Your Guide to the Women Filmmakers at AFI FEST 2020 Presented by Audi – American Film Institute


Your Guide to the Women Filmmakers at AFI FEST 2020 Presented by Audi

AFI FEST presented by Audi is going virtual! The 34th edition showcases 124 titles of which 53% are directed by women, 39% are directed by BIPOC and 17% are directed by LBGTQ+. In addition to its support for AFI film festivals throughout the year and the Audi Fellowship for Women at the AFI Conservatory, Audi is thrilled to highlight the incredible work of women filmmakers at this year’s AFI FEST and is proud to present this comprehensive guide to the films directed by women, screening online Oct. 15-22.

With films ranging across all genres and themes, from thrilling action films to documentaries lifting the veil on our culture to intimate portrayals of daily life, join Audi in celebrating the work of these women directors. Below is the full list of the FEST films directed by women in the Cinema’s Legacy, Documentary, Shorts, New Auteurs, Special Presentations and World Cinema sections. Passes and tickets are now available on

Select Below to View Films Directed by Women by Section:

AFI Conservatory Showcase

Cinema’s Legacy


Meet The Press Film Festival

New Auteurs

Short Films

Special Presentations

World Cinema


AFI Conservatory Showcase

ELLE directed by Nicole Vanden Broeck

In the midst of her sexual awakening, 16-year-old Elle finds herself in love with her best girlfriend who is about to move out of town. BUY TICKET


FLECK directed by Jing Ai Ng

An Asian-American teenager at a traditional prep school longing to fit in is forced to choose between her morality or belonging to the school’s elite. BUY TICKET


JULIET directed by Ira Storozhenko

A transgender teenager battles prejudice and her own self-doubt to audition for the female lead in her high school’s play. BUY TICKET


THE SPEECH directed by Haohao Yan

May 2003, Beijing, China. Under pressure from the WHO, the Chinese government announced the SARS outbreak is real. During the ensuing lockdown, three eight-year-old girls have to find a way to make sense of the world. BUY TICKET


TAPE directed by Jojo Erholtz

A 16-year-old ice hockey player on an all girls’ high school team tries to repair her relationship with her teammate, while preparing for the team’s pre-qualifying game. BUY TICKET


VEIL directed by Zahra Golafshani

When Leila, a Muslim teenager, shows up to her senior prom in a conservative and modest dress, her beliefs, culture and sense of identity gets tested. BUY TICKET


WITCHIN directed by Christina Diamantara

Ridiculed in the witch world and sent to the human world to find the elusive BDE, a young witch confronts her biggest tormentor – her kind spirit. BUY TICKET


YOUR ONE AND ONLY directed by Olesia Biletska

Returning home after an abortion, Sophie finds her husband cheating on her. Overwhelmed, she invites his mistress to lunch in order to take her revenge. BUY TICKET

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Cinema’s Legacy

JUST ANOTHER GIRL ON THE I.R.T. directed by Leslie Harris

Growing up middle-class in Brooklyn in the ‘90s, 17-year-old Chantal is on the road to fulfilling her med school ambitions, but her upward trajectory is derailed when she receives unwelcome news. BUY TICKET


THE WATERMELON WOMAN directed by Cheryl Dunye

Aspiring filmmaker Cheryl is embarking on a documentary project tracing the unwritten history of a Black actress spotted in a number of films from the ‘30s and ‘40s. BUY TICKET

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THE AMERICAN SECTOR directed by Courtney Stephens and Pacho Velez

The fall of the Berlin Wall marked the end of the Cold War. Thirty years later, two filmmakers comb the U.S. in search of fragments of the wall and what it represents. BUY TICKET


THE BIG SCARY “S” WORD directed by Yael Bridge

A fascinating blend of historical and contemporary documentary storytelling, THE BIG SCARY “S” WORD re-examines socialism in a U.S. context and finds it to be as American as apple pie. BUY TICKET


JACINTA directed by Jessica Earnshaw

The camera follows Jacinta, mid-twenties, everywhere – in prison, at the sober house and in the car in her town in Maine. This beautifully crafted, slice-of-life documentary will leave you shaken and profoundly moved. BUY TICKET



The filmmakers behind 2003’s penetrating documentary THE CORPORATION return with an incredibly timely and urgently needed sequel that lays bare the psychosis of the corporation and what can be done about it. BUY TICKET


