LFFF Christmas Shop now open!

With just 3 weeks to go until Christmas Day, why not brighten up the festive season with some feminist presents for yourself or your loved ones?

We are selling the last t-shirts and tote bags from our 2018 design, for those who were unable to grab them during one of our events, with international shipping available to all feminists across the globe! Plus a free LFFF badge with every purchase!

Our 2018 t-shirts are £8 each + p&p. We only have size S left (sorry) – roughly a size 12 (chest 82 cm; length 61 cm).

Tote bags are £5 each + p&p

Free LFFF badge with every purchase!

UK p+p is £2.50 for one item and and £0.50 for each additional item. To place an order please email festival@londonfeministfilmfestival.com.

For international delivery, please contact us for a quote, including the number of items you would like and your country of residence!

NB. Santa hats and fairy lights not included 😉

LFFF has also arranged 15% off Beech’s Chocolates for our followers, valid till 1 Jan 2019. Just enter code LFFF15 at checkout. Beech’s make very tasty, affordable chocolates, and have a large vegan range too.

Happy Feminist Christmas, everyone!!!      

Leeds Animation Workshop at 40!

DISH chemist cookAnnouncing a celebration of the 40th birthday of the amazing Leeds Animation Workshop! This radical women’s collective was founded in 1978 and is still going strong! We’ll be showing a selection of their feminist short animation films at the Rio Cinema in Dalston, London, on Sunday 2 December at 3.30pm.

Leeds Animation Workshop is a not-for-profit, cooperative company, run by women, which produces animated films on social issues. It began as a group of women friends who came together to make a film about the need for nurseries. Throughout its history, the Workshop has been run by women, who have carried out all stages of the production process.

Followed by a Q&A with members of the Workshop.giveusasmile newspapers still

We’ll also be hosting an exhibition of Leeds Animation Workshop artwork and archive material, in the Rio Cinema foyer.

Don’t miss this one-off event to celebrate this fantastic women’s co-op’s feminist films!

LFFF 2018 concludes

At LFFF we believe in the potential of filmmaking as feminist activism and as an agent of social change. Each year, we bring to you a selection of films from around the world that address pressing and underdiscussed feminist issues.

In our 6th edition, filmmakers exposed the threats faced by human rights defenders in Latin America, and saluted the efforts of a grassroots campaign to end period poverty in the UK. They were fat activists who hiked without shame in Canada and researchers exploring romance between incarcerated women in Spain.

Audiences had a chance to cheer Afro-Brazilian feminists taking to the streets and listen to three generations of Bamiléké women discussing the complexities of culture clashes and tradition. We discussed the many faces of motherhood: a fetishized instrument of social control, a connecting link to identity and heritage, or a territory vulnerable to male violence.

Once more, we brought you a Feminist Classic and present to you, for the first time at LFFF, we had a Zine Fair and a Riot Grrrl night.

We hope you enjoyed LFFF 2018 as much as we enjoyed making it happen and want to thank you for being part of it!

#MeToo as the End of Auteurs? Good.

In Hannah Gadsby’s much-discussed comedy special Nanette, she argues that one of the biggest problems with celebrity today is the issue of reputation, and the idea that the (male) artist’s reputation and the myth of their genius is more important than looking at how these men actually acted in their lives. Spoiler alert: a lot of the Western world’s favourite art movements were built on a hefty dose of misogyny. In Gadsby’s performance, she particularly focuses on the (to her defunct) argument that separating the artist from the art is impossible in a world that still glorifies the idea of the individual, misunderstood man, arguing that “Nobody owns a circular Lego nude, they own a Picasso!”.

A similar dynamic goes on in film, with auteur directors taking up the role of the troubled male genius. Although auteurship in film has been widely debated, there seems to be a consensus that on the whole the director is the most important person working on a film at any given time, as the director is the person who delivers the film all the way from inception to its final form. Sure, a film might often be sold to audiences through its starring actors, but when it comes to who is ascribed the artistic merit for the film, it is more often than not the director who gets the praise, whose creative stamp is seen as inevitably present, no matter how much or how little control they had over the production. This is also why, when referencing films, the director is the person who is named, rather than for instance the first-billed actor or the screenwriter(s).

However, we also know that directors, especially directors within mainstream Hollywood and mainstream arthouse, tend to be more-than-overwhelmingly male. When we think of ‘the’ auteur (as a social stereotype as opposed to ‘an’ individual auteur), our mental image is likely to reflect the type of person who indeed is at the head of the most widely spread cultural productions: straight, white, Western, male. So in the era of #MeToo and #TimesUp, in eras of #OscarsSoWhite and the push for not only more diversity in front of the camera but behind it as well, have we perhaps reached a point where we should rethink auteurship, or maybe even do away with it altogether? To answer my own rhetorical question: I sure fucking hope so.

