Saturday, November 27, 2021

Girl Week 2021: The 52-Film Challenge

    Welcome to Day 6 of Girl Week 2021. During last year's Girl Week, I posted a list of all the female directed films I watched up to that point in 2020. I noticed I was quite a bit short of where I wanted to be and challenged myself to do what's become known as the 52-Film Challenge, and watch at least 52 films directed by women over the course of a year. The idea is to watch one per week, arriving at that 52 by the end of the year. With life being what it is, of course, there were some weeks I watched none, and by some I mean a lot. There were some weeks I watched 3, 4, or even 5. As of this post, I am still a little behind the pace to reach 52 when the clock strikes midnight in a few weeks and catapults us into 2022. That said, I am well ahead of where I was at this time last year. Besides, I'm a teacher in real life. This means I also have a week right at the end of the year when I will be home watching movies. Therefore, 52 is definitely within reach.

    As I did last year, I will list all of the ones I've watched so far, here. My goal in doing so is to give you some titles to check out in case you're on the lookout for such movies yourself. I'm presenting them in chronological order of my viewing.

Quick Key: [A] = Animated [D] = Documentary [X] = Exploitation

She Dies Tomorrow (2020) - Amy Seimetz

Rogue (2020) - M. J. Bassett

Regina King

One Night in Miami (2021) - Regina King

The Two Killings of Sam Cooke (2019) - Kelly Duane de la Vega [D]

Lost Girls (2020) - Liz Garbus

12 Hour Shift (2020) - Brea Grant [X]

A Love Song for LaTasha (2019) - Sophia Nahli Allison [D]

A Vigilante (2018) - Sarah Dagger-Nickson

Flora & Ulysses (2021) - Lena Khan

Phillippa Ehrlich and James Reed

My Octopus Teacher (2020) - Phillippa Ehrlich and James Reed [D]

Promising Young Woman (2020) - Emerald Fennell

Moxie (2021) - Amy Poehler

Judy & Punch (2019) - Mirrah Foulkes

Miranda July

Kajillionaire (2020) - Miranda July

Things Heard & Seen (2021) - Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini

Mary J. Blige's My Life (2021) - Vanessa Roth [D]

Captain Marvel (2019) - Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck

Black Widow (2021) - Cate Shortland

Fear Street 1994 (2021) - Leigh Janiak

Secret Society of Second Born Royals (2020) - Anna Mastro

Fear Street 1978 (2021) - Leigh Janiak

Fear Street 1666 (2021) - Leigh Janiak

Untold: Deal with the Devil (2021) - Laura Brownson [D]

DC Super Hero Girls (2018) - Cecilia Aranovich and Ian Hamilton [A]

Little Women (2019) - Greta Gerwig

Chloe Zhao

Nomadland (2020) - Chloe Zhao

Respect (2021) - Leisl Tommy

To the Bone (2017) - Marti Noxon

Candyman (2021) - Nia DaCosta

Janicsza Bravo

Zola (2020) - Janicsza Bravo

Found (2021) - Amanda Lipitz [D]

The Manor (2021) - Axelle Carolyn

Eternals (2021) - Chloe Zhao

Daughters of the Dust (1991) - Julie Dash

Passing (2021) - Rebecca Hall

Blue Steel (1990) - Kathryn Bigelow

Alice Wu

The Half of It (2020) - Alice Wu

Worth (2020) - Sara Colangelo

Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It (2021) - Mariem Perez Riera [D]

Good on Paper (2021) - Kim Gatewood

Sleepless in Seattle (1993) - Nora Ephron

Humanoids From the Deep aka Monster (1980) - Barbara Peeters [X]

Mark, Mary & Some Other People (2021) - Hannah Marks

The Bad Batch (2016) - Ana Lily Amirpour

1 Night in San Diego (2020) - Penelope Lawson

The Power of the Dog (2021) - Jane Campion

I'm Your Woman (2020) - Julia Hart

Bruised (2020) - Halle Berry

Tallulah (2016) - Sian Heder

Back to the Outback (2021) - Claire Knight and Harry Cripps

Mixtape (2021) - Valerie Weiss

The Matrix Resurrections (2021) - Lana Wachowski

Plan B (2021) - Natalie Morales

Day 5 Wrap-Up

Rambling Film

BB Creations

Super-Reader Joel

Addendum: At the time of the original post, I had watched 43 films directed by women during 2021. The last of these was Mark, Mary & Some Other People. I will continue to add to this list as warranted throughout the rest of 2021.

Addendum 2:


I have officially watched 53 movies directed by women during 2021.


  1. Right now, I'm at 35 as I'm not sure if I'm going to reach that goal but I do hope to get close to it. Even as I am to announce the final list for the 2022 Blind Spot Series which will feature 2 films directed by women.

    1. There's still time! Of course, you'll have to pick up the pace. Feel free to check out any of the ones I've listed that you haven't seen yet. I'm debating whether or not I'm officially getting back into the Blind Spot Series. Glad to see you have a couple of female directed films lined up for yours.

  2. A worthy project and sounds like you're going to make it! I've seen some but not all of these. The only one this year I think is Little Women-a good, not great take on the novel-but I'll have to check out the titles I haven't seen. Hopefully I'll find some new titles to add to my to see list.

    I've been working on a viewing project myself. On January 1st I set a goal to watch a film with a performer I like whose birthday is that day. The caveat is that it has to be a film I haven't seen before, some days that was a snap and others difficult as all get out! Part of what has been a challenge that I didn't particularly think about was that I have to carve out time to watch a film a day....again some days that's been a snap and others a real pinch. Anyway so far so good, I've discovered some wonderful films, ALOT of marginal ones but only a few that were flat out terrible. Like you I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully the holidays won't throw a wrench in the works!! Fingers crossed.

    I couldn't possibly list all I've seen but here's a link to the list if you're curious. :-)

    1. That is a serious challenge. Watching a film a day sounds like it's easily doable, but I know that some days there just isn't time...or you're not up to it...or you get started and something comes up. Good on you for trying that one.

  3. Yes, well, I missed most of these. I will check some 9f the. Out. I would add “ Be natural: The untold story of Alice Guy-Blache. To an excellent doc7mentary of the first woman director. This film is created by women as well.

    1. I hadn't heard of that one. Thanks for letting me know about it. I will check it out.

  4. Oops here is my link..

  5. I'm only at 34 this year which is not great. I think by this time last year I had already hit 52. I've got a ways to go.

    1. It's so easy to fall behind if you're not intentionally picking them.

  6. I think in 2022 I'm going to make a concerted effort to watch more films, documentaries etc. directed by women. I've been keeping track on what I've watched this year via Letterboxd - I'm only on 13 :(

    1. Yeah, unless you make the effort to seek them out it's difficult to see that many in a year. Women have directed such a small percentage of movies you just aren't going to bump into a bunch of them by accident.