Mark your calendars for the 6th edition of the Berlin Feminist Film Week 2019!
The Berlin Feminist Film Week is one of the main staples of the city’s feminism-focused events - and it’s kicking off for its sixth edition this coming Thursday, March 7, 2019 (running through March, 13 2019)! Film Screenings, discussions, panels and workshops make for a comprehensive program that is diverse and inspiring for (female) filmmakers and cinema aficionados.
The festival’s organizers want to explore “feminist topics through cinema, challenging patriarchal storytelling and putting forward characters that stand out from the hegemony of white cis-men.” Hence, they see their festival as a “platform for these characters, femtastic film-makers and the many cinema-goers who do not feel represented in mainstream cinema’s images.”
The festival will open with the screening of the short film RIOT NOT DIET (2018, Julia Fuhrmann) and coming-of-age feature The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018, Desiree Akhavan). The winner of this year’s audience award as well as the recipient of the Berlin Activist + Feminist Film Fund will be announced on the last day of the BFFW, accompanied by the screening of the Chinese neo-noir thriller Angels Wear White.
All short and feature films are outstanding and worth a visit (full program here). However, I would like to point out four feature films, fiction and documentaries, that I am looking forward to watching.
The Artist and the Pervert (Beatrice Behn and René Gebhardt): This documentary about an unusual couple is hard to digest. He is a rich, white man, she is a respectable woman of Afro-Caribbean descent who willingly lives as his 24/7 slave. We recommend you read our interview with the filmmakers here and watch the film yourself!
In search… (Beryl Magoko & Jule Katinka Cramer): Female circumcision, or FGM/C for short, is still practiced in African (but also in Middle Eastern and Asian) societies today. As a young girl growing up in rural Kenya, Beryl was subjected to FGM/C. Years later she considers undergoing vaingal reconstructive surgery to give back what was taken from her. However, she is not sure if it’s the right decision. Click here to read more about FGM/C (from the World Health Organization).
Waru (Briar Grace-Smith, Casey Kaa, Ainsley Gardiner, Katie Wolfe, Renae Maihi, Chelsea Cohen, Paula Jones, Awanui Simich-Pene, Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu): The film was shot by eight female Māori directors that have each contributed a ten minute episode and plays in the Māori community. Since I am completely unfamiliar with this culture in general and its films in particular, I think Waru is a great opportunity to get a glimpse into their communities.
A Better Man (Attiya Khan & Lawrence Jackman): Director Attiya Khan confronts her former boyfriend who used to stalk her - capturing it all on camera. The documentary is a personal account on the issue of (domestic) violence against women and posing difficult questions that everyone has to ask themselves.
Besides the many screenings, the BFFW program includes workshops like “How to shoot a Video Tutorial?” or a “Female Meme School,” as well as panels (including screenings) about feminist perspectives on (m)otherhood, climate and social justice and violence against women in media. If you are interested in attending any of those events (or if you want to buy tickets!) go directly to the BFFW’s website to sign up.
We will cover some of the screenings and panels, so stay tuned for new posts and information on our website and on Instagram!
by Marina Brafa
The Berlinale TimeOut organizers, comprised of the Female Filmmakers Festival Berlin crew and their London-based partner Shorts on Tap, had a difficult time before the actual event took place last Tuesday, February 12, because they were (fortunately) inundated with submissions. In the end, they decided on eight short films which they screened in a speakeasy-style movie theater in the very center of Berlin, the Z-Bar.
An international crowd of filmmakers escaping the Berlinale craze and interested visitors who were just dropping by gathered in the cozy backroom for two hours of short films. The selection proved that the oft-neglected genre deserves more attention. One might think that 20, or even 2 minutes is not enough time to “show” something. You can probably already guess my reply to this assumption: No, it’s not. The time limit is a challenge that can spark truly innovative and inspiring films: You want to get your - often complex - points across while delivering a compelling plot and original cinematography. You work with allusions, metaphors, symbols, ellipses and meaningfully composed images to do so.
