Both counteracting under-representation of women in the film industry and celebrating women’s contribution to film, comes our first feminist film festival.

The debate around the under-representation of women in film, both on and off screen, really kicked off in the last few years. Haven’t you done the Bechdel test yet? It’s timely so that we celebrate Dublin’s first Feminist Film Festival.

Surely some will sneer or dismiss the idea but let’s take a look at some of the thought provoking facts about women in film. Of the top 2,000 biggest grossing films over the past 20 years, women accounted for only 13% of the editors, 10% of the writers and just 5% of the directors. More than three-quarters of the crew have been men, while only 22% were women. It’s similar in front of the camera: Women in film account for just 15% of all protagonists, 29% of major characters and 30% of all speaking parts.

The aim of the Feminist Film Festival is to counteract the mis-representation and narrow range of women portrayed as stereotypical female characters, exposing audiences to a broader view of female characters. The other aim is to celebrate women’s role in film making and the wider film industry and to inspire and empower others to get involved in film making and production. All profits from the festival will go to SASANE in Nepal, a non-profit organisation run by and for victims of sex trafficking and gender violence, which provides education, support and training.

The programme includes the Irish première of Chieme Karasawa’s Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, a documentary about the Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress who died last month. Sally Potter’s Orlando, starring Tilda Swinton, also features. It tells the tale of a man that becomes a woman over centuries and deals with sexuality, relationships, prejudice and gender identity.

Elaine Stritch Shoot Me Poster
Closer to home, ‘Bananas on the Breadboard’ tells a story about the street traders of Dublin, predominantly women, who have been working on Dublin’s streets for over three generations. Bananas on the Breadboard features interviews with real traders and the late political activist Tony Gregory, as well as some lovely footage of Dublin.

Andrea Arnold’s ‘Fish Tank is billed as a British ‘kitchen sink’ drama about a 15 year old girl on a housing estate. It’s a harsh reality but beautifully shot: Fish Tank won the 2009 Jury Prize at Cannes and the BAFTA for Best British Film in 2010.

There’s also a Q&A with Vivienne Dick, one of the best known and most important Irish film-makers of the last three decades. Dick’s work has been shown all over the world including MOMA New York and IMMA Dublin, Tate Britain, and The Pompidou Centre and she has received a number of awards from the British and Irish Arts Councils. Dick’s She Had her Gun All Ready (late 1970s) and her 2014 The Irreducible Difference of the Other will both be screened..

A full weekend pass can be purchased directly from The New Theatre Box Office for €50, just call 01-6703361 to reserve. Tickets may be purchased online and will also be available on the door (of the New Theatre) on the day.

The Feminist Film Festival runs from 30th to 31st August at the New Theatre in Dublin.

Feminist Film Festival 2014 in Dublin
The New Theatre
43 Essex Street
Temple Bar
Dublin 2

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