The structure of the auteur is undeniably an individualist one: although we all know that there are more people on set than just the director, it is the director’s influence which is deemed to permeate the whole film. However, many auteur directors work with a similar cast and crew for many of their projects, which is often exactly where their distinctive feel comes from. Why are Tim Burton’s films considered to be created in ‘his’ style, when this style is heavily influenced by his staple costume designer, Colleen Atwood? Why do we all know Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill as Tarantino films, and not as Menke films, even though she edited all of his films until the day she died? How many more people are attracted to Todd Haynes’ films because of his frequent collaborations with Julianne Moore? Yet none of these women are known as ‘auteurs’ in the same sense, despite being an integral component of their oeuvre’s ‘look’. Even at LFFF we participate in this culture of the director as authority to some extent, by only choosing films that are directed by women.

Of course, it could be argued that this is exactly the job of the director – to bring the various components together into a coherent whole. However, this is just as much (sometimes even more) a function of the studios, the producers, the executives, as well as the marketing, publishing and distribution sides of filmmaking. Yet, aside from a few niche exceptions, they don’t tend to get thought of in a similar way, because their jobs are deemed to be financial, clinical, not ‘artistic’ in the same sense that a director’s job is understood to be.

It is exactly this undefinable area of the ‘artistic’ that gives auteur directors social and cultural license to behave in ways that we would often (hopefully) find intolerable in any other workspace, in the name of ‘art’. Think for instance about Alfred Hitchcock’s abysmal treatment of Tippi Hedren in several of his films. The creation of a set that is explicitly hostile to his female colleagues is often considered part of his creative vision for the perfect suspense film (in a similar way that Hollywood goes gaga for method acting – ‘you don’t know where the film ends and the actor begins!’) rather than gendered abuse. Or Kubrick’s behaviour towards Shelley Duvall, which left her more or less out of the public eye and made him one of the most celebrated directors ever. Dive into the behind-the-scenes situations of auteur and see for yourself how many male careers were nurtured by hostility to, and sometimes outright abuse of, women. Meanwhile, women get branded as divas for something as simple as wanting to close the gender pay gap. Imagine the uproar if female directors shouted at their (much younger) actors until they cried. It is good that they don’t get the luxury of artistic license, as nobody should have it, but we cannot deny that this is a gendered problem.

The oft-repeated phrase ‘separating the art from the artist’ is commonly applied to artists who have done something that as an audience we disagree with, but that we might decide to (temporarily) ignore in order to enjoy their art, especially when their actions aren’t visible in their art. However, I would argue that this is impossible when it comes to auteur cinema (if indeed it is possible in any form of art). When we celebrate the auteur-film, we are celebrating the director alongside it, because it is commonly accepted that it is their vision and their artistry that makes the film have that particular style. It is impossible to separate the art from the artist, if they are already sold as one product. Nobody watches a random film about a neurotic New York writer who falls in love with inappropriately young women, we watch a … Even finishing this sentence seems too obvious, and yet people still tell me that I should give Woody Allen a chance, as if his disgusting ‘private’ life doesn’t bleed into his public artwork.

Of course, auteurship is not the cause of abuse in Hollywood. There are many people who take up positions of power without abusing this status, and there are many people working in the film industry who do not have an auteur status, and who still behave in a despicable manner. However, the way auteurs are viewed by mainstream press is still a symptom of our culture’s excuses for men’s actions, so long as those actions can be shrouded in mysterious, creative masculinity. When we tell the world that there is something extraordinary, something ungraspably, intrinsically artistic about these men, something that elevates them from a normal human being to an artist, we create a space where they cannot be held to account for their actions.

So how do we go about changing this culture? First of all, film journalism would do well to emphasize the communal aspect of filmmaking and de-mystify the role of the director, by showing that many parts of the film production process have a dedicated artist devoted to it. While it could be argued that there is no market for focusing on other people involved in the production, such as screenwriters, costume designers, composers, cinematographers and casting directors, that this is too niche, only interesting to those already interested, I would argue that it is only niche exactly because it is under-discussed.