The films screened at Berlinale TimeOut were a representative selection that showcased the relevance, diversity and potential of short films. For example, New Feelings by Russian filmmaker Anastasia Nechaeva is a sci-fi dystopian film located in her native country. In her future, humans can have their hearts cut out and still live on but with altered feelings. Do we want such a society? Eaglehawk by Shannon Murphy equally plays with our imagination. The plot of this Australian film is based on a Aboriginal legend of a monster living in the forests. Is it real or “just” an old story?
Two films stood out because of their alluring pictures: Swiss film Seelenwelten by Flurina Marugg and Stigma by Helen Warner from Ireland. In these two short films, the landscapes, mise-en-scène, lighting and colors play a significant part in the story. Seelenwelten explores the soul - inner landscape - of an adolescent woman. Viewers enter her subconscious which is very colorful and populated by pink things in the shape of drops that hang from the ceiling (if there actually is a ceiling). It is often not clear what the different “things” mean but it becomes obvious that the film is drawing on Freudian ideas of the id, ego and super-ego. In Stigma too, the landscape plays an important role - in this case the external one surrounding the characters. The film’s plot evolves into a grey, Catholic village on the harsh Irish coast. The waves break strongly and unforgivingly on the reef and the strong current drags a dress onto the beach. It belongs to a disappeared woman no one speaks of - until they are forced to do so. In contrast to Seelenwelten, this film is dark and leaves the viewer with an uncomfortable feeling in their stomach. Interestingly, in both films the actors speak their regional dialects which contributes to the realistic style.
by Marina Brafa
For the Berlinale TimeOut, the Female Filmmakers Festival Berlin women teamed up with Shorts on Tap, a platform dedicated to independent short films and their creators. The London-based team organizes short film screenings, meetings and a screenwriting competition, and is active in Berlin and Tokyo.
If you are interested in knowing more about the who and how behind the Female Filmmakers Festival Berlin and Shorts on Tap we have two recommendations: First, you can read our interview with FFFB co-founder Natalie MacMahon. Second, during Berlinale TimeOut you will have the chance to talk to Natalie and the other founders of the Female Filmmakers Festival Berlin as well as the heads of the Shorts on Tap community!
Berlinale TimeOut Essentials
Where: Z-Bar, Bergstraße 2, 10115 Berlin
Day: February 12, 2019
Fees: none but seats are limited! Registration.
1. SEELENWELTEN 9 MIN- Director: Flurina Marugg
2. STIGMA 10 MIN- Director: Helen Warner
3. THE LIFE INSIDE ME 19 MIN- Director: Konstantin Egerndorfer
4. NEW FEELINGS 19 MIN- Director: Anastasia Nechaeva
1. LOVE 2 MIN- Director: Neda Shadanlou
2. GIRL FACT 17 MIN- Director: Maël G. Lagadec
3. EAGLEHAWK 21 MIN- Director: Shannon Murphy
4. EDGE OF ALCHEMY 17 MIN- Director: Stacey Steers
Voting for your favorite short film & networking time!
All images courtesy of Female Filmmakers Festival Berlin
Check out the scheduled short films:
by Marina Brafa
The Berlinale Film Festival kicks off on Thursday (Feb. 7th through 17th, 2019). It is Germany’s most prestigious and glamorous film festival and mentioned in the same breath as other renowned European film festivals like the ones in Cannes and Venice. As is the case with most of those festivals, its film(makers) selection (and whole set-up, for that matter) has been criticized for not including enough female, LGBTQ and minority filmmakers.
Although the festival organizers are trying to change this - one sign being the festival director Dieter Kosslick leaving after 18 years as head of the Berlinale - the festival is not representing the film industry’s diversity yet (which, admittedly, is no easy task). Especially in an open-minded city like Berlin that embraces and prides itself on accepting all kinds of lifestyles, there are many people who despise the Berlinale for being too much a part of the glittery glamour circus that is the film establishment and who are looking for alternative film festivals.
Take these five as a start!
Literary Salon with Maren Kroymann: Erobert das Stimmrecht, meine Schwestern - Hedwig Dohm
Hedwig Dohm (1831-1919) wrote in 1873: "For me, the beginning of all true progress with regards to the question of women's rights lies in the women's right to vote. Women are most interested in the laws that are against them, precisely because they are excluded from them" (translation by Christina Schultz).
Maren Kroymann is a German actress, cabaret artist and singer. Her expressive voice will bring Hedwig Dohm's essay to life.
