London Feminist Film Festival 2018 Programme

All screenings are at the Rio Cinema in Dalston or the Genesis in Whitechapel, except for our Feminist Classic, Sama, which is at BFI Southbank on 18 August. Most film sessions are followed by a panel discussion.

If you’re interested in several films at the Rio Cinema in Dalston, there are MULTIBUY DISCOUNTS available: 3 or more tickets = 10% discount; 5 or more = 20% discount!

OPENING NIGHT – FATMA 75 + drinks reception

Thursday 16 August 6.40 pm (Genesis)

Fatma 75
Newly restored and digitised African feminist film from 1975. University student Fatma goes on a historical, feminist voyage and gathers interviews with iconic women from history. She speaks to aristocratic women from the ancient past and contemporary revolutionaries involved in the struggle for Tunisian independence.

+ Q&A with Dora Carpenter-Latiri (academic, writer, and photographer, with specialist interest in the literature and culture of the Arab world and its interface with the West), hosted by Stephanie Van de Peer (Africa’s Lost Classics).

Followed by a drinks reception and zine fair. Free to Fatma75 ticket holders. Come and meet the LFFF team and LFFF2018 directors and celebrate the start of LFFF2018!

Selma Baccar, Tunisia, 1975 (60′)

GENDER & POWER: Women Against Patriarchal Structures

Thursday 16 August 6.40 pm (Rio, Screen 1)

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is one of the most misunderstood and intriguingly powerful contemporary female political figures. Her rise and seeming fall from grace bear the hallmarks of epic tragedy. For the first time, this award-winning film pieces together and properly considers her life and contribution to the struggle to bring down Apartheid from the inside, with intimate insight from those who were closest to her and testimony from the enemies who sought to extinguish her radical capacity to shake things up.

What mechanisms are set in motion when women exert real power, power to change lives and countries? In recent years, cases like Dilma Roussef, Julia Gillard and Hillary Clinton prove a pattern of patriarchal backlash against the very idea of a woman being in charge. In this session we explore this through the case of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

WINNIE (NR / Advised 15)
Pascale Lamche, 2017, France/ South Africa /Netherlands /Finland (100′)

Directing Award: World Cinema Documentary, Sundance Film Festival (2017)
Nominated for Best Documentary: In Spirit for Freedom Award, Jerusalem Film Festival (2017)
Nominated for Documentary Competition Award, Seattle International Film Festival (2017)
Nominated for the Tim Hetherington Award, Sheffield International Documentary Festival (2017)

+ short film WOMEN & POWER
Meg Earles, 2018, UK (2′)

+ panel with Pascale Lamche (director, Winnie) and Meg Earles (director, Women & Power), chaired by Emma Lundin (specialises in 20th-century liberation movements, transnational feminist activism, and decolonisation).


Revolt, She Said: Women and Film After ’68

Thursday 16 August 7 pm (Rio, Screen 2)

Carry Greenham Home

One hundred years after the first women got the vote in the UK, 50 years after the protests of May ’68 triggered resistance across the world, where is the feminist revolution now? ICO x Club des Femmes curate a season of films and happenings focused on women filmmakers post ’68, who took up cameras as they took to the streets: to instigate further revolutions in ways of seeing, being, living and loving.

LFFF is proud to host the screening of the award-winning Carry Greenham Home as part of Revolt, She Said: Women and Film After ’68. The film charts the Women’s Peace Camp which started in 1981 to protest nuclear weapons at Aldermaston. In 1983, 30,000 women formed a human chain around Aldermaston. The Camp was a shining example of non-violent feminist action, changing both lives and laws. ‘The women of Greenham Common taught a generation how to protest’, noted Beeban Kidron, who made this film while living onsite.
With the support of the Independent Cinema Office and BFI, awarding funds from The National Lottery.

Sheffield Film Co-Op, UK, 1982 (18′)

Beeban Kidron & Amanda Richardson, UK, 1983 (69′)

Gold Hugo, The Chicago Film Festival (1983)

MAEVE / Revolt, She Said: Women and Film After ’68

Friday 17 August 6.40 pm, (Rio, Screen 1)


‘Don’t tell me how I’m supposed to be!’. Maeve’s sharp retort to her boyfriend still resonates. Influenced by Brecht and Godard, director Pat Murphy – a founder member of Circles during her time in London – gleefully snaps up their tactics for feminism in order to tell the story of a young woman returning to home to Belfast after years in London.