And yes, I do know that these people are not invisible by any stretch of the imagination, especially within circles of people who are already interested in film, but ask a random person to make a list of all the editors she know versus all of the directors, and I am willing to bet quite a large amount of money that one list is longer than the other. If these jobs were de-mystified, if the general public knew what the day-to-day tasks of a colourist were, their craft could be discussed, praised and criticized in a more in-depth way, taking the sole attention away from the auteur director.

Second of all, we need to de-mystify not just the role of the director as the sole artistic genius, but also their behaviour. In the West, through influences that may not be directly derived from but are definitely caught up with Christian and capitalist epistemology, we love the idea of looking towards a singular authority figure as someone who instructs, whose decisions are final, who is not to be negotiated with. For obvious reasons, this creates a massive power imbalance, especially considering the approval of the authority figure as necessary in the social, cultural and financial sphere – do what they say or risk being a social outcast. Do what they says or risk unemployment. Do what they say, or risk the reputation of the woman who ruined the artist.

At LFFF, we’re making a start on investigating feminist set/filmmaking practices in our Feminist Filmmaking Panel, on 19 August, in the Rio Cinema in Dalston. As filmmakers, as film journalists, as audience members, as people who are involved in the film industry, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to shape this industry, and we need to discuss how we can shape it into something that chooses women’s welfare over an abstract idea of ‘artistry’. To borrow from Gadsby once again, art that is created through the subjugation of women isn’t the be-all and end-all of art, it isn’t the ‘human experience’, it is men ‘painting flesh vases for their dick flowers’.

In a world where straight white men overwhelmingly occupy this position of power, it is tragic but not unsurprising that they might use this position to amplify the power that society has already given them, resulting in sexist and racist behaviour on-set as well as in their films – indeed, we must ask ourselves if straight white men are not attracted to the individual glory of auteurism exactly because this position is in line with how the world divides power anyway. If we see this easy abuse of power for what it is – lazily reinstating normative values through workplace violence – rather than an act of leaving artistic fingerprints on a film, the auteur stops being a singular force of genius, and is turned into the pathetic opportunist that he is.

Whenever I discuss the #MeToo movement with people, I get an inevitable chorus of ‘well, but if you’re going to discard every artist who has ever behaved badly, you’re not left with an awful lot’. My response is that that shows exactly how our ideas around consumption of art and culture are built on patriarchal foundations. Yes, an awful lot of men in Hollywood are despicable, and yes it is almost impossible to avoid their work. Does that mean that we should just treat (sexual) harassment as an inevitable component of artistry? Does that mean that we can excuse these men, because well, we need something to consume? Absolutely not.

This Article was written by Pippa Sterk.

Pippa Sterk, LFFF Coordinator and Programmer, is a London-based writer from the Netherlands. She has an MA in Sociology from Goldsmiths and a BA in Film Studies from Sussex University. She writes articles about media and activism, with a particular focus on LGBT+ film, and she is currently working on her first novel.

Half The Picture: 0.006% of Hollywood Directors from BAME Backgrounds

When you see the same kinds of stories over and over from the same perspective, it’s not representative of people living in society; women’s voices are certainly marginalized and women of colour are basically erased.” – Amy Adrion

Half The Picture (2018), directed by Amy Adrion, comes at a pivotal moment for gender equality in Hollywood. Successful women directors tell the stories of their art, lives, and careers in a film that doesn’t pull any punches about what the realities are for women in the industry, specifically in Hollywood. Nevertheless, it still manages to offer an inspiring sense of fight and hope and the first glimpse of a future that values women directors’ voices equally to those of men.

Amy Adrion’s documentary feature began life being funded solely on credit cards, similar to many of us starting our projects, and gathered momentum as more interviews were conducted and finances were confirmed, and as #MeToo unfolded. Half The Picture presents facts and anecdotes from women directors that work across a range of films and documentaries all the way from the indie market up to and including big budget studio films. The women discuss the realities of getting films financed, dealing with male colleagues challenging their authority and their experience, and also the demands of the job – working in film as a mother often means leaving young children behind while being on location weeks on end.

The statistics that the film shows are as expected, but are particularly awful if you are a director from a BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnicity) background. Female BAME existence in the film world borders on invisibility: 0.006% of directors working in Hollywood are from BAME backgrounds. There is also a correlation between lower budget documentary/narrative films and the number of female directors who are working in this space. Then, conversely, as the budgets grow, the number of women securing directing roles begins to decline there – save, of course, some rare successes.