ON THE RECORD directed by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering

Presented in association with AFI FEST’s tribute to Kirby Dick, this free showing of the powerful documentary ON THE RECORD gives voice to former A&R executive Drew Dixon, who alleges sexual abuse by hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. BUY TICKET


SISTERS WITH TRANSISTORS directed by Lisa Rovner

A glorious ode to the women who helped shape electronic music and the contemporary soundscape as we know it, using poetic narration and extraordinary archival footage to trace the unsung history of electronic music. BUY TICKET

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Meet The Press Film Festival

BREACH OF TRUST directed by Mishal Mahmud

BREACH OF TRUST explores the University of Southern California’s institutional cover-up involving the sexual misconduct of former full-time gynecologist George Tyndall. The story is anchored by the survivors, who after being wronged by the university continue their fight for institutional change. BUY TICKET


GLOVES OFF directed by Ugonna Okpalaoka and Nadine Natour

GLOVES OFF follows the story of Tiara Brown, a young police officer who forges new ways to serve her community by day, then laces up and fights to make a name for herself in the boxing ring by night. BUY TICKET


OIL & WATER directed by Anjali Nayar

Facing imminent takeover of ancestral lands, the women in the Turkana region of Kenya stand up against oil giant Tullow. Despite resistance from the men in their community, they continue to fight for their way of life. BUY TICKET


STATUS PENDING directed by Priscilla Gonzalez Sainz

With immigration law under attack, five first-generation immigration lawyers — who call themselves “The Tribe” — strive to help immigrants obtain safety and status in the United States. BUY TICKET


SUSTAINED OUTRAGE directed by Gabriela Cavanagh

Eight months after the family-owned Charleston Gazette-Mail won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting, the Gazette-Mail grappled with a painful reality: bankruptcy ahead of a sale. BUY TICKET


TALL TALES WITH TRUE QUEENS directed by Kristina Budelis and Leandro Badalotti

Drag Queen Story Hour features drag queens reading stories to kids in libraries and schools. Amidst a building controversy, we learn that kids and drag queens have more in common than you might think. BUY TICKET


TANGLED ROOTS directed by Samantha Knowles

TANGLED ROOTS follows Kentucky State Representative Attica Scott as she fights to pass a bill that would dismantle a system of discrimination against black people who are penalized for something seemingly innocuous — their hair. BUY TICKET


VOTE NEIL directed by Honora Talbott

Neil is a first-time politician running for State House. Mike is his fiancé and campaign manager searching for purpose. An intimate portrait about politics, the Southern LGBTQ experience and one incredible love story. BUY TICKET

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New Auteurs

THE INTRUDER directed by Natalia Meta

A would-be relaxing holiday for voice actor Inés (Érica Rivas) is cut short by an unexpected horror. As she readjusts to her former routine, her sense of reality becomes increasingly precarious. BUY TICKET


JUMBO directed by Zoé Wittock

JUMBO tells the story of Jeanne who falls in love with a carnival ride. Director Zoé Wittock delivers a compassionate and heartfelt retelling of this quirky inspired-by-a-true-story tale. BUY TICKET


LUXOR directed by Zeina Durra

Hana, a British aid worker, arrives in ancient Luxor seeking solace after working on the Syrian border. Upon running into a former lover, Hana’s nostalgic trip becomes a meditative journey on trauma and choices. BUY TICKET


SHADOW IN THE CLOUD directed by Roseanne Liang

A World War II pilot (Chloë Grace Moretz) with top secret cargo boards a bomber with an all-male crew and a sinister stowaway in this exciting horror film. BUY TICKET


SHE PARADISE directed by Maya Cozier

A Trinidadian girl’s world is upended when she meets a group of Soca dancers in this engaging and vibrant coming-of-age film about sisterhood and the joy of dance. BUY TICKET


SHOULD THE WIND DROP (SI LE VENT TOMBE) directed by Nora Martirosyan

Alain, an airport auditor, is sent to evaluate the airport in a small breakaway country and becomes enmeshed with the lives of the local people, making his job more complicated than he anticipated. BUY TICKET

WILDLAND directed by Jeanette Nordahl

A destructive familial cycle of crime is explored in this engrossing Danish gangster thriller centered on a teenage girl who goes to live with her maternal, but menacing, aunt and a trio of violent cousins. BUY TICKET

