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Celebrating women in film

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To celebrate Sky’s third year of support for International Women’s Day (which took place this year on 8 March), Sky Movies HD is launching its first Women In Film Season – a selection of movies that celebrates women in film (from iconic actresses to glass ceiling-smashing directors) who have changed the roles of women in the film industry.

Running until 13 March, the season includes such seminal (and varied) female films as Thelma And Louise, Erin Brockovich and 1963’s Cleopatra.

One of the season’s must-see films is 1980’s Nine To Five (11 March, 3.35pm). Featuring Dolly Parton in her film debut and actresses Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, it was one of the first big Hollywood films to address sexism in the workplace (admittedly giving it a comedic twist with a brilliant soundtrack and some cartoon birds in one sequence). The film helped highlight the importance of female solidarity thanks to the charm of its three leads.

A selection of movies that celebrates women in film

In keeping with the season’s feminist slant is Nineties classic Thelma And Louise (9 March, 5.45pm) which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Directed by Ridley Scott, the film was immediately hailed as a modern-day classic upon its release and both leads, Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon were nominated for Academy Awards® for their performances. Combining weighty issues, a breathtaking Americana backdrop and moments of comedy, it’s essential viewing.

Julia Roberts’ portrayal of Erin Brockovich in 2000 (13 March, 8pm) provoked a similar reaction. As a single mother, she brings down a power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply. Roberts won an Oscar® for her gritty and charismatic portrayal of the real-life Brockovich.

But it’s not just women in front of the camera who are being celebrated in the Women in Film Season. Some of film’s most iconic female directors – including Jane Campion (The Piano, Bright Star) and Penny Marshall – are featured. Former comedy star Marshall was one of the first women to achieve blockbuster success, and it’s her A League Of Their Own (12 March, 3.55pm) which demonstrates her perfect pairing of female issues with mainstream cinema. Following the fortunes of a female baseball team (which includes Geena Davis – again – and Madonna), it’s a moving and funny film. Other nods to the theme will include a women-only anchor day on Sky News, whilst an all-female episode of The Book Show will be broadcast on Sky Arts. Sky Atlantic will also premiere Christy Turlington’s documentary No Woman, No Cry on 13 March.

The full line up of the Women In Film season is below:

Female Directors

• Mon 7th 8pm The Proposal (Anne Fletcher)

• Wed 9th 8pm It's Complicated (Nancy Meyers)

• Fri 11th 5.30pm The Secret Life of Bees (Gina Prince-Bythewood)

• Fri 11th 8pm Nanny McPhee & The Big Bang (Susanna White)

• Sat 12th 3.55pm A League of Their Own (Penny Marshall)

• Sat 12th 6.05pm Amelia (Mira Nair)

• Sat 12th 8pm Jennifer’s Body (Karyn Kusama)

• Sun 13th 4.15pm Hanging Up (Diane Keaton)

• Sun 13th 5.55pm Bright Star (Jane Campion)

Strong Female Characters

• Mon 7th 3.55pm Cleopatra

• Tues 8th 8pm Nine

• Wed 9th 5.45pm Thelma & Louise

• Thurs 10th 5.50pm Julie & Julia

• Thurs 10th 8pm Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

• Fri 11th 3.35pm Nine to Five

• Sun 13th 8pm Erin Brockovich

Sky Movies HD’s Women In Film Season; 7-13 March, Sky Movies Showcase/HD

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