The 7th Annual Women in Film Festival kicks off on International Women’s Day at Vancity Theatre. More than 50 films will be screened from March 8–11 and all of them are made by women.
Besides screening films, the festival will also offer free networking events and panel discussions.
“It [the festival] was established in 2006 to give women a venue to screen their work,” says Rosyln Muir, the festival director.
She says statistics show that at major festivals like TIFF and VIFF, less than 25 per cent of directors are women.
Tracy D. Smith, director of the film Everything and Everyone, says it is difficult being a woman filmmaker.
“It is so incredibly difficult to be a filmmaker that sometimes you question if you are having challenges because it’s simply so hard or if it is also compounded because of sexism,” says Smith.
“It may not even be blatant, calculated prejudice against women, but rather something much more subtle like men hiring or recognizing other men because they are their buddies rather than giving an opportunity to a stranger who is a woman.”
Lulu Keating, a movie director and the curator of the Wise + Wild – Showcase of Short Films from the Yukon, says that according to statistics women are not even getting 50 per cent of screen time.
“Most festivals reward men’s films and don’t show women’s work. And when it comes to bigger budgets, there are few women who can attract the financing. We need to change this,” says Keating.
The upcoming festival provides women filmmakers the possibility to create their own connections with their colleagues.
“The Women in Film Festival is always a fantastic celebration of female filmmakers and their films. It is an incredible opportunity to meet other filmmakers, connect with the audience and feel a sense of community,” says Smith.
The Vancouver Women in Film Festival screens and rewards the women’s work and also offers the audience a wide variety of movie experiences.
“This year we had a lot of submissions from women who are working in the horror-thriller-suspense genres,” says Muir.
“The films have taken a darker turn, but we still have variety such as drama, comedy and documentary. Also, new this year is the Yukon program, a series of short films about women in the North, including Aboriginal stories.”
“All our films are great, but check out Oh, Sushi a documentary about a Japanese-Canadian mother and daughter and their relationship to sushi,” adds Muir.
She also recommends that viewers watch The Hotel Swooni, which is a comedy film from the Netherlands.
For more information, visit www.womeninfilm.ca