Representation of unheard voices in cinema and film, and in particular women, is a concern for many who want to see images and narratives of their own gaze visualised on screen. However, the challenge to change this is not about to stop anytime soon, especially in the digital age when web series to vlogging have already made an impact on culture.
There are many organisations, societies and grassroots ventures that keep questioning equality, feminism and diversity within films that disrupt the dominant voice that we have become used to. The following organisations/ventures listed are just a few that WIFSE15 feel are making changes and widening the narrative of film:
‘We’re always working to preserve the history and artefacts of film and television culture and make them available to as many people as possible, forever.’ – Text taken from the BFI website (May 2017)
BFI celebrates women in film
The BFI has an exciting new range of programmes dedicated to women in front of and behind the camera.
June: Unbound: Visions of the black feminine
Film in Focus 2017
The power of the moving image and its influence across the arts is celebrated by the Barbican throughout 2017 with Film in Focus – a series of world-class arts and learning projects, commissions and events that celebrate the medium of film. The programme explores film’s huge breadth and power as a medium, with events and commissions spanning from the classic to the avant-garde. – Text taken from the Barbican website
Cinema Matters: The Battle For Representation
Cinema has lent itself as a medium for minorities and the dispossessed to challenge their marginality through storytelling. – Text taken from the Barbican website
An ongoing celebration of films that pass the test
AGITATE, EDUCATE, CELEBRATE. Birds Eye View Film (UK charity est. 2002) Advocates and elevates the female perspective in film – through ‘action!’ not just words. All welcome. Text Birds Eye View’s website
Cinenova is a non-profit organisation dedicated to distributing feminist films and videos. Formed in 1991 from the merger of two feminist distributors, Circles and Cinema of Women, Cinenova provides the means to discover and watch experimental films, narrative feature films, artists film and video, documentary and educational videos. – Text taken from website, May 2017
Deptford Cinema is a not-for-profit volunteer and community run organisation. The structure is non-hierarchical, with no one person in charge. All decisions are made through consensus decision making by volunteers, at our public meetings held every Sunday at 4pm, and everyone is welcome to attend, ask questions, and have their say. The cinema survives because of the passion and hard work of all the volunteers involved.
– Text taken from Deptford Cinema website, May 2017
As a volunteer based cinema, Deptford Cinema makes a point to flag up films that are directed by women or if a film is F-Rated.
‘The F-Rating is applied to all films which are directed by women and/or written by women and/or have significant women on screen. If a film has all three, it receives a TRIPLE F-Rating, our gold standard. The rating allows audiences to “vote with your seat” and proactively choose to go and see F-Rated films’ – F-Rating website
This F-Rating, which was created in 2014 by Holly Tarquini, executive director of the Bath Film Festival is a great example of the fluidity of change for women in film. It is part of the Bechdel Test and Sweden’s A rating conversation about the female perspective in film. In January 2017, the F-Rating was added to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).
The F-Rating is a classification for any film which
- is directed by a woman
- is written by a woman
- features significant women on screen in their own right.
The London Feminist Film Festival is an independent festival celebrating feminist films past and present from international women directors.
We aim to support women filmmakers in the male-dominated film industry and to inspire feminist discussion and activism.
At our annual festival, as well as at one-off screenings throughout the year, we screen films that deal with feminist issues and/or that show a feminist representation of women. – Text from LFFF website
Here at Genesis we have a long-standing commitment to diversity in film, in particular to promoting and screening films made by women. Our early uptake of the F-Rating system, combined with our regular #genesisters film & music nights as well as ongoing relationships with groups like Hackney Wicked Women and Reel Good Film Club attest to our bonds with female filmmakers and curators from all backgrounds.
Inspired by Women In Film’s 2015 online campaign which encouraged viewers to watch 52 films in 52 weeks directed by women, we’re going a step further in 2017. – Text from Genesis Cinema website
Underwire is the UK’s only film festival celebrating female filmmaking talent across the crafts. Founded in 2010 by Gabriella Apicella and Gemma Mitchell with the aim to change the face of the industry from the inside out, the festival has awarded training and mentoring opportunities to over 40 filmmakers, and has screened over 300 films.
– Text from Underwire Cinema website
The People’s Film Club is a network of activists from across the UK that uses cinema and film to promote LGBT rights around the world.
We are currently setting up screenings of Paragraph 175 across the UK to raise money for the Russian LGBT Network.
– Take from People’s Film Club Facebook, May 2017
Read the recent interview with Gavin from the People’s Film Club with Kyna Morgan (Her Film Project ) and Tracey Francis (Women in Film): http://www.herfilmproject.com/news/the-peoples-film-club-screening-paragraph-175-to-benefit-russian-lgbt-network-and-help-lgbt-community-in-chechnya-interview-with-gavin-kelleher
Her Film Project is a global initiative to advance equality in film through inclusive storytelling across race, gender, sexuality, age, and ability. We specifically, but not exclusively, support women and girls in the film industry. By focusing on the telling of inclusive stories and the employment of storytellers with visions often neglected on screen, we hope to make progress toward a film industry that better reflects the world. We also collaborate and cooperate with partners and allies dedicated to supporting and promoting film as entertainment, as an art form, and as a cultural product.
– Text taken form HFP website
The Duvernay Test
The Duvernay Test coined by film reviewer Manhola Dargis who felt post-Sundance Festival 2016 that ‘in honor of the director and Sundance alumna Ava DuVernay, what might be called the DuVernay test, in which African-Americans and other minorities have fully realized lives rather than serve as scenery in white stories.