A Women's Film Festival

in 7th Flying Broom International Women's Film Festival

by Stratos Kersanidis

What does a women’s film festival mean? The answer to this question is given by the people who founded this important event. For 10 days you have the opportunity to come into contact with the special point of view of female film directors, with their sensibility, but better, with their outlook on their own lives. Because, as everybody knows, women confront problems, not only in the poor countries and conservative societies but even in the countries of Europe and North America.

The Flying Broom Women’s International Film Festival of Ankara is a very important institution. A lot of good films, organized in an ideal way by a very good team, presents an open window to the world.

This festival is a vehicle for the non-government feminist organization of Turkey “Flying Broom”, founded in 1996. Between the organization’s activities is a project named “Building bridges”, including 9 documentaries from 9 countries, screened in 43 different cities. Also, a monthly magazine and a weekly radio broadcast are included between the organization’s activities.

Through 10 days of the Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival more than 80 films from many countries were screened.

In the “Each has a different color” section, 17 films were screened and 11 of those films –produced in the last 2 years- were evaluated by the FIPRESCI jury.

One of the more important events, was the screening of the first ever feature animation film in the history of the cinema, directed by Lotte Reiniger from Germany in 1920. “The Adventures Of Prince Ahmed” was shown with a live music performance, in a full theater.

The central person of the festival was the controversial French director Catherine Breillat with a retrospective of 5 films, including her latest film “Anatomy Of Hell”. Also a very important panel discussion, about “Women and Sexuality” was organized on this occasion. More than 100 people followed this interesting and very successful discussion. Other sections, were the “One Country, One Cinema”, with 5 films from Spain, “A Pinch Of Curry”, with 2 films from Gurinder Chandha, the tribute to Dorris Doerrie (3 films), Catherine Hepbourn (3 films) and Marie Trintignant (2 films), documentaries and short films.

For a Film Festival to be successful, there are three conditions:
1- Interesting Films
2- Good organization
3- Public participation

The 7th Flying Broom International Women Film Festival of