Out of 120 women’s film festivals on my list, only three have ‘feminist’ in their titles: the Central Illinois Feminist Film Festival, Cineffable: Quand Les Lesbiennes Se Font Du Cinema–the Paris Feminist and Lesbian Film Festival and the London Feminist Film Festival, now seeking submissions for their second year. I’m curious about what makes a women’s film festival a feminist festival and was delighted to have the opportunity to ask Anna Read, the director, about the festival.
Q: There are four other women’s film festivals in London: Birds Eye View, Images of Black Women: African Descent Women in Cinema, Underwire and Women/Mujeres Spanish Film Festival. Why did you start another one? What philosophy underlies the festival?
I wanted to create a film festival which was explicitly feminist, not only in showing films by women but also in the content of those films. The festival is feminist in that it shows only films by women and also in that we show films with a feminist leaning to a greater or lesser extent. We want to support women filmmakers in a male-dominated industry and to celebrate women’s creativity, and we also want to get feminist issues more into the mainstream, via cinema, and get people thinking and talking about these issues. I would say that the other women’s film festivals in London are also feminist in intent, even if they don’t have the word ‘feminist’ in the title.