The event will be in German and entrance is free!
Here is the original German text from the Remake Festival website:
Literatursalon mit Maren Kroymann
„Erobert das Stimmrecht, meine Schwestern“ – Hedwig Dohm
Eine Textcollage zum Kampf ums Frauenwahlrecht
"Für mich liegt der Anfang allen wahrhaften Fortschritts auf dem Gebiet der Frauenfrage im Stimmrecht der Frauen. Die Gesetze, bei denen sie am meisten interessiert sind, sind gegen sie, weil ohne sie." (Hedwig Dohm, 1873)
Der radikalen Vordenkerin Hedwig Dohm folgten immer mehr Frauen, die den Kampf um das aktive und passive Frauenwahlrecht als Teil der politischen Rechte der Frauen führten. Anita Augspurg gründete 1902 in Hamburg mit Lida Gustava Heymann und Minna Cauer den ersten Deutschen Verein für Frauenstimmrecht.
Gelesen von Maren Kroymann, moderiert von Sibylle Nägele
Evangelische Akademie Frankfurt
Remake. Frankfurter Frauen Film Tage: A Rousing Success
By Christina Schultz
The first edition of Remake. Frankfurter Frauen Film Tage organized by the Kinothek Asta Nielsen was a perfect example of Frauenpower (girl power) at its finest. The curators, Gaby Babic, Karola Gramann and Heide Schlüpmann, and the fabulous team members I was able to meet over the past 10 days (like the fabulous ladies Tina and Romina), worked tirelessly to make the festival a success, and a rousing one at that.
The program was so rich, spanning the entire history of women’s cinema (from Germaine Dulac to Amandine Gay) and intersecting with several movements within the women’s movement (women’s suffrage, women’s right to abortion, the students’ and workers’ movements, the struggle of women of color, etc.). The films screened were also of various lengths, genres and countries. And among the rather thick program (an impressive 53 pages), there were so many hidden gems to be discovered. And discover them I did.
That was one of the most impressive parts of the festival: the fact that so many movies were shown that had been forgotten (until now). The quality of the films might not have been the greatest - but the curators always explained, almost apologetically, the reason behind the lack of quality, and the audiences naturally didn’t mind because the content and the images made up for the old, grainy, discolored filmstock. The films in the Recha Jungmann retrospective are being restored, remastered and digitized (one of the many great things the Kinothek Asta Nielsen does), but even in “lesser” quality, the images were still so powerful. Another example was the film Für Frauen, 1. Kapitel. Ein Film für Frauen, von Frauen gemacht (For Women, Chapter 1. A Movie for Women, Made by Women; Cristina Perincioli, 1971). The 28-minute “docu-fiction” was bathed in a reddish tone, but it charmed and tickled the audience with its lay actors (all except for one trained actress), realistic working class premise and satisfying conclusion when the four main female characters go on strike, which almost turns the film into a 70s music video.
The guests who introduced the films were of local and international renown and everything in between. This is no easy task, but I think the right balance was struck. To name drop a bit, the speakers included British feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey of the “male gaze” fame, German filmmaker and professor Jutta Brückner, feminist activist Tatjana Turanskyj and co-founder of Pro Quote film (Germany’s version of Time’s Up), women’s rights activist Helen Pankhurst (yes, that Pankhurst family, as in Emmeline and Sylvia, the OGs of women’s suffrage), firey speaker and feminist politician Rosemarie Heilig (Green Party, Head of the Department for Environment and Women’s Affair in Frankfurt), the Filmlöwin feminist film critic Sophie Rieger and so many others.
The main festival locations - the Deutsches Filmmuseum and the Pupille - Kino in der Uni - were well decorated, inviting and spacious enough to hold post-screening receptions that offered ample opportunities to discuss and network. And I can personally say that the events I attended were thought-provoking and inspiring, empowering and uplifting, and perhaps more importantly, made me feel like I am part of something greater.