One hundred years after the first women got the vote in the UK, 50 years after the protests of May ’68 triggered resistance across the world, where is the feminist revolution now? ICO x Club des Femmes curate a season of films and happenings focused on women filmmakers post ’68, who took up cameras as they took to the streets: to instigate further revolutions in ways of seeing, being, living and loving.
LFFF is proud to host the screening of Maeve as part of Revolt, She Said: Women and Film After ’68.
With the support of the Independent Cinema Office and BFI, awarding funds from The National Lottery.

Pat Murphy & John Davies, Ireland, 1981 (110′)

+ panel with Pat Murphy and John Davies (directors, Maeve) and Michelle Deignan (filmmaker), chaired by Selina Roberton (Club Des Femmes).

HANDMAKING HERSTORY: Feminist Uses of Craft

Friday 17 August 7 pm (Rio, Screen 2)

Like dolls I'll rise

The LFFF presents a screening showcasing the practical crafts of women from varying walks of life, who explore through their handiwork issues of race, sexuality, and age. Through their crafts, the protagonists devise new methods of making themselves visible, and question what counts as feminist practice.

Paige Gratland & Sam McWilliams, USA, 2015 (11′)

Clare Unsworth, UK, 2018 (25′)

Nora Philippe, France, 2018 (28′)

Awards and nominations:
Gold Award – Best Experimental Film, European Independent Film Award (2018)
Audience Award – Best Documentary, Partie(s) de Campagne: Ouroux-en-Morvan Short Film Festival (2018)
Outstanding Achievement Award: Women’s Film, Calcutta International Cult Film Festival (Season: April – June 2018)
Outstanding Achievement Award: Film on Women, Calcutta International Cult Film Festival (Season: April – June 2018)
Finalist Documentary Film, Calcutta International Cult Film Festival (Season: April – June 2018)

+ panel with Clare Unsworth (director, Older Women Rock!), Leah Thorn (Older Women Rock!), Joy (Editor, Alt Africa), and Catherine Ince (Chief Curator, V&A East), chaired by Rose Sinclair (lecturer in textile design, Goldsmith’s).

LESBIAN IDENTITIES: Becoming/Situating Ourselves

Friday 17 August 8.30 pm (Genesis)

The films in this session show lesbianism as something plural, complicated, and deeply political. Voted audience favourite at a number of lesbian film festivals, Gender Troubles: The Butches, portrays butchness, often underrepresented even within LGBT spaces. Dyke Jails explores the relationships, attractions, and camaraderie among incarcerated women.

Cecilia Montagut, Spain, 2018 (65′)

Lisa Plourde, USA, 2016 (54′)

Audience Award, Paris International Lesbian and Feminist Film Festival (2016)
Audience Choice Award, Cinema Systers Film Festival (2016)

+ panel with Cecilia Montagut (director, Dyke Jails), Raquel Osborne (producer, Dyke Jails), Kanchi Wichmann (director, Break My Fall, listed as one of BFI’s 10 great lesbian films of all time), and Tabitha Benjamin (founder, club night ‘Butch, Please!’), chaired by Pippa Sterk (LFFF).


Saturday 18 August 1.30 pm (Rio, Screen 1)

Feminist activism is explored and celebrated through two documentaries on the lives of Angela Bowen and Heather Booth. In this turbulent political and social climate, their inspiring stories are a call to arms and a testimony to what women can achieve when they dare to disrupt the status quo.

Jennifer Abod, USA, 2018 (26′)

Awards and nominations:
Best Documentary, Milan International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (2018)
Best Documentary – Women’s History U.S., To the Contrary Women’s Film Festival: About Women and Girls (2017)
Best film/video on matters relating to the Black Experience / Marginalized People, XXXII. Black International Cinema Berlin (2017)
Audience Choice Award, Cinema Systers Film Festival (2017)
Best Television Documentary Program – Local or Regional, To the Contrary Women’s Film Festival: About Women and Girls (2017)
Audience Award Best Feature Documentary, NHdocs: The New Haven Documentary Film Festival (2017)
Audience Award Best Documentary Feature, Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (2016)
Runner Up for Documentary Feature Jury Award, Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (2016)

Lilly Rivlin, USA, 2017 (60′)

+ panel with Molly Ackhurst (Sisters Uncut) and Aoife Hamill (London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign), chaired by Shola Mos-Shogbamimu (author and feminist).