Adrion is quick to debunk the myth that if your work is good enough you’ll succeed no matter what your gender, saying: ‘That’s exactly what’s been happening for the past 100 years. Only white men have been considered for every job in Hollywood forever; they have been favoured over everybody else. So it’s frustrating because a lot of white male directors will say “it’s a tough time to be a white male director, they’re only looking for women” and you’re like, maybe they’re looking for women a little bit, but it’s not like women are now directing 96 percent of movies’.
Over the last year, we have seen some groundbreaking moments, from the release of Wonder Woman, with Patty Jenkins back to direct the next installment; to Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird which led to an Oscar nomination for her; to Ava DuVernay’s much-awaited A Wrinkle In Time, which had production and marketing budgets of around US$200 million and US$250 million respectively, making her the first African-American woman to direct a live-action film with a budget of that size, and which has also now exceeded the US$100 million mark at the box office.

All three films have done well and so their impact will continue to be felt in more female-led films both behind and in front of the camera. Half The Picture should be required viewing for anyone in the industry regardless of gender, as it is the gatekeepers who we need to continue to lobby for change.


This Article was written by Zam Naqvi.

Zam Naqvi, is a film writer & director living and working in London, UK. A version of this article originally appeared on: zam-naqvi.com.

Ouaga Girls (2017) // Last Frame Film Club – Review

LFFF had the happy fortune to be invited to the screening and panel discussion of Theresa Traore Dahlberg’s Ouaga Girls On 13 May. Our partners in film crime, Last Frame Film Club organized this event in collaboration with Women of Colour Film Club, at the CentrE17 in Walthamstow. The film, which LFFF was proud to present in our 2017 programme, documents the story of a group of women in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso who are all training to become car mechanics. As we see them progress in their studies, the women tell about all aspects of their lives, from the domestic to the classroom, from their social life and their relationships, to their careers as prospective car mechanics. Filmed in the run-up to the 2016 Burkinabé presidential elections, the audience subtly receives information about changing political and social lives in Burkina Faso from news reports and radio broadcasts in the background.

Afterwards, a panel discussion was held with filmmaker and script writer Laura Kirwan-Ashman and historian and educator Alinta Sara, moderated by WOC Film Club founder Aurelia Yussuf. Kirwan-Ashman spoke of her experience writing and directing short fiction films. She remarked on how interesting it was to see a documentary that is shot and edited as if it were a fiction film, and how her own forays into filmmaking started in a supportive environment of friends being creative and having fun together, similar to the female friendships shown in the film.

Yussuf related the casual depiction of the classroom to her own professional life in education. She particularly noted the nuance with which school life was portrayed, from the subtle undermining of the male teacher by the female students, to the fears that home life might infringe on the possibility to finish the course. It’s a nuance that is often lost in films about Black women, where school is often portrayed as the site of exclusion, bullying, or racism.

One aspect of the film that both the panel and the audience returned to during the discussion was the relief at having found a film that portrays Black womanhood in all its camaraderie and joy. The friendly classroom setting where women are free to support each other is a refreshing change from the usual way Black female bodies are treated in both fiction and documentary, especially those that (try to) appeal to a white Western audience. Despite this, the film never shies away from portraying the tougher parts of the women’s lives, such as poor sexual health education, inequality in the workplace, and the death of a school staff member. The difference is simply that viewers are not just left with an unsettled feeling that Black womanhood is intrinsically tragic or tough.

Ouaga Girls is an important counter-narrative to the normative ways Black women are portrayed on-screen, and it is a testament to Dahlberg’s talent as a director that by making a few artistic choices, her debut feature feels intimate and uplifting, when the subject matter lends itself particularly easily to depressing stereotypes. She is certainly a director to keep an eye on, and I can’t wait to see her next film, the Ambassador’s Wife, which is also set in Ouagadougou.

Altogether both the film and the event itself showcased the importance of spaces to explore, encounter, and develop oneself with others. Having a film club that allows us to watch these films in a community space, on an affordable budget, in a friendly setting with people from artistic, activist, and academic backgrounds as well as people who are not familiar with any of these areas is exactly what film needs right now.

Last Frame Film Club is based in Walthamstow, and hosts film screenings, masterclasses, and workshops around socially engaged films. Their next event is the UK premiere of Land of the Free on 7 June.

Women of Colour Film Club aims to showcase, discuss, and celebrate films about women of colour.

This Article was written by Pippa Sterk.

Pippa Sterk, LFFF Coordinator and Programmer, is a London-based writer from the Netherlands. She has an MA in Sociology from Goldsmiths and a BA in Film Studies from Sussex University. She writes articles about media and activism, with a particular focus on LGBT+ film, and she is currently working on her first novel.

