The London Feminist Film Festival is one of my favourite film festivals and the organisers have just announced the full programme for its 4th edition, at the Rio Cinema in Dalston (London) from 18 to 21 August. I for one am shouting ‘praise be’ because there is so much that needs to be addressed in feminism and film right now.
The festival has been planned partly as a reaction against the UK having seen years’ of austerity, oppression and bigotry under a pretty unstable right wing government, leading to a women’s rights being pushed to one side and many women becoming victims of cuts.
However, the larger global problem has to be confronted too, as women all over the world are having to fight for and defend their rights (sometimes even the most basic). Women and girls around the world are still married as children or trafficked into forced labor and sex slavery. Just recently we saw two so called ‘honour killings’ reported in the news but the press and authorities still do not fully address and cover the bigger picture; that around the world women and girls are being murdered on a daily basis. From fighting for equal pay to fighting against FGM, we still live in a world where we don’t have equal gender rights and we have to continue to acknowledge this; come together to work on raising awareness and seeking out solutions.
The festival is a great place to start as it is a space to see provocative films and join in discussions. It will open with a 25th anniversary screening of Pratibha Parmar’s A Place of Rage. Her 1991 award winning documentary celebrates African American women and their achievements within the context of the civil rights, Black power, and feminist movements. It is an inspiring piece of film making that I urge everybody to watch and engage with.
In light of the current political and social climate they have programmed specific sessions addressing “THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE”, the experiences of “REFUGEE WOMEN”, as well as the representation and abuse of women’s bodies in patriarchal society in the session “WOMEN’S BODIES AS SITES …”.
Highlights of the festival include The inspirational and upbeat feature length ‘pop-u-mentary’ Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model follows award-winning performance artist Bryony Kimmings and her 10-year-old niece Taylor as they try to combat the hyper-sexualised and commercialised world of pop by creating their own alternative popstar role model. Plus, the European Premiere of the documentary feature No Kids for Me, Thanks!, which I personally cannot wait to see and talk about.
The 2016 London Feminist Film Festival will provide a space to celebrate, organise, and inspire. It is always a great opportunity to engage in important discussions, support each other in the film industry and come together to plan and implement change on a number of levels.
Here’s the LFFF 2016 programme.