Skip to main content

A Golden Age for Women Who Make Movies? (3) A New International Women's Film Festival Network (IWFFN)

Discussion at the Internationales Frauen Film Festival, 2012 
August 3 2013: I wrote this a year ago and was asked to take it down until the IWFFN was ready for publicity. I re-found it today, as I prepare a new post about You Cannot Be Serious, an international meeting about women's film-making, held at the Berlinale earlier this year. I'm still excited about the potential of the IWFFN!

Wonderful news! There is now an International Women's Film Festival Network (IWFFN), conceived this year at Germany's Internationales Frauen Film Festival (in Dortmund and Koln alternate years) and housed at the Athena Film Festival in New York. Another sign of a golden age for women who make movies? I hope so!

There's already the Network of Asian Women's Film Festivals. And European women's film festivals have networked for years (I remember taking part in their meetings at Festival de Femmes in Creteil in 2004 and they'd been established long before that). So it's very exciting that the movement is crossing more borders and that the discussion at the Internationales Frauen Film Festival included women from South America and from the United States. Here's what the Internationales Frauen Film Festival wrote about the meeting that generated the idea for the International Women's Film Festival Network:
There was overwhelming acclaim for the discussion held for international women's film festivals and women's film networks. Representatives from women's film festivals in Brussels, London, New York, Munich, Hamburg, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago de Chile and Assen (NL) met up with women film-makers, distributors and other networkers to discuss the work of women across the film industry. The news that the Cannes Film Festival, whose competition is once again to take place without including one film made by a woman director, is the latest example and reflection of the situation as a whole. The wish for broader cooperation, a permanent platform for dialogue and the development of joint strategies was loud and clear – all the more so if participation by women in all areas of film creation, production and distribution is to be boosted.
Announced by Athena's co-founder and Artistic Director Melissa Silverstein, of Women & Hollywood, the International Women's Film Festival Network has put together a website that includes the members and links to their festival websites. It will also contain a way for the festivals to provide information about their selections with contact information, so that other festivals can use that information if they want to programme the same film. Here's the network's Mission Statement:
The International Women’s Film Festival Network (IWFFN) was created in 2012 to support and promote women’s voices, visions and leadership, both onscreen and behind the scenes. The Network will strive to amplify the visibility of women filmmakers, more prominently showcase their work across the globe, and demonstrate that audiences attend films about women and girls. In recent years as distribution methods are changing, the film festival circuit has become even more crucial to the success of a film. By working in collaboration, the Network will expand and enhance the importance of women’s film festivals and will encourage filmmakers and distributors to premiere and screen their films at these festivals. The Network will create a database of women’s film festivals and will serve as a forum for members to exchange knowledge and expertise. Membership in the Network is open to any independent film festival that has staged at least one festival within the last three years and whose programs are dedicated to screening films by or about women and girls.
Membership of the network is open to festivals only, but others can join the network's Google group to stay updated with its activities. It's not hard to imagine that this network could emulate the African American Film Festival Releasing Movement (Together We Are Strong) and move into distribution, especially online distribution, especially in an alliance with other groups like Women Make Movies. Will Women in Film lend its support? The European Womens Audiovisual Network (EWA)? The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media? The potential is endless. And for the first time for women filmmakers, that potential may be truly global. A golden moment. Warm congratulations to all concerned.

A Golden Age for Women Who Make Movies (1) (a new model for women's filmmaking)
A Golden Age for Women Who Make Movies (2) (Gender & the Venice Film Festival/ media convergence)
A Golden Age for Women Who Make Movies (4) (my own golden day)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

NZ Update #12: Everything's Gonna Be All Right?

Look at these two! Our Prime Minister and our distinguished filmmaker and global advocate for women filmmakers meet, at last week's SPADA (Screen Production and Development Association) conference. Look at their pleasure in each other. Their body language. Their close attention.




For me, this meeting is a significant turning point in the movement to gender equity in the allocation of public money for screen storytelling. The first one was at 2015's Big Screen Symposium, when Chelsea Cohen – with support from other Māori women – spoke out  about the need to allocate New Zealand Film Commission funding equally to women and men. Our first woman writer/director/producer to do this publicly. Her courage made it safer for others to follow her example.

So: what might this Jacinda-And-Jane meeting mean?

The new government has already announced its commitment to pay equity and I think we can now be confident that gender equity will infuse screen production. I think we can also be confid…

Pause. Reflect. Cherish.

Chantal Akerman's Death
I tried to write about why I felt so deeply sad about Chantal Akerman's death, then read a post from poet Ana Božičević, who got it just right for me–
No one knows for sure why a woman takes her life but that Chantal A might have done so in part because her No Home Movie – about her mother Natalia an Auschwitz survivor, which was grueling to make – was booed...really breaks my heart this morning. I wonder always, who cares, as in provides care, for the women artists who go to deep dark uncommercial places? Which intimate understands the skill, of craft and emotion, necessary for the work that they do? I wrote in some napkin or tweet once 'they only love the Sylvias after they are dead'. Give care to the woman artist in your life even and especially when she does the hard depth work that challenges the mind and body, yours and hers. And if you are that woman, thank you today & every day. Thank you, Ana. And many thanks for letting me reprint …

How To Be A #WomeninFilm Activist :Sophie Mayer's Manifesto

I love Sophie Mayer and her work and her generosity. If you’re not familiar with her, check out my interview with her, when she launched her latest book, Political Animals: The New Feminist Cinema, in 2016; she is also a poet.

I endorse everything she writes in this post, originally published on Facebook.

by Sophie Mayer

So. Over the last few days, several dozen people have approached me about setting up, moderating or endorsing various kinds of closed/secret/anonymous groups or portals for disclosure of harassment and assault in the screen sector. I'm glad people are ready to talk, but here's

(a) why I think they're asking me; and

(b) why I've said no, and what I think we do instead. Take a deep breath -- I'm going long. If you like it, Paypal me.

1.
a) I am public about being a survivor of serial sexual abuse, rape and assault.

b) Going public is not for everyone, for reasons we know; I'm not going to tell you that disclosure is empowering, but I will tell you…