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Short Films

BLACK GOAT directed by Yi Tang

Pasang is the new girl at the monastery. When she has her first period after hearing a late-night ghost story, she tries to keep it hidden, believing she has been cursed and must sacrifice a black goat to avoid further misfortune. BUY TICKET


BLOCKS directed by Bridget Moloney

An existential comedy about the mother of two young children who begins to spontaneously vomit toy blocks. BUY TICKET


BREAKING GROUND directed by Ines Girihirwe

Mistreated in her relationship, a young woman decides to change the course of her life, let go for once and do as she pleases. BUY TICKET


CHILD OF THE LAND (KAMA’ĀINA) directed by Kimi Howl Lee

After suffering abuse from her stepfather, a queer 16-year-old girl, Mahina, must navigate life on the streets until she eventually finds refuge at Hawaiʻi’s largest organized homeless encampment. BUY TICKET


CORRESPONDENCIA directed by Carla Simón and Dominga Sotomayor

CORRESPONDENCIA Two young filmmakers discuss the present and past, family, heritage, maternity and cinema. Their personal and profound reflections are suddenly echoed by the political turmoil of a country. BUY TICKET


DUSTIN directed by Naïla Guiguet

At a nightclub we meet Dustin, a young transgender woman and her friends. As the night draws on, collective hysteria morphs into sweet melancholy and euphoria into yearning for tenderness. BUY TICKET


THE END OF SUFFERING (A PROPOSAL) directed by Jacqueline Lentzou

Sofia is panicky, again. The Universe decides to contact her. An other-wordly dialogue. A planet symphony. BUY TICKET


THE FEELING directed by Bridey Elliott

Brandi and Alex are sibling realtors at the top of their game… until they meet their biggest fan and everything they care about is put in jeopardy. BUY TICKET


HEADING SOUTH (雁南飞) directed by Yuan Yuan

Eight-year-old Chasuna travels from her home on the grasslands to visit her father in the big city. At his birthday party, Chasuna discovers he has remarried. BUY TICKET


IN SUDDEN DARKNESS directed by Tayler Montague

A slice of life film set in the Bronx, New York. A working-class family tries to stay afloat in the midst of a city-wide blackout. BUY TICKET


L.A. ROLL directed by Helki Frantzen

L.A. ROLL follows members of Sk8 Mafia, a crew of Los Angeles-based dance skaters, as they reflect on the closure of their beloved home rink and seek out a new rink despite adversity and setbacks. BUY TICKET


LITTLE CHIEF directed by Erica Tremblay

It’s just another typical day at a rural elementary school on a reservation in Oklahoma. It’s a world that is stacked against them, but Sharon shows up each day to guide her fifth grade students through it. BUY TICKET


NOUR directed by Rim Nakhli

Nour and Adem set off in search of their father, who they have not seen for a long time, crossing the city to arrive at the appointment place. BUY TICKET


PILLARS directed by Haley Elizabeth Anderson

One Sunday at church, 12-year-old Amber experiences her first kiss, a moment of innocence that triggers a series of awakenings: sexual, emotional and religious. BUY TICKET


POSTPARTUM (WOCHENBETT) directed by Henriette Rietz

A chaotic phase in the life of a new mother, pumped with hormones and lacking sleep, this period of intensity is burned deep into the heart of the protagonist. BUY TICKET


RUBBED IN PINK directed by Kathy Esquenazi Mitrani

The daughters of a fashion photographer are beginning to explore their femininity. BUY TICKET


T directed by Keisha Rae Witherspoon

A film crew follows three grieving participants of Miami’s annual T Ball, where folks assemble to model R.I.P. T-shirts and innovative costumes designed in honor of their dead. BUY TICKET


THERE’S CAKE (SENSE POSTRE) directed by Clàudia Vernis

Marina is surrounded by food, which occupies her passing thoughts. Today is Saint John, the hottest and longest day of the summer and her mother has made chocolate cake to celebrate. BUY TICKET


THEY SALIVATE (ILS SALIVENT) directed by Ariane Boukerche

In this the story of a kiss, a couple kiss one another in their deserted living room, but as the party begins one guest drinks their last kiss. BUY TICKET


