After last year’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy, this awards season is shaping up to be a diverse affair with several films featuring multicultural casts and helmed by African-American directors (Moonlight‘s Barry Jenkins and Fence‘s Denzel Washington in particularl). Unfortunately, what’s still largely missing in the conversation is films directed by women. Save for some recognition in certain spheres for Andrea Arnold’s American Honey and Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann, it’s mostly dude directors this season.
This isn’t anything new, of course; the gender disparity among directors is longstanding. Only one woman, Kathryn Bigelow, has ever taken home the Oscar for Best Director. That disparity can get even more pronounced in genre films. Rare is the mainstream Hollywood horror movie directed by a woman, for example. That, however, doesn’t mean that women aren’t making horror movies.
Check out the trailer for the upcoming horror anthology XX for evidence.
The film features four separate stories intertwined via animated interstitials. Here’s a breakdown on the five female creatives and their contributions.
Annie Clark (better known as St. Vincent in her musical pursuits) makes her directorial debut with “The Birthday Party,” which seems to explore the creepy possibilities of animal mascots, and birthday parties in general.
Roxanne Benjamin, who is also producing, helms the segment “Don’t Fall.” She’s a veteran of the indie horror film and has contributed to previous anthologies like V/H/S and Southbound.
Karyn Kusama might be the best-known filmmaker involved. She’s previously helmed the Megan Fox-starring Jennifer’s Body and the Michelle Rodriguez vehicle Girlfight. She’s currently one of prestige television’s hottest directors (credits include episodes of The Man in the High Castle, Billions and Master of Sex, among others), but found time to direct “Her Only Living Son.”
Jovanka Vuckovic has been making indie shorts for the past few years, contributes “The Box” to XX.
Animator Sofia Carrillo provides the interstitials. You can see examples of her previous work here.
The film will premiere later this month at the Sundance Film Festival on January 22. It will then arrive in select theaters and on Video On Demand services on February 17.