Blue Moon Film Festival preview

We look ahead to new event putting spotlight on female filmmakers.

by Rebecca Naughten

Salma will screen at the Blue Moon Festival on October 28
Salma will screen at the Blue Moon Festival on October 28
A new film festival specifically focussed on female filmmakers commences its inaugural edition this month - running from October 21 to November 25.

Freelance film programmer Stephanie Oswald has founded the Blue Moon Film Festival in Newcastle upon Tyne, taking inspiration from the female-oriented Bird's Eye View and Underwire film festivals. It is timed to follow on from the North East Feminist Gathering (held October 11-12) - with the hope of fostering further discussions relating to the issues central to that event - Blue Moon runs aims to make "spaces for women's voices" and enable audiences "to hear and see stories told by women".

The varied programme will take place at three independent venues across the city. The Side Cinema will host two documentaries that place strong women centre stage. On October 21, Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines (Kirsty Guevara-Flanagan, 2013) examines the evolution of an all-too-rare female superhero. Then on October 28, Salma (Kim Longinotto, 2013) follows the story of a different kind of heroism and feat of endurance - an Indian woman who survived being locked up by her family for 25 years to go on to become an acclaimed poet, challenging the traditions and expectations of her society.

The festival moves to the Star & Shadow Cinema) on November 12 for an open film night, which will feature a panel discussion with regional female filmmakers - including artist Cecilia Stenbom, animation filmmaker Ellie Land, director Magali Pettier, and producer Jan Cawood - followed by the opportunity for local women filmmakers to screen their short films. The short film theme continues on November 14 in the form of a night of silent shorts with musical accompaniment from local female musicians. The films to be shown include Maya Deren's Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), Suspense (Lois Weber, 1913), and The Seashell And The Clergyman (Germaine Dulac, 1928) with more still to be announced.

The Tyneside Cinema presents the concluding screening of the festival on November 25 - the French comedy Camille Rewinds (Noémie Lvovsky, 2012), in which the eponymous character finds herself 16 again - back in 1985 - and tries to reshape her future. The film - written and directed by Lvovsky, who also performs the lead role - was nominated for 13 César Awards. For further details and to book tickets, see the festival's website.

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