TIGER AND OX (호랑이와 소) directed by Seunghee Kim

What does divorce mean to women in Korean patriarchal society? Is a fatherless family a failure? In order to find the answer to these questions, a single mother and her daughter start a conversation. BUY TICKET


UMBILICAL directed by Danski Tang

An animated documentary exploring how the filmmaker’s mother’s abusive relationship with her father shaped her own experiences in a boarding school in China. BUY TICKET


THE VISIT directed by Azadeh Moussavi

After six months, Elaheh is finally allowed to visit her husband, who is a political prisoner. Elaheh and her little daughter Tara have one single day to prepare for this important meeting. BUY TICKET

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Special Presentations

I’M YOUR WOMAN directed by Julia Hart

Forced on the run with her child after her husband’s criminal acts are taken too far, Jean must bravely face her past and toxic marriage in this thriller set in the 1970s. BUY TICKET


ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI… directed by Regina King

In February 1964, friends Cassius Clay, Jim Brown, Sam Cooke and Malcolm X gather in a hotel room to celebrate Clay’s heavyweight championship win. Reveling in the night, they match wits and stories. As their banter subsides, they turn to ideas of power, future dreams and civil rights — challenging each other on fame, money, activism and racism. BUY TICKET


PINK SKIES AHEAD directed by Kelly Oxford

After dropping out of college and moving back in with her parents, Winona is diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Skeptical, Winona decides to see a therapist once her life begins to unravel around her. BUY TICKET


REALLY LOVE directed by Angel Kristi Williams

When struggling artist Isaiah and law student Stevie hit crossroads in their careers, they are forced to consider if their relationship is a love for a season or a love for a lifetime. BUY TICKET


A SUITABLE BOY directed by Mira Nair

1951. In a newly independent India, passionate literature student Lata Mehra is torn between family duty and the promise of romance as three very different men try to win her heart. BUY TICKET

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World Cinema

FAREWELL AMOR directed by Ekwa Msangi

After 17 years apart, a reunited Angolan family faces a struggle to assimilate while holding onto their culture and finds the distances that have formed between them impossible to bridge. BUY TICKET


I CARRY YOU WITH ME directed by Heidi Ewing

Director Heidi Ewing cleverly blends fictional characters with their real-life counterparts in this artful love story that spans decades, crosses borders and artfully weaves in poignant commentary on immigration, injustice and homophobia. BUY TICKET


INDUSTRY directed by Lena Dunham, Tinge Krishnan and Ed Lilly

In the latest series from HBO, an ambitious group of graduates compete for a permanent role at Piedmont, a top London bank. Harper, the sole American, with a mysterious past, navigates privilege and egos in this world of international finance, determined to prove herself as the best hire. Boundaries blur and rankings intensify within the group as they are immersed into a company culture driven by success at all costs. AFI FEST is honored to host the North American premiere of the first four episodes of this electric ensemble-drama. BUY TICKET


MY DONKEY, MY LOVER AND I directed by Caroline Vignal

When Antoinette’s secret lover cancels their romantic getaway for a preplanned six-day hike with his wife and daughter in the French mountains, Antoinette impulsively decides to follow and surprise him. BUY TICKET


MY LITTLE SISTER directed by Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond

Berlin-born twin siblings Lisa (Nina Hoss) and Sven (Lars Eidinger) have a lifelong shared passion for theater. When Sven is diagnosed with leukemia, Lisa begins to dramatically re-evaluate her life. BUY TICKET


TRAGIC JUNGLE (SELVA TRÁGICA) directed by Yulene Olaizola

A Belizean woman desperately trying to get away from a white British landowner heads deep into the Mayan rainforest, but will her presence awaken a mythical spirit, Xtabay, who seeks revenge on those who have harmed the land? BUY TICKET


UNDER THE OPEN SKY directed by Miwa Nishikawa

Masao Mikami (Koji Yakusho) is released from prison and struggles to find his place in today’s everchanging Japan. Veteran director Miwa Nishikawa’s drama is a heartfelt exploration of redemption. BUY TICKET


WANDER DARKLY directed by Tara Miele

A troubled relationship is further shaken by a traumatic event. New parents Adrienne (Sienna Miller) and Matteo (Diego Luna) retrace pivotal moments of their romance from a surreal perspective and a time-bending narrative structure. BUY TICKET

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