By Emily Maskell
In the past year, a wave of new women filmmakers have ushered in an exciting era of British cinema. These débutantes are united by their refreshing perspectives on modern girlhood and young womanhood. Collectively, their films push boundaries in their timely, resonant depictions of class, race and sexuality. These titles – including Charlotte Regan’s tender working-class drama Scrapper (2023), Raine Allen Miller’s Black British rom-com Rye Lane (2023) and Molly Manning Walker’s sharp analysis of consent in How to Have Sex (2023) – mark an invigorating moment in the British film industry. This eruption of women directors is not just a trend, but a movement blossoming in the UK’s creative field.
Regan captures the gorgeous imagination of childhood in Scrapper. The film centres on 12-year-old Georgie (Lola Campbell), whose youth is uprooted following the death of her mother. She’s living alone on a council estate and is entirely self-sufficient, outsmarting social services and daydreaming about what the spiders in her house would say if they could talk. Regan’s poppy style rejects conventional depictions of poverty on screen. Working-class life is typically portrayed with gritty, kitchen-sink realism, but Scrapper embraces Georgie’s childlike wonder with fantasy sequences that energise the narrative.