London Feminist Film Festival announces programme

Organisers aim to raise profile of creative women.

by Jennie Kermode

Did you know that, of all the films released in the UK between 2007 and 2010, only just over ten percent were directed by women? This certainly isn't due to a shortage of female talent, as a cursory look through Eye For Film's archives will show you. The London Feminist Film Festival has set out to try and change the situation by showcasing the work of some of the best female filmmakers, and it has just announced its line-up for 2012.

Opening the festival is Lesbiana - A Parallel Revolution, which looks at the work of creative women, thinkers and activists who created a new narrative in feminism and a way of looking at the world that focused squarely on women. The days that follow feature women's work on some distressing subjects - domestic violence (As A Warrior), rape (She Was No Greta Garbo) and war (I Too Have A Name) - along side positive stories of women breaking through in traditionally male dominated professions such as driving (Taxi Sister), journalism (Sari Stories) and football (Ladies' Turn). There are grim tales of superstition such as The Witches Of Gambaga, about outcast Ghanaian women suspected of sorcery; and downright bizarre ones like Seating Code about the Chinese belief that women's behaviour on film sets must be restricted for fear of bad luck. There's also a documentary tribute to African-American lesbian feminist poet Audre Lorde.

Short but sweet, the festival runs from November 29 to December 2 at the Hackney Picture House. Its films will be supported by panel discussions and there will also be room for parties. "In a year when the Cannes Film Festival had no women in its official selection... the London Feminist Film Festival is here to challenge, change, inspire, redress, entertain, and satisfy," says its matron, Bidisha.

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