London Feminist Film Festival 2015 programme


THE LADY OF PERCUSSION & THROUGH THE LENS OF HIP HOP: UK WOMEN performance by rapper Pariz-1 + panel discussion with directors of ‘Through the Lens’, Pariz-1 and DJ Chardine Taylor-Stone. Chaired by Jessica Horn

The Lady of Percussion (La Dama de la Percusión) UK PREMIERELady of Percussion
Directors: Rakel Aguirre, Alina O’Donell and Karla Díaz Montalba / 2014 / Cuba / Rating: U / 11 mins
Documentary short about Deborah, a percussionist from Old Havana, Cuba who has had to fight to be part of the world of the batá drum, an instrument traditionally only played by men.

Through the Lens of Hip Hop: UK WomenHip Hop Women
Directors: Silhouette Bushay and Samantha Calliste / 2014 / UK / Rating: PG / 56 mins
Feature-length documentary exploring the much-obscured but very present feminist hip hop sensibility in the UK. Through insightful personal narratives and interviews with women of different generations, the film shows the meaning of hip hop to different women: as music, as performance poetry, as dance or as therapy. It deals with issues of feminism, identity, race, hip hop education, women in the music industry and more.

FRIDAY 21 AUGUST 6.30 pm at the RIO CINEMA

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry + panel discussion with Lynne SegalClarissa Jacob, and Emma Dabiri. Chaired by Sophie Mayer UK PREMIEREBeautiful When Angry
Director: Mary Dore / 2014 / USA / Rating: PG / 93 mins
Award-winning documentary which resurrects the buried history of the outrageous, often brilliant women who founded the modern women’s movement from 1966 to 1971. The film recounts the stories of women who fought for their own equality and in the process created a worldwide revolution.
It captures the spirit of the time – thrilling, scandalous and often hilarious. Screened in collaboration with CLUB DES FEMMES.


RAPE CRISIS FUNDRAISER: It Happened Here + panel discussion with Susuana Amoah, Dr Nina Burrowes (psychologist, co-founder of Clear Lines Festival on sexual assault), and Pavan Amara (founder, My Body Back Project). Chaired by Marianna Tortell (Rape Crisis England & Wales) EUROPEAN PREMIERE
Director: Lisa F Jackson / 2015 / USA / Rating: 15 / 76 mins
Trigger warning: includes testimonies from survivors of sexual assault.
Lawsuits against US universities are on the rise because of the institutions’ inability to properly handle cases of sexual assault on campus. Through the personal portraits of five student survivors, this film exposes the alarming pervasiveness of sexual assault on US university campuses, the institutional cover-ups and the failure to protect students, and follows their fight for accountability on campus and in federal court.
Profits from this screening go to Rape Crisis England and Wales.


FEMINIST SHORTS + panel discussion with filmmakers of the films screened

Director: Linnéa Haviland / 2015 / Sweden, UK / Rating: U / 5 mins
Explores the body as boundary and as self. Three women from three generations speak about their experiences of their bodies throughout their lives.

Running Commentary UK PREMIERE
Director: Natasha Waugh / 2014 / Ireland / Rating: 12 / 6 mins
Drama capturing the everyday sexism that women and girls experience. A woman becomes the focus of men’s gaze and commentary whilst out jogging.

Director: Lauren Orme / 2015 / UK / Rating: U / 20 mins
The remarkable life of Welsh suffragette Margaret Mackworth is uncovered through interviews, traditional cut-out animation and archive footage.

There and Back WORLD PREMIEREThere & Back
Director: Trish Kelly / 2014 / Ireland / Rating: 15 / 6 mins
Trigger warning: includes testimony from a survivor of sexual assault.
The story of one woman’s experience of sexual assault, how she dealt with the trauma and the support that existed to help her along the way.

The Girl and the Gondola (La Ragazza e la Gondola) UK PREMIERE
Director: Abbe Robinson / 2013 / UK, Italy / Rating: U / 12 mins
Drama. 10 year old Carla dreams of becoming a gondolier, but 900 years of Venetian tradition and the disapproval of her parents stand in her way.

Kids on Gender
Director: Jasmine Doyle Pitt / 2014 / UK / Rating: PG / 10 mins
A child-led investigation of gender performance. A group of children discuss what gender is, what they think about it and whether they believe in it.


The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo + panel discussion with Louisa Uchum Egbunike, Anna Umbima and Rasheda Ashanti Malcolm. Chaired by Dzifa Benson 
Director: Yaba Badoe / 2014 / Ghana, UK / Rating: PG / 79 mins
Award-winning documentary exploring the artistic contribution of one of Africa’s foremost writers, a trailblazer for an entire generation of exciting new talent. Over the course of a year the film follows Aidoo as she returns home to her ancestral village in Ghana, launches her latest collection of short stories in Accra and travels to the University of California, Santa Barbara to attend the premiere of her seminal play about the slave trade, Anowa. A fascinating insight into the life of this important feminist poet and novelist.

SUNDAY 23 AUGUST 1.30 pm at the RIO CINEMA

I WAS FIVE WHEN I BECAME A WOMAN & BUT THEY CAN’T BREAK STONES + panel discussion with director Elena DirstaruSarita Panday and Wendy Ngoma

I Was Five When I Became a Woman (پنج سالم بود که زن شدم) I was 5 when I became a Woman
Director: Maryam Tafakory / 2014 / UK / Rating: U / 5 mins
Short film. An emotional tapestry that invites you to briefly share the life-long torment of FGM still forced on many young girls around the world.

But They Can’t Break Stones WORLD PREMIEREBut They Can't Break Stones
Director: Elena Dirstaru / 2015 / Nepal / Rating: U / 50 mins
Nepal’s civil war ended nearly 10 years ago and its effects are still very visible, especially in terms of women’s rights. This film shows the effect the war has had on women, and how women’s lives are shaped by political instability and by cultural norms that place them in domestic roles. We meet, amongst others, activists working to educate women about their rights, and women training to be mountain guides at an all-female training centre in Pokhara. An engaging portrait of women’s rights in Nepal.


FEMINIST CLASSIC: The Company of Strangers + panel discussion with Jane Grant (Older Women in Film group) and Nuala O’Sullivan (Short Hot Flush Film FestivalFalling Blossom
Director: Cynthia Scott / 1990 / Canada / Rating: U / 101 mins
Multi-award-winning feature from 1990. Seven elderly women and one young woman on a day trip are stranded in the Canadian countryside when their bus breaks down. With humour and spirit, the women get to know each other and work together in order to survive. Each of the actors tells stories from her own life, blending documentary and fiction, and much of the dialogue is improvised. The women are from varied walks of life, and include a Mohawk elder, a nun and a noted feminist writer. A feel-good film representing a group rarely seen on our screens – older women.


Esther Broner: A Weave of Women + panel discussion with Rachel Rose Reid and Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild. Chaired by Mekella Broomberg UK PREMIEREEsther Broner
Director: Lilly Rivlin / 2013 / USA / Rating: 12A / 62 mins
Esther Broner started the first Feminist Passover Seder service in NYC in the 1970s, a tradition which continues today. This film documents the evolution of Jewish feminism through archival footage and interviews with leading Jewish feminists. It also tells the story of Esther Broner, a prolific writer who explored the double marginalisation of being Jewish and female. An inspiring portrait of a feminist pioneer and a testament to her legacy which has helped empower generations of Jewish women around the world.

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