Film/ TV

5 Women Directed, ‘Must See’ Films At Sundance

Sundance actively advances the work of independent storytellers in film & theatre, and it is the largest independent film festival in the US.

The Sundance Film Festival is the largest independent film festival in the United States. Founded by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that actively advances the work of independent storytellers in film and theatre.

Here are 5 ‘must see’ films directed by women now showing at the Sundance film festival.


Elizabeth Wood, an Oklahoma City native, moved to New York City to study writing at The New School. After a few years of making experimental and documentary films, Wood received a screenwriting fellowship to Columbia where she received her MFA. One of Variety’s “10 Directors to Watch” in 2016, Wood makes her narrative directorial debut.

“White Girl.” A film about falling in love in New York City.  A college girl falls hard for a guy she just met. After a night of partying goes wrong, she goes to wild extremes to get him back.

“White Girl” premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival on January 23.


Since co-founding Actual Films in 1998, Bonni Cohen has produced and directed an array of award-winning films, including “The Island President,” “Inside Guantanamo,” “The Rape of Europa” and “Wonders Are Many,” among others. She recently executive-produced “3.5 Minutes,” which had its premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and aired in 2015 on HBO.

“Audrie & Daisy.” A film about the effects that online bullying has on the lives of teenagers and their community.

“Audrie & Daisy” premieres today at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival on January 25. The documentary is co-directed by Jon Shenk.


Through her photographs and now on film, Mexican photographer and filmmaker Maya Goded explores the subjects of female sexuality, prostitution and gender violence in a society in which the role of women is narrowly defined and femininity is shrouded in myths of chastity, fragility and motherhood. Goded’s photographs have been exhibited in the United States, Latin America, Europe, China and Africa. She has published several books and co-authored others, including “Plaza de la Soledad,” “Good Girls” and “Tierra Negra.”

“Plaza de la Soledad.A documentary film about five mostly elderly prostitutes who work the titular square in the La Merced. The ensemble drama format, Goded says, allows her to suggest common causes, consequences of prostitution. One, she hinted at, is how abuse in childhood leaves hostages to fortune.

“Plaza de la Soledad” premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival on January 24.

Director Stephanie Soechtig and narrator Katie Couric for the documentary “Under the Gun”

Stephanie Soechtig is an award-winning writer, producer and documentary-film director. Her most recent film, “Fed Up,” premiered at Sundance and was acquired by Radius-TWC. A New York Times Critic’s Pick, the film spotlighted our addiction to sugar and the ensuing obesity epidemic and succeeded in bringing the issue into the mainstream.

Soechtig’s directorial-debut documentary, “Tapped,” focused on the high cost — to both the environment and our health — of the bottled water industry. “Tapped” swept film festivals across the country while picking up six awards for Best Documentary Feature.

“Under the Gun.” A documentary film about gun control which is narrated and executive produced by Katie Couric.

“Under the Gun” premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival on January 24.


Nanfu Wang is an independent filmmaker based in New York City. Wang was born in a remote farming village in Jiangxi Province, China. Realizing that she wanted to help tell the stories of people who came from backgrounds like hers, Wang decided to pursue graduate film studies, first in the journalism school at Ohio University and later at New York University’s documentary program. Wang is a recipient of the Sundance Documentary Fund and the Bertha Britdoc Journalism Fund and a Sundance and IFP-supported filmmaker. “Hooligan Sparrow” is her feature debut.

“Hooligan Sparrow.” A film about a famed women’s rights advocate Ye Haiyan [who is known more widely by her nickname, Hooligan Sparrow, in China] who leads a group of activists in a protest when two Chinese government officials who sexually abused six schoolgirls are poised to receive light sentences.

“Hooligan Sparrow” premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival on January 22.


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