NOW, HERE SHE STANDS: Perspectives on Survival

Saturday 18 August 4 pm (Rio, Screen 1)

Breaking the silence

Filmmakers explore in this session what surviving and resisting looks like, in two fiction shorts and two documentary films that portray the claustrophobic nature of domestic abuse, but also the courage of survivors, the process of healing through art and community, and the indispensable support of friends and estate workers.

Parya Vatankhah, France, 2018 (15′)

Laís Melo, Brazil, 2017 (15′)

Natalia Keiko, Brazil, 2015 (15′)

Best International Documentary, Femujer: Santo Domingo Women’s Short Film Festival (2015)
Best Documentary, Brasilia on-line Film Festival (2015)

Julia Lima, Brazil, 2018 (28′)

+ panel with Julia Lima (director, Breaking the Silence), Victoria Gutierrez (Latin American Women’s Aid, UK), and Marianna Tortell (CEO, Domestic Violence Intervention Project), chaired by Rosa dos Ventos Heimer (Latin American Women’s Aid, UK).

30th Anniversary Screening: FEMINIST CLASSIC – SAMA

Saturday 18 August 5.30 pm (BFI, NFT3)


This important drama from 1988 deals with the everyday oppressions facing women in Tunisia, while exploring female relationships. Sabra refuses to be reduced to a traditional domestic role in mid-1980s Tunisian society. With the reluctant support of her mother, she seeks an education, while facing intense pressure and scrutiny from the male-dominated community. Based on director Néjia Ben Mabrouk’s own experiences growing up, the multi-award-winning Sama deals with the mundane, everyday oppressions facing women in Tunisia and the prejudice and petty misogyny, while exploring the world of female relationships, their rituals, intimacies, and superstitions.

Néjia Ben Mabrouk, Tunisia, 1988 (90′)

Awards and nominations:
Tunisian Union of Critics Prize, International Carthage Festival (1988)
C.E.O. (Centro Orientamento Educativo) prize of Milan, Carthage Film Festival (1988)
Special Jury Mention, Festival of 3 Continents (1988)
Caligari Prize at International Forum of Young Cinema, Berlin International Film Festival (1989)

+ Q&A with Néjia Ben Mabrouk (director, Sama), hosted by Anna Bogutskaya (BFI).


Saturday 18 August 6.40 pm (Rio, Screen 2)

Mater Amatissima

The essay form allows filmmakers Ruido and Echevarria to display strategies of appropriation, re-enactment, deconstruction, and re-telling to explore abject motherhood and femininity in two mythical figures: Medea and Saint Agatha.

Mirari Echávarri, Spain, 2017 (12′)

MATER AMATÍSIMA: Imaginaries and discourses on maternity in times of change
María Ruido, Spain, 2017 (55′)

+ panel with Mirari Echávarri (director, Bodies #1 Saint Agatha) and Maria Ruido (director, Mater Amatisima), chaired by Jean Matthee (art filmmaker).

GENESISTERS – L7: Pretend We’re Dead

Saturday 18 August, bands from 7.30 pm, film at 9.15 pm (Genesis)

An evening, starting at 7.30 pm, of live music, zine stalls, cocktails, and a screening of the award-winning documentary L7: Pretend We’re Dead. All for £3!!

London Feminist Film Festival and #Genesisters are joining forces on this collaborative night, smashing the patriarchy harder than ever.

Artists appearing are:

LILITH AI – A DIY singer-songwriter, who performs poignant tales of modern city life.

CANDY CANE – A three-piece spooky synthy post-punk band from East London. The trio met in a haunted cinema and formed Candy Cane to ward off the evil forces that lurk there.

BUGEYE – Blending cherry-liqueur lyrics, bubblegum-kneecap bass electrics, goth-heavy drum compactions, and hi-rise guitar sculptures, maybe one day all music will sound this good.