One of the post-film discussions (following the double-bill with the Perincioli film I described above) gave audience members the chance to compare the women’s movement of the late 1960s-early 1970s with the Time’s Up/MeToo movements of the 2010s. We are essentially fighting for the same issues (sadly) but in different ways. We, the younger generation, generally do not take to the streets and demonstrate - we take out our frustration on the Internet. This might lead us to feel more isolated, despite the ease of connectivity. In the 1970s, the Frankfurt Women’s Center, for example, organized bus trips to Holland for women who wanted an abortion, took part in demonstrations on the street and dedicated so much time to discussing women’s issues together as a community.
And that is, among all the other things I mention above, what the Remake. Frankfurter Frauen Film Tage provided: a chance for so many people (because, it should be noted that there were men among the festival attendees) to come together to discuss women’s issues, and of course feminist film.
I can already say I’m looking forward to next year’s festival!
The Los Angeles-based Female Filmmakers Festival just finished and the next film festival supporting women in film is just around the corner: The 2nd Annual Female Filmmakers Fuse Film Festival takes place on November 1 to 2, 2018 in Pasadena, CA (at 180 North Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91103 for those who want to know exactly).
On each festival day, four film screening sessions will showcase the selected works of female filmmakers and on Friday night you might want to put on your fine clothes for the red carpet Closing Award Ceremony Event which will round up your festival experience! Prizes will be awarded in at least 12 categories, among those the award for Best Feature, Best Director, Best Writer and the Audience Award.
Besides all celebration, the festival is a wonderful opportunity for meeting fellow females in film business, pitching ideas, finding support and getting inspired. Especially the “Celebrating Women Panel/Networking Event” is targeted at those of you who want to freely discuss how the glass ceiling in cinema industry can be broken and how women can empower each other and themselves within this male-dominated business.
Tickets for the festival’s events start at 5 Dollars (film screening) and go up to 10 Dollars (Closing Award Ceremony and Celebrating Women Panel) - or you get all of it for just 25 Dollars.
Find more information (or purchase tickets directly ;)) on the festival’s website!
Hey Femfilmfans! Mark your calendars! We'd like to tell about a great female filmmakers festival!
From October 12 to 14, 2018, you have the chance to attend the screenings and talks at the FFFEST (Female Filmmakers Festival) at Downtown Independent, Los Angeles. The festival’s goal is to present works of female filmmakers who want to break into the film industry and to provide a platform for female filmmakers to share information, inspiration and experiences. As stated by the festival founders, Passerbuys and Women & Film, “the purpose of the festival ist not to exclude men, but rather to normalize women in positions of power in filmmaking” and “to celebrate an industry that is supportive of all gender and race.”
Festival visitors can choose between five panels on topics such as “How to fund your feature” or “How to balance motherhood & filmmaking” (tickets for $15) and 9 feature film screenings (depending on the film, tickets are free or $15).
Find the festival schedule here and have fun!
Also, the 2nd Annual Female Filmmakers Fuse Film Festival in Pasadena is just around the corner: November 1 to 2, 2018! We will post more info about the festival on our events page soon
Mark your calendars, Femfilmfans!
From November 2-11, 2018, the Kinothek Asta Nielsen proudly presents Remake. Frankfurter Frauen Film Tage (Remake. Frankfurt Women’s Film Days) in fabulous Frankfurt, Germany. It will be a celebration of women's rights and feminist filmmaking.
We couldn't think of a more exciting time to be a Femfilmfan!
Below is some information about the Frankfurt Women's Film Days in English
(the full text in German and in English can be found here; Christina edited the version you see below)
What's in a name?
The Kinothek Asta Nielsen has promoted film work by women for nearly twenty years, facilitating the discussion of gender relations in film. The Remake festival integrates a new event format into the Kinothek's previous work: a program focusing on film history, women's suffrage, female filmmakers and feminist film will unfold in a mixture of festival and symposium.
The name “Remake” refers to the connection with history that characterizes all the Kinothek’s work: films spanning more than a hundred years emerge anew in the perception of viewers when they are shown today. In other words, the presentation of the films, old and new, at this year's festival is in itself a form of film-making, that is, a re-make.
What awaits attendees?
