed by Michele Remsen (VOD, Available Now)
Anna (VOD, September 24)
A Bread Factory (VOD, September 24)
Quartet – Written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and James Ivory (VOD, September 24)


Eva Longoria will provide the keynote address: TheWrap

Women and Hollywood is proud to be on the Advisory Board for TheWrap’s 2019 Power Women Summit, which will be held on October 24 and 25 in Los Angeles. The summit will provide two days of education, mentorship, workshops, and networking to promote the goal of greater women’s leadership in this industry, and gender balance in media, entertainment, and technology overall.

Women and Hollywood has 25 tickets to offer for FREE to members of our community.

If you would like to be considered for one of the tickets, we need you to send a short essay by 11:59pm EST on September 30 on why coming to this summit will be beneficial to your life and your work.

Some things to keep in mind:

1. Please keep the essay under 500 words. Please submit it in a Word doc or a PDF to Please make sure to include the following in the essay: your name, your address, your email, and your affiliation.

2. The ticket will cover attendance to the summit and meals during the summit. It does not cover travel or accommodations.

This promises to be a special event for members of the Women and Hollywood community. Eva Longoria will deliver the keynote address and the other confirmed speakers include Chrissy Metz, Stephanie Beatriz, Mayim Bialik, Diane Guerrero, and designer Rachel Zoe. Please check out the draft schedule on the event’s website.

The Women and Hollywood group will have a dinner together on the evening of October 24, and we will also gather together at the end of the summit to have a group closing discussion.


The Athena Lab in action

Cynthia Nixon, Kathy Najimy, & More Team Up for “Jane: Abortion and the Underground” Benefit Reading
Laura Dern, Olivia Wilde, and Kasi Lemmons Among Mind the Gap’s 2019 Participants
The Family Complex: VOD and Web Series Picks
Jennifer Aniston, Brie Larson, Awkwafina, & More to Be Honored at Variety’s Power of Women LA Event
Guest Post: Why I Work in Film Exhibition, and How the Industry Is Changing
Submit Now: Athena Lab for Women Writers
Theater Survey: Discrimination & Lack of Maternity Leave Feed Offstage Gender Gap
Annie Silverstein’s “Bull” Wins Top Honor at Deauville Film Festival
Margaret Trudeau Tackles Feminism, Mental Health, and Her Time as Canada’s First Lady in “Certain Woman of an Age”
“The Chambermaid” is Mexico’s Pick for International Feature Film Oscar

Note: All descriptions are from press materials, unless otherwise noted.

Follow Women and Hollywood on Twitter @WomenaHollywood and Melissa Silverstein @melsil

To contact Women and Hollywood, email

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Prince William and Kate Middleton Made a Surprise Visit to an Orphanage After Plane Incident




A happy accident!

Prince William and Kate Middleton made a surprise visit to an orphanage in Pakistan on the last day of their tour. And it was a sweet and unexpected appearance, considering the royal couple technically wrapped their tour the day before, on Thursday, Oct. 17. However, the Royal Air Force plane they were on was forced to abort a landing in Islamabad, Pakistan twice after they got caught in the middle of a severe thunderstorm.

The airplane tried stopping in two areas in the city, before landing in Lahore. So the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to the SOS Children’s Village orphanage on Friday morning was a great surprise, and many of the children were excited to see the famous couple. (This was the second time they paid a visit!)

“That nurturing of this place really comes through. It’s like an arm wrapped around you,” Prince William stated during the visit. Additionally, he also talked about mental health and praised the staff at the orphanage.

“It’s important that people talk about it and it’s not too taboo,” he said about mental health awareness. “In the west, we don’t really focus on the emotional support.”

The Duke of Cambridge added, “What you’re all doing is amazing and you’ve got two ambassadors in us.”

Chris Jackson/PA Wire

Kate was also happy about returning to the SOS Children’s Village. She said she was “so glad we came back to get the full picture.” Her husband chimed in, “I could feel that there was more to talk about.”