EFA SUPERTRAMP – Efa is an energetic and original Welsh punk folk singer, activist, and artist. Her songs (sung both in English and Welsh) are angry but uplifting.

The film screening is at 9.15 pm:
Sarah Price, USA, 2016 (90′) ‘A real time journey witnessing the rise, fall, and ultimate redemption of the fierce feminist pioneers of American grunge punk: L7‘.

Awards and nominations:
Best Film, Bordeaux Rock – Musical Ecran (2018)
Nominated for Best Documentary Feature, Hollywood Film Festival (2017)

KEEPERS OF CULTURE: African Heritage & Feminist Documentary Practices

Sunday 19 August 1.30 pm (Rio, Screen 1)

The two faces of a Bamiléké woman

A session of award-winning films, exploring documentary filmmaking as a feminist practice to interrogate and reflect upon notions of cultural identity and women’s role – especially in the domestic sphere – in preserving and passing on African heritage and tradition.

Mariana Campos & Raquel Beatriz, Brazil, 2017 (26′)

Best Film Audience Award, Rio de Janeiro International Film (2017)
Best Film – Zózimo Bulbul Seal, Black Films Festival Brazil/Africa and Caribean (2017)

Rosine Mbakam, Cameroon, 2018 (76′)

Prize of the Flemish Commission for Unesco, Afrika Filmfestival (2017)

+ Yaba Badoe (award-winning Ghanaian-British filmmaker) and Simidele Dosekun (specialises in gender and feminism in Africa) in conversation.

STAYING TOGETHER: Women Against Systemic Violence

Sunday 19 August 4 pm (Rio, Screen 1)

Women often find themselves forced to navigate a patriarchal system that is not built for them or that is, in fact, built against them. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the judicial system when it comes to issues of custody.

Rachel Meyrick, UK, 2017 (82′)

Special Jury Activist Award, Awareness Film Festival (2017)

Fateme Ahmadi, UK, 2017 (15′)

Best Short Film, Swindon Independent Film Festival (2017)

+ panel with Rachel Meyrick (director, What Doesn’t Kill Me), Fateme Ahmadi (director, Bitter Sea), and Dorett Jones (feminist filmmaker who also works in the VAWG sector), chaired by Marianna Tortell (CEO, Domestic Violence Intervention Project).


Sunday 19 August 6.50 pm (Genesis)

Bloody Activist

A screening of shorts around women mobilizing for change: reclaiming their rights, fighting stigma, opposing abuse. What does the fight for human rights look like across the globe? From Spain to Brazil, from El Salvador to Canada, women of all ages and backgrounds unite to bring about social justice.

Carol Araujo, Brazil, 2016 (30′)

Carme Gomila & Tonina Matamalas, Spain, 2017 (14′)

Best International Documentary, Audiovisual Festival Montes de María (2018)
Animation Award, Metropol’His GlobaL’H Short Film Festival (2017)

Rebecca Brand, UK, 2017 (13′)

Layla Cameron, Canada, 2018 (14′)

María Aizpuru, El Salvador, 2016 (15′)

Best Short Film directed by a Woman, Todos Somos Otros – International Short Film Festival of Social Diversity (2017)
Second Prize Medium Length Documentary, Certamen International Short Film Festival (2017)

+ panel with Marchu Girma (Grassroots Director, Women for Refugee Women), Rosa Dos Ventos Heimer (Latin American Women’s Aid, UK), and Rita Gayle (whose PhD investigates how millennial Black British feminists work collectively to counteract exclusion from the creative and cultural industries).


A Discussion at the London Feminist Film Festival

Sunday 19 August  6 pm (Rio, Screen 2)


From childcare on set to intimacy coordination for sex scenes, what does feminist filmmaking look like? What practices, protocols, and guidelines can we implement to make sure that film sets and the industry in general are a feminist space? How do we resist and change the traditional (patriarchal, white, male) way of making films?

We are delighted to welcome Veronica McKenzie (founder, Inspiredonline, the first online platform for BAME screenwriters), Nainita Desai (award-winning film composer), Ita O’Brien (intimacy coordinator and movement director for film, television, and theatre), and Mia Bays (award-winning film producer) to this evening of feminist plotting and scheming! Plus Federica Ciotti will be making visual minutes of the evening, which will be shared at the end!