The Remake festival program, taking place from 2-11 November 2018, will focus on the theme “100 Years of Women’s Suffrage – 50 Years of Feminist Film Making.” Plans include films, introductory lectures, discussions, and supporting events. The festival will consist of several parts, including films on the suffragette movement and on general 1910s and 1920s legal topics such as sexual offenses, matrimony and abortion. In addition, there will be films depicting the conflict-ridden transformation of women’s roles, and the change in their status vis-à-vis work and love. All these topics pervade feminist film work up to now, each perhaps weighted and perceived differently. Our program will extend from the early 20th century to the present; at the same time, we intend to raise awareness that women’s emancipation movements have existed not only in Western nations, but also in other parts of the world.
Remake also contains a program section that is dedicated to a female filmmaker whose work is threatened by oblivion and disappearance: Frankfurt filmmaker Recha Jungmann. The festival will screen her three feature films and a number of shorts, all produced between 1967 and 1981. Recha Jungmann will participate in discussions at the screenings.
History of Feminist Film Festivals
The festival program pays tribute not only to film history, but also to the history of feminist film festivals. The first of these, which took place in 1972 in New York and Edinburgh, were largely dedicated to the (re-) discovery of women filmmakers. Many of their works, which saw the light of projectors in the early 70s, have disappeared again, and copies can only be found with difficulty, if at all. Through revivals of past programs and conversations with their organizers, we will remember this history, from which our work has also emerged.
This year’s festival will therefore appropriately kick off with a retrospective featuring the “Women’s Event” of the 1972 Edinburgh International Film Festival. As a special treat, the women who brought the festival to life - Laura Mulvey and Lynda Myles (together with Claire Johnston (1940-1987)) - will be attending the festival as special guests.
Femfilmfans at the Frankfurter Frauen Film Tage
Our editor Christina will be attending many of the festival's events and film screenings. Over the coming weeks, she will be posting more information about the festival - feel free to send us an email or leave a question in the comments section below if you want to know more!
Once the festival is underway, Christina will then be posting updates and short reviews of the films and events on the Femfilmfans.com site, on Instagram and on Facebook. Click on the various links below to follow the action!
You might also like to visit the --> Remake. Frankfurter Frauen Film Tage <-- official website.
This link will take you to the festival's program (in German): remake-festival.de/programm.html
By Christina Schultz
Come celebrate love of all kinds at Berlin’s fabulous and world famous
Gay Pride Parade and Festival: Christopher Street Day (CSD)!
The PRIDE PARADE takes place tomorrow, on SATURDAY, 28 JULY 2018 at 12:00.
Hundreds of thousands of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans*sexuals, trans*gender, intersexuals, other queers (LGBTTIQ*) and allies will be hitting the streets on 28 July 2018. What started out as a small, but impressive march with 400 participants decades ago has developed into a forceful political mass rally and a mighty beacon for freedom and human rights. According to the CSD website, there are 59 trucks and 49 walking groups in the parade this year who will pass out information, play great music, give away goodies and spread the love!
Don't miss this chance to show your support for the LGBTTIQ* community and to have a great time!
The parade route begins at Kurfürstendamm/Joachimsthaler Straße and ends up on Straße des 17. Juni between 15:00 and 17:00 in time for the rally at the main stage at the iconic Brandenburg Gate.
For more information about CSD: csd-berlin.de/
To purchase CSD merch: shop.spreadshirt.de/berlin-pride/
To donate to CSD: csd-berlin.de/spenden/
Here are some of trucks 59 participating in the parade with their numbers - click on the names below to find out more information about these LGBTQ* organizations and companies promoting diversity and inclusion! (most of the sites are in Deutsch and in English)
1 Berliner CSD e.V.
3 Berliner Aids-Hilfe e.V.
4 Schwulenberatung Berlin
5 BMW Group DIVERSE
11 queer*human (LGBTTIQ*-AG im Humanistischen Verband Berlin-Brandenburg KdöR)
15 Deutsche Bank AG | dbPride
16 Lesben und Schwule in der BVG
17 OUT tv
23 PRIDE@SIEMENS Berlin
27 Ikea diversity
40 Jugend gegen Aids e.V.
41 USA Botschaft Berlin / GLIFAA
48 United in Pride, Diversity Group der eBay GmbH
53 PayPal Pride
56 Gemeinsam mehr e.V. / Radio QueerLive / die Busche
So...who's joining us in Berlin tomorrow?
If you're there, don't forget to look for yours truly on the Deutsche Bank truck!