Making their visit even more memorable, the royal couple joined the children for a game of cricket. During the game, Prince William accidentally hit his wife’s neck with the ball. “Ha! She’s my wife, so I can just about get away with it,” he quipped. Luckily, Kate was a good sport and also laughed it off.

Moreover, the pair also joined the kids on the floor for a painting session. They even received friendship bracelets made by the little ones, a pink one for the Duchess of Cambridge and a blue one for Prince William. “Thank you so much for the bracelet,” he said. “I won’t take it off.”

He added, “My children will wonder why I’m wearing it.”

Sometimes, unplanned visits prove to be the best ones!

Don’t miss E! News every weeknight at 7, only on E!


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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to Take Sabbatical and Bring Baby Archie to the U.S.




Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are taking a much-needed break.

Not from each other, though! But from the chaos that is public life. And according to The Sunday Times, the royal couple plans to bring their 5-month-old son, Archie Harrison, to America for the first time!

According to the publication, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will take a six-week sabbatical for “family time,” starting next month until the Christmas holiday. The three will spend their break in both the United Kingdom and the United States, marking the first time their son will visit his mother’s homeland.

With that, they are expected to celebrate Thanksgiving with Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland at the Duchess of Sussex’s childhood home in California, and Christmas with Queen Elizabeth II and the rest of the royal family at her Sandringham estate in England.

The news comes weeks after Harry and Meghan brought Archie with them on an official trip to southern Africa, which marked their little nugget’s first royal tour, following a private visit to France.

Additionally, the royal couple’s upcoming break comes after the Duke of Sussex called out the British tabloids over their “ruthless” campaign against his wife over the past year, during which there were numerous negative stories written about her while she was pregnant and just after she gave birth.

In fact, the two have also begun legal proceedings against one of the outlets, The Mail on Sunday, over its publication of parts of a private letter that Meghan had written to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.

In a trailer for the ITV documentary Harry and Meghan: An African Journey, which is set to air on Sunday in the U.K. and on Wednesday on ABC in the United States, an emotional Meghan opened up about her struggles and life as a new mom. 

“Any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable and so that was made really challenging,” she said. “And then when you have a newborn, you know…especially as a woman, it’s really, it’s a lot, so you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed its, yeah, well I guess.”

“And also thank you for asking because not many people have asked if I’m OK,” she continued. “But it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”

“And the answer is? Would it be fair to say, ‘Not really OK,’ as in, it’s really been a struggle?” the interviewer asks.

“Yes,” Meghan replies.


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College Has Students Wear Cardboard Boxes On Their Heads During Exams To Prevent Cheating




Roommates, we may have come up with interesting ways to cheat on exams, but a school in India is not having it! School administration has come up with their own way to stop cheating, which includes cardboard boxes.

According to BBC, students in the Indian state of Karnataka were forced to wear cardboard boxes on their heads during an exam to keep their eyes from wandering to their peer’s papers. The students were reportedly taking midterms, and teachers were in the classroom monitoring their every move.

The school has come under fire since the photo went viral, and a junior college administrator has since apologized to district officials for the incident.

“This is totally unacceptable. Nobody has any right to treat anybody more so students like animals. This perversion will be dealt with aptly,” a minister said about the incident.

“This is ridiculous and humiliating for the students, Yes, cheating is a problem, but this is not the way to solve it. Whoever approved this should be reprimanded,” one social media user wrote.

He says the school has only implemented the cardboard boxes as an experiment., and insists the students consented.

“There was no compulsion of any kind. You can see in the photograph that some students were not wearing it,” he said. “Some who wore it removed it after 15 minutes, some after 20 minutes and we ourselves asked them to remove it after one hour.”

Regional officials reportedly rushed to the school to complain as soon as they were made aware of the images. SC Peerjade deputy director of the local pre-University Education Board, described the practice as  “inhumane”.

“When I got a message on this, I immediately went to the college and ordered the management to stop the practice,” he said. “I also issued a notice to the college management and am contemplating disciplinary action against them for implementing this idea.”

School officials have since stopped the experiment.

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