BFI Flare Reviews

The BFI Flare festival, Europe’s largest LGBT+ film festival, ran from 21 March to 1 April. Having attended Flare 2018 we thought we’d share our thoughts on a selection of films from the festival.

Becks (Feature)
Becks (2017, Powell and Rohrbaugh) tells the story of Brooklyn-based singer Becks (played by Lena Hall), who moves back to St Louis after a breakup with her girlfriend (played by Hayley ‘Lesbian Jesus’ Kiyoko). We observe the dynamics between Becks and her Catholic mother, her best friend, her absent brother, and the townspeople who ‘have never met a real-life lesbian before’.Screen Shot 2018-04-07 at 7.57.07 PM

Then, obviously, Becks falls in love with the WASPy wife of her childhood bully, and the two start an affair. While the premise is not particularly original, I found it interesting that Becks’ love interest Elyse (played by Mena Suvari) never seems to hesitate or blame Becks for her identity crisis as a formerly-straight woman, when it is such a common trope to demonise the lesbian character for ‘tempting’ the good housewife into sin. The film associates lesbian love with the potential for freedom and escape, in a way that so few films do. Furthermore, the performances by the main cast and the strong dialogue ensure that the film is never boring or repetitive.

Altogether, it is an easy film to watch and enjoy. There is nothing too out-there, but yet it still manages to subtly avoid many of the stereotypes that are so common in lesbian films.

Brown Queers (Short)
nullAesthetically beautiful, this short (2017, Williams Gamaker) plays with and discussesideas of perceiving, self-perception, and being perceived a particular gender and sexuality, or as a transgression of those, particular among People of Colour. At 25 minutes it feels slightly too long considering it is a portrait of only three people, and they seem to have very similar views, so I wouldn’t recommend it as a discussion of race, sexuality and gender, at most it would have to be a starting point of those discussions. As an art film it works brilliantly, though.


A Deal With the Universe (Feature)
A Deal With the Universe
(2018, Barker) is a documentary both by and about Jason Barker, his partner Tracey, and their road to pregnancy. After countless unsuccessful attempts at fertilising Tracey’s egg cells, Barker chooses to stop certain aspects of his transition in order to allow himself to become pregnant. The documentary deals with the various aspects of parenthood, the pain of unsuccessful attempts at pregnancy, and the reactions of friends, family, and others.null

Considering the topics that it touches upon are very heavy (infertility, cancer, death of a loved one, transphobia), the story is told with a surprising amount of humour, probably owed to the fact that Barker is also a standup comedian. Furthermore, while press coverage made it seem as a film that played on the Channel 4-type shock factor (“it’s about a MAN who gets PREGNANT” you can just hear the invisible exclamation points in almost all mainstream coverage), the documentary is actually very intimate and toned-down, never veering into the voyeurism that it could have gone into. Again, this is probably due to the fact that Barker is the documentary’s director as well as the subject.

Altogether, A Deal With the Universe is one of the true gems of the Flare, and for many viewers, including myself, it was the highlight of the festival.

Des!re (Short)
This visually stunning short (2017, Campbell X) celebrates the desire that women feel nulltowards masculine people who are assigned female at birth (trans men, butches, studs, genderqueer people et cetera). The shots are all in black and white, and show the subjects both fragmented and in full, both autonomous and anonymous. This allows the film to discuss sexuality and sensuality (indeed, desire) without becoming voyeuristic.


Love, Scott (Feature)
Love, Scott (2018, Wayne) is a documentary about the Canadian Scott Jones, who was left paralysed after surviving a homophobic attack. The documentary deals with parts of the emotional as well as the physical aftermath of the attack, and particularly tries to address the fact that Scott’s attacker may have been convicted of murder, but was never charged with a hate crime.

The fact that Laura Marie Wayne, the director, is a personal friend of Jones’ that he knows from their musical education, gives the film an amazing personal touch, which is a nice occasional relief from the heavy topic it discusses. Indeed, the documentary works best when it just feels like two friends having a conversation, which happens to be recorded. There are some points in the film where this familiarity seems to become undone by the forced narration, but the intimate, less scripted, more whimsical moments make up for it. Screen Shot 2018-04-07 at 8.52.41 PM

As a call for social it also does well when it shows Scott’s mother realizing that gay men still need to be emotionally prepared for a world that will reject them, when Scott shows  his frustration at the fact that you can know you’re being targeted for what and who you are, and yet legally there is no acknowledgement of this, and when we see Scott’s community in Canada come together to celebrate their sexualities and support each other to not let this scare them back into the closet- in short, when it focuses on the emotional and social impact that the attack has had.

