bfmiff2015 Celebrates Women Filmmakers and films that share the black female experience

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Festival Date: Thursday 2nd July –Sunday 5th July

Venue: Bernie Grants Art Centre in London

From features to documentaries, the highlight for Bfmiff2015 will celebrate the works of women. Films that are directed/co-directed by women. This includes films from the UK and around the globe which display an array of strong female filmmaking talent.

According to research, in 2014 75% of blockbuster crews were men and the number of women in all levels of the industry were extremely low. In 2013 only 2% of directors were female. Gender disparity is profound across the industry regardless of colour, where minority women make up an even a smaller percentage. The festival also highlights issues relating to women like perceptions of beauty and body image (Beauty Is) and the topic of natural hair amongst women of African descent (As It Grows)

Below are the some of the film showing at this year’s festival co-directed /directed by women and about women.

Some of the female directors at bfmiff2015:

Mary Well- Dir: Kingston Paradise

Ayoka Chenzira -Dir: HERadventure

Yasmin Shiraz- Dir: Growing up Positive

Bibi Owusu-Shadbolt-Co Dir: Afua’s Diary

Dir: Eva Weber-Dir: Blackout

Aissa’s Story- Dir: Iquo B Essien

Kingston Paradise – Jamaica 2013 – Feature 83 mins
Story: A depiction of life on Kingston’s streets for Rocksy a “small time” hustler and Rosie a prostitute it is all about survival. But both dream of something better.

Directed by: This is the first feature by Mary Wells. The film won the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Caribbean Tales Festival in 2013.

Screening: Friday 3rd July Time: 9:30pm

Growing Up Positive- USA 42 mins
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Story: Does race have an impact on HIV? Two women, one black and one white, both age 25, share what the impact of HIV has been on their dating, early childhood and sexual experiences. Growing Up Positive has recently been selected for the 2015 Toronto Black Film Festival.

Directed by: Yasmin Shiraz has written over 8 books, including the Award winning Retaliation novel series.

Screening: Sunday 5th July Time 1:15pm

Afua’s Diary- UK 2014 Feature 90 mins
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Story: Afua a pretty African girl finds love but her new found love is plagued with the problems, including that of an alcoholic father. Will the complications of her life destroy her relationship?

Directed by: Ben Owusu and Bibi Owusu-Shadbolt. Bibi is a Ghanaian stage and screenwriter. Afua’s Diary is her directorial debut.

Screening: Friday 3rd July Time: 4pm

HERadventure USA
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Story: A cutting edge, science fiction story telling which combines film, gaming, and social media to empower women.

Dir: Ayoka Chenzira this iconic film maker/animator/actress is one of the first African American women to teach film production in higher education. Again innovator Chenzira is one of the first African American women to write, produce and direct a 35mm feature film, ALMA’S RAINBOW.

Screening Saturday 4th of July 11:00

Aissa’s Story- USA Short Film Selection 15 mins 2013
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Story: Inspired by the New York v. Strauss-Kahn case, ‘Aissa’s Story’ is a about Aissatou Bah, an African immigrant housekeeper and single mother struggling to move on with her life months after the case against the wealthy hotel guest who assaulted her is dismissed.

Directed by: Iquo B Essien is a Nigerian- American writer, director and photographer. Aissa’s Story was a regional semi-finalist in the 2013 student Academy Awards and 2014 Spike Lee Film Fund Winner. She uses various medium for her story telling including popular blog Alligator legs.

Screening: Sunday 5th July Time: 1:15pm

Blackout- Guinea/UK 2012, 47mins Documentary
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Story: Every day during exam season, as the sun sets over Conakry, Guinea, hundreds of school children begin a nightly pilgrim age to the airport, petrol stations and wealthy parts of the city, searching for light. This evocative documentary tells the story of these children’s inspiring struggle for education in the face of the country’s own fight for change

Directed by: Eva Weber was awarded Best Emerging UK Director by the Open City Film Festival for Blackout.

Screening: Friday 3rd July Time: 5pm

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As It Grows- UK 2014

Story: Four UK women share their natural hair journey. Inspired by the mistreatment of US actress Viola Davis received when she wore her hair natural to the 2012 Academy Awards.

Directed by: Dalian Adofo is co-creator of Ancestral Voices. Adofo is a creative artist, he works across various mediums.

Screening: Sunday 5th July Time: 3:30pm

Beauty Is- UK 2014 122 mins 29 secs
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Story: Explores the perception of beauty from a Pan- African viewpoint. Examining perceptions of issue relating to black women like body shape, natural hair and pressure of society in terms of what is perceived to be “conventional beauty”.

Directed by: Oluwatoyin Agbetu is social rights activist and he is founder of the Pan-African group Ligali. UK born Agbetu is of Nigerian parentage.

Screening: Sunday 5th July Time: 1pm

Tickets for all these films are on sale now.

For more films being screened at the bfm International film festival 2015 visit the official website here .