Thu 28 Nov 9.10 PM: Expectations

Thursday 28 November 9.10 pm

+ panel discussion with Margaret Glover (screenwriter, Senior Lecturer at London Film School, worked on Aabida), Claire Bennett (Research Fellow at University of Southampton; wrote her PhD on the experiences of lesbians seeking asylum in the UK), Christina Pitouli (director, Bref), and Nimco Ali (Daughters of Eve). Chaired by Abbe Fletcher (Senior Lecturer in film making and film studies, Kingston University).

Maaria Sayed / India / 2013 / 26 mins / English, Urdu, and Hindi with English subtitles

The Lala Road
Letitia Lamb / Australia / 2012 / 10 mins / English and Mandarin with English subtitles

Christina Pitouli / Spain / 2013 / 30 mins / Spanish with English subtitles

This screening deals with cultural and social expectations and the effects these have on women’s lives.

The first film is the UK premiere of Maaria Sayed’s Aabida, a drama which takes place a couple of months after the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Aabida, who is now widowed, has the opportunity for a fresh start in life. However she has a lot more to deal with than she expected and we see how society’s expectations of her in her new role as a widow threaten to constrict the freedom she longs for. Read our interview with Aabida director Maaria Sayed here.

Lala Road2          Lala Road1

The second film in this screening is Letitia Lamb’s The Lala Road. This film deals with the pressure on Chinese women to marry and follows ‘lalas’ (women who love women) Cain, Zhang Linlin, Baozi, and Ruyi. These women want to love who they choose and to be loved for who they are but in order to be true to their families, their culture, and to themselves they must find a new way – which takes some of them far from their homeland. Read our interview with The Lala Road director Letitia Lamb here.


The final film in this session is the UK premiere of the award winning documentary Bref, which approaches the ritual of FGM (female genital mutilation) through conversations with people from Africa who live in Spain. The opposed opinions and realities that come to light reveal the complexity of this controversial issue in which the limits of human rights and cultural heritage are intersected. Bref won the Jury’s special mention in the ‘Right to Health’ section at the Madrid documentary and human rights festival Artículo 31.