8 Up-And-Coming Women Directors To Watch

by Erika W. Smith


Bushwick Film Festival marked its 10th year this past weekend, showing feature films, documentaries, and short films over the course of four days. Founded by Liberian-born New Yorker Kweighbaye Kotee, Bushwick Film Fest is far more diverse in terms of gender, race, and sexuality than just about any other film fest you can imagine — something particularly welcome in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Here at BUST, we always want to celebrate women film directors, because they are so underrepresented — just 7% of the top 250 films last year were directed by women, a decline from 2015.  So here are the women directors whose films I saw this past weekend, plus a few screenings I wish I’d been able to attend but couldn’t!

1. Nancy Asiamah-Yeboah, “Poop Emoji”

In a sweet and funny narrative short film, Asiamah-Yeboah explores the love life of a young man who is social media famous and who mayyybe lets that get to his head a little bit.

2. Anne Hu, “Cake”

Hu plays a wordless sex robot with a lot of expression in this hilarious short film about a sexually adventurous young woman and her reluctant boyfriend who decide to try and ~spice things up.

3. Alice Gruia, “Consenting Adults”

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In a more serious take on a similar topic, Gruia — a German filmmaker — follows a young couple whose relationship is tested when they decide to try group sex for the first time.

4. Maria Bunai, “After Words (The Opposite Of Foreplay)”

Buani explores the love life of a serial monogamist in a series of funny bedroom scenes that are pretty #relatable.

5. Serena Dykman, Nana

Dykman and her mother retrace the steps of Dykman’s late grandmother Maryla Michalowski-Dyamant, a Holocaust survivor and activist, in this documentary. Dykman also speaks with other Holocaust survivors, friends of her grandmother’s, and activists as she grapples with questions of what it means to inherit trauma.

6. Erica Eng, “Poison”

In a short art film, Eng addresses addiction through spoken word poetry and stunning visuals.

7. Sabaah Folayan, Whose Streets?

Activist Sabaah Folayan teamed up with artist Damon Davis to tell the story of the killing of Michael Brown and the Ferguson uprising in this critically acclaimed documentary.

8. Diarra Kilpatrick, American KOKO

Detroit filmmaker Diarra Kilpatrick’s satirical short-form comedy digital series is produced by Viola Davis and her husband Julius Tennon. You can watch the entire series on abc.com.

See more on bushwickfilmfestival.com.

More from BUST

 “Professor Marston And The Wonder Women” Director Angela Robinson On The Kinky, Polyamorous, Feminist Origins Of Wonder Woman

How Women Directors Show The Nuanced Realities Of Female Friendship

Patty Jenkins Will Directo “Wonder Woman 2,” Becoming The Highest-Paid Female Director Ever

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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