At the end there is an attempt to make a more formal, broader call to arms, which falls a bit flat exactly because this has been such a singular story about a very particular person in a very particular place. Altogether it tries to be two films at once: a portrait of a man who has had something terrible happen to him and the way he deals with this, and a general activist film that tries to make change but doesn’t give us the tools to focus on what should be changed and how. While it lacks a little in the latter, it does very, very well in the former.

My Days of Mercy (Feature)
My Days of Mercy (2017, Shalom Ezer) was the opening film of the festival. The story centers around Lucy (played by Ellen Page), who travels across the country to protest the death penalty. She lives with her siblings as their father is in prison on suspicion of the murder of their mother. At one of the protests, she meets the counter-protester Mercy (played by Kata Mara) – yes her name is actually Mercy and yes this does make the title fit in the long history of lesbian films with corny titles that sound like bad porno rip-offs of themselves, like I Can’t Think Straight, But I’m a Cheerleader, and Blue Is The Warmest Colour.

Anyway, obviously Lucy and Mercy start an affair, and obviously their ideological differences complicate this. As an opening film it was quite a safe choice, but not the most exciting. While the cast ensures that this will be one of the most discussed films in the festival, it is not as daring as I expected of both actresses. Given that particularly Page has been very vocal, progressive and political in interviews, and is one of the only mainstream lesbian actresses whose career in the mainstream is fairly secure, it is unfortunate that she is either unable or unwilling to choose a project that is more out-there, more experimental, more edgy.null

Particularly the treatment of race feels very off about a film that could have decided to take a more outspoken step: first of all, there are some protesters in some of the background scenes who hold placards reminding the audience that the death penalty disproportionately affects People of Colour. Yet at the only protest in the film that tries to prevent the death of a Black man, we see a shot of Mercy and Lucy running off, away from the Black and Brown protesters, in order to have their little romance together. The shot almost seems like an ironic commentary on the film itself, and as a rule of thumb I would say that if your film contains a scene in which two white characters run away from a mob of unnamed People of Colour, this better not be framed as a good and romantic thing.

Second of all, the only major Black character is a woman (again unnamed) who has no personality, seemingly no life or family of her own, and exists only to conveniently be a substitute mother to Lucy and her siblings- she gives Lucy some extra money out of nowhere, she sings gospel with the other protesters, and she consoles the children when they are sad. With all the discussions about race on film going on, I assumed that filmmakers knew better than to have such stereotypical and one-dimensional characters in their films.

Technically, the film is pretty good. There are strong acting performances from both the main actors and the supporting cast. The dialogue is wittier than I expected of a film with such an intense topic and such paint-by-numbers overall plot. There are scenes, especially in the second half of the film, that did genuinely move me, and there are many points at which I thought they were going towards Oscar-baiting material, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they avoided that route.

However, while I watching it, I felt similar to when I was watching Freeheld: while the film could have touched upon , it prefers to take a more conventional approach, in which it loses two audiences: it is not yet accessible enough for a mainstream straight audience, but it is also not original or interesting enough to capture . It is good for an hour and a half of entertainment, but it is not going to be a turning point of lesbian cinema. Then again, it never pretended to be the latter.

Wishin’ and Hopin’ (Short)

This short (2017, Pepall) is a humorous twist on the old classic of a bridesmaid’s lamentations just after the wedding of her best friend (although the twist is kind of given away by it being screened at this particular festival). The story fits the film’s length perfectly, and it isn’t overly ambitious, but rather chooses to focus on what the format of a short film does best – giving a quick insight into a character’s life, without trying to dwell too long. It could be criticised as somewhat flimsy, but I think that that is part of its appeal, as so many LGBT films tend towards the very intense and melodramatic, and this is a nice short relief.

You Will Be Free (Short)
nullYou Will Be Free (2018, Jacques) is an experimental short, using footage from games, advertising, and other popular culture to create a pastiche commentary on the concept of bodies. The short gives a simultaneously fatalistic and hopeful view on gender identity. While this may sound paradoxical to some people, it is an odd mix of emotions that will seem familiar to especially LGBT+ youth.


This Article was written by Pippa Sterk.

Pippa Sterk, LFFF Coordinator and Programmer, is a London-based writer from the Netherlands. She has an MA in Sociology from Goldsmiths and a BA in Film Studies from Sussex University. She writes articles about media and activism, with a particular focus on LGBT+ film, and she is currently working on her first novel.