< Back to Festival Program List
58th Chicago International Film Festival banner

Women in Cinema

Powerful and provocative films by both leading women filmmakers and exciting new voices.


In-Person

Aftersun

Charlotte Wells  |   United Kingdom
Coming of Age, Drama, Family Affairs

Two decades after spending their last vacation together, Sophie tries to reconcile the father she knew with the man she didn’t in this searing emotional drama.

In-Person

Alcarràs

Carla Simón  |   Spain, Italy
Catalan, Spanish  
Coming of Age, Drama, Family Affairs

In this absorbing family drama, a close-knit clan is plunged into crisis when the land they have farmed for decades is sold to developers.

In-Person
Streaming

Alis

Clare Weiskopf & Nicolás Van Hemelryck  |   Colombia, Romania, Chile
Spanish  
Coming of Age, Social Commentary, Women Centered

When the residents of a Colombian youth shelter are asked to imagine a fellow adolescent, “Alis” emerges as an avatar for their own experiences in this innovative and moving portrait of youth and resilience.

In-Person

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

Laura Poitras  |   United States
Political, Social Commentary, Women Centered

This compelling personal history chronicles Goldin’s tragedies and triumphs, as she uses her position as an artist and disrupter to affect cultural and political change.

In-Person
Streaming

Art and Pep

Mercedes Kane  |   United States
LGBTQ, Political, Social Commentary

A heartfelt tribute to activists Art Johnston and Pepe Peña, whose celebrated gay bar Sidetrack has fueled movements and created community on Chicago’s Halsted Street for decades.

In-Person
Streaming

Band

Álfrún Örnólfsdóttir  |   Iceland
English, Icelandic  
Comedy, Music, Women Centered

In this off-beat send-up of blind ambition that celebrates female friendship, Iceland’s Post Performance Blues Band give themselves one year to become avant-garde pop stars—or relinquish their dream forever.

In-Person
Streaming

Before, Now & Then (Nana)

Kamila Andini  |   Indonesia
Indonesian  
Historical, LGBTQ, Women Centered

Set in 1960s Indonesia, this layered, contemplative drama sees a lonely woman forge a life-saving friendship with her husband’s mistress.

In-Person

The Big Payback

Erika Alexander & Whitney Dow  |   United States
Political, Social Commentary, Women Centered

An inspiring look at rookie Alderman Robin Rue Simmons’ fight to redress the wrongs of “redlining” and the legacy of slavery through a groundbreaking reparations program in Evanston, Illinois.

In-Person

The Blue Caftan

Maryam Touzani  |   France, Morocco, Belgium, Denmark
Arabic  
Drama, Family Affairs, LGBTQ

After master tailor Halim reluctantly takes on a new apprentice, the two must conceal their mutual attraction in this elegant and sympathetic reflection on adoration, love, and longing.

In-Person

Call Jane

Phyllis Nagy  |   United States
Historical, Political, Women Centered

After a life-threatening heart condition forces a suburban Chicago housewife (Elizabeth Banks) to seek an abortion in 1968, she turns to an underground activist group for help—and joins their cause.

In-Person

Chile 1976

Manuela Martelli  |   Chile, Argentina, Qatar
Spanish  
Historical, Political, Thriller

In this taut, understated thriller, a woman of means treads dangerous ground when she agrees to care for an injured member of the political opposition during the Pinochet dictatorship.

In-Person

Corsage

Marie Kreutzer  |   Austria, France, Germany
English, French, German, Hungarian  
Drama, Historical, Women Centered

Vicky Krieps delivers a tour-de-force performance as Austria’s Empress Elisabeth in a bold and timely revisionist costume drama.

In-Person

Falcon Lake

Charlotte Le Bon  |   Canada, France
English, French  
Coming of Age, Mystery, Romance

A 14-year-old boy vacationing with his family in rural Quebec falls for a rebellious older girl in this tenderly-observed, haunting rumination on first love.

In-Person

The Great Silence (Den Store Stilhed)

Katrine Brocks  |   Denmark
Danish, Norwegian  
Family Affairs, Religion, Women Centered

Just as Alma is preparing to take her vows to become a nun, her estranged brother turns up demanding his share of the family inheritance, setting into motion a haunting tale of love, deceit, and forgiveness.

In-Person

Huesera

Michelle Garza Cervera  |   Mexico, Peru
Spanish  
Family Affairs, Horror, Women Centered

Believing she has been cursed by a sinister entity, a pregnant woman must embrace dark magic to combat the malicious spirit in this chilling exploration of the anxieties of early motherhood.

In-Person

If These Walls Could Sing

Mary McCartney  |   United Kingdom
Historical, Music

In this personal film of memory and discovery, director Mary McCartney gives exclusive access to the most famous and longest-running studio in the world, Abbey Road Studios.

In-Person

King of Kings: Chasing Edward Jones

Harriet Marin Jones  |   France, United States
English, French  
Historical, Social Commentary

The thrilling life story of the legendary African American powerbroker, who built a multimillion-dollar empire running a racketeering syndicate on Chicago’s South Side in the 1930s and ’40s.

