Film Preview: London Feminist Film Festival

Image from documentary Ladies' Turn

London’s inaugural Feminist Film Festival kicked off last night. The four-day event is happening at the Hackney Picturehouse and includes ten feature films and six shorts from around the world, all directed by women. Feminist issues are at the heart of the selected films. The festival is already a success with some of the films already sold out. Here’s what you can still catch:

Saturday 1 December
Herstories: shorts and panel discussion (1pm)
Taxi Sister: UK premiere of this documentary about a female taxi driver in Senegal.
As a Warrior: European premiere of this dramatic film about an abused woman who finds inner strength.
Seating Code: this short explores the Chinese myth that it’s bad luck for women to sit on camera boxes on film sets.
Sari Stories: in rural India, a group of women are being trained as video journalists. They document their everyday lives and struggles.

Prisons: and panel discussion (4pm)
Beautiful Sentence: creative writing is helping women cope with life in UK prisons.
The Witches of Gambaga: award-winning documentary about women sent to live in a camp after they are accused of witchcraft in Ghana.

Sunday 2 December
Ladies’ Turn: and panel discussion (1pm). Documentary about a women’s football tournament in Senegal.

Memories: and panel discussion (4pm)
I Too Have a Name (Enakkum Oru Per): UK premiere of this film about a Tamil nun trying to go about her daily business in war-torn Sri Lanka.
The Border Crossing: this award-winning film is a reflection of its director’s memories of violence while hitchhiking through Basque Country 30 years ago.

Following Sunday’s events, there will be three awards handed out at an awards ceremony. We also spoke to LFFF’s creator and director, Anna Read.

What was the motivation behind the LFFF?
Partly to provide another platform to support women in film. Most film festivals focus on films by men. It was also important to address feminist issues and get people talking.

How successful have you been at getting the conversation started?
I think we’ve done very well. The press have been interested, we have a lot of followers on Twitter and likes on Facebook. I think there’s a lot of interest in feminism at the moment.

How many submissions did you have?
We originally had 200 submissions from all over the world. It was important that we had many countries represented because we wanted to make it as international as possible.

Plans to continue next year?
Absolutely! We’ve had a lot of good reaction from people.

The London Feminist Film Festival runs to 2 December. For more information, please visit the festival website. Tickets are available at the Hackney Picturehouse website.

By Laura Kramer

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