The month-long season will celebrate female talent both on and off screen, from award-winning female actors to directors.
The Phenomenal season, named after Maya Angelou’s poem Phenomenal Woman, will feature over 100 female-led films to mark the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which allowed women to vote for the first time in the UK.
Jocelyn Moorhouse’s The Dressmaker kicks off the month-long season, starring Oscar-winning Kate Winslet, followed by a selection of critically acclaimed films such as Ex-Machina, Room, Girlhood, Happy-Go-Lucky, Dreams of Life, Big Eyes, Still Alice and The Voices.
The film season will show 102 films, 34 of which are directed by women, and will end on International Women’s Day (8th March) with Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette, a historical film about the UK’s early feminist movement at the start of the 20th century.
Phenomenal will also feature interview specials with award-winning female actors, directors and writers, including a special with 2018 Oscar nominees Greta Gerwig and Saoirse Ronan about the film Lady Bird. Other interviews include Brie Larson (Room), Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady), Angelina Jolie (Unbroken), Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here), Alice Lowe (Prevenge), Anne Marie Duff, Sarah Gavron and Abi Morgan (Suffragette), and Phyllis Nagy, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara (Carol).
As part of the celebration, Channel 4 will have three centenarian women take over the continuity announcements.
Millie, Beattie and Margaret, who were all born in 1918, when the Representation of the People Act allowed women to vote, will share their experiences, with extended interviews on Channel 4’s social media platform with the hashtag #Vote100.
This will not be the first time Channel 4 has passed over the continuity mics to mark momentous occasions and to raise awareness, having previously had celebrity announcers during Mental Health Awareness Week and disabled announcers as part of Channel 4’s Year of Disability.
The season will also include a documentary 100 Years and Counting, celebrating the progress women have made in society over the last century and how attitudes towards women have changed over the years – and how there is still a way to go.
"The centenary of women’s right to vote is a milestone moment for gender equality," 4creative Business Director and co-chair of 4Women - Channel 4’s gender equality network, Jane English said. "We wanted to celebrate how much has changed for women over 100 years, whilst acknowledging battles that are yet to be won."
Phenomenal starts on Wednesday 7th February on Film4.