In-Person

The Kings of the World (Los reyes del mundo)

Laura Mora  |   Colombia, Norway, Luxembourg, Mexico, France
Spanish  
Coming of Age, Drama, Social Commentary

A kaleidoscopic road movie that follows five streetwise boys on a dangerous yet dreamlike journey across Colombia to reclaim a piece of land that they might finally call home.

In-Person

La Maternal

Pilar Palomero  |   Spain, France
Spanish  
Coming of Age, Family Affairs, Women Centered

A headstrong pregnant 14-year-old is sent to live at La Maternal, a support home for young mothers, where she must quickly learn how to be a parent.

In-Person

Leonor Will Never Die (Ang Pagbabalik ng Kwago)

Martika Ramirez Escobar  |   Philippines
Filipino  
Action, Comedy, Film on Film

When an aging action screenwriter is knocked into a coma by a falling television, she becomes trapped in one of her unfinished scripts and must find a way to complete the story while still unconscious.

In-Person

Mediterranean Fever

Maha Haj  |   Palestine, Germany, France, Cyprus, Qatar
Arabic  
Comedy, Family Affairs, Social Commentary

In this charming, absurdist tale of mid-life restlessness, an aspiring novelist suffering from writer’s block finds himself out of his depth after he is befriended by his new neighbor who dabbles in petty crime.

In-Person

Nanny

Nikyatu Jusu  |   United States
English, French, Wolof  
Social Commentary, Thriller, Women Centered

In a stunning performance, Anna Diop plays a Senegalese nanny increasingly haunted by the absence of the young son she left behind.

In-Person

Noise (Ruido)

Natalia Beristáin  |   Mexico, Argentina
Spanish  
Mystery, Social Commentary, Women Centered

Months after her daughter’s disappearance, a grieving mother sets out on a search for answers and joins an underground network of people risking their lives to search for lost loved ones.

In-Person

One Fine Morning (Un Beau Matin)

Mia Hansen-Løve  |   France
French  
Romance, Sex and Sexuality, Women Centered

From Cannes winner Mia Hansen-Løve comes this engrossing story of a young widow whose friendship with a married friend soon blossoms into a passionate love affair.

In-Person

Piaffe

Ann Oren  |   Germany
English, German  
Drama, Sex and Sexuality, Women Centered

An introverted Foley artist working on a commercial is invigorated when her body begins to transform in unexpected, intoxicating ways.

In-Person

Plan 75

Chie Hayakawa  |   Japan, France, Philippines, Qatar
Japanese  
Drama, Political, Science Fiction

In a dystopian near-future, the fates of three lonely souls become intertwined as they are drawn into the sphere of Plan 75, a government program that gently coerces senior citizens to be euthanized.

In-Person

Pray For Our Sinners

Sinéad O'Shea  |   Ireland
Political, Religion, Women Centered

Filmmaker Sinead O’Shea returns to her Irish hometown to scrutinize the Church’s pervasive history of abuse and neglect—and shine a light on the unsung heroes who fought back.

In-Person

The Return of Tanya Tucker – Featuring Brandi Carlile

Kathlyn Horan  |   United States
Music, Women Centered

Trailblazing country legend Tanya Tucker makes one of the greatest artistic comebacks in music history, forging an unexpected friendship with the acclaimed singer-songwriter she inspired.

In-Person
Streaming

Runner

Marian Mathias  |   United States, France, Germany
Coming of Age, Drama, Family Affairs

In this visually stunning story of first love, a young woman sets out to bury her father in his rural Illinois hometown and finds connection with a fellow lonely soul.

In-Person

Saint Omer

Alice Diop  |   France
French  
Crime, Drama, Social Commentary, Women Centered

In this profound character study, a novelist observes the trial of a Senegalese woman accused of infanticide—a crime she admits to having committing yet maintains her innocence.

In-Person

Sweet As

Jub Clerc  |   Australia
Coming of Age, Drama, Women Centered

An indigenous teen joins a youth therapy trip into the Western Australian wilderness, discovering photography as a new lens through which to view her world and her dreams.

In-Person

Under the Fig Trees

Erige Sehiri  |   Tunisia, France, Switzerland, Germany, Qatar
Arabic  
Coming of Age, Drama, Romance

A day in the Tunisian fig harvest: fruit pickers young and old gossip, squabble, flirt and reminisce, seeking connection and reflecting on love and life in this sun-dappled slice of life.

In-Person
Streaming

The Visitors (Návštěvníci)

Veronika Lišková  |   Czech Republic, Norway, Slovakia
Czech, English, Norwegian  
Environmental, Political, Women Centered

A Czech anthropologist discovers her new home on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard is threatened both by melting glaciers and a newly hardened stance against open border immigration policies.

In-Person

Women Talking

Sarah Polley  |   United States
Drama, Literary Adaptation, Women Centered

Based on the best-selling novel by Miriam Toews, Women Talking follows a group of women in an isolated religious colony as they struggle to reconcile their faith with a series of sexual assaults committed by the colony’s men.

In-Person

The Year Between

Alex Heller  |   United States
Comedy, Coming of Age, Family Affairs

In her sharply comic feature debut, Chicago filmmaker Alex Heller plays an acerbic college student with bipolar disorder struggling to connect with her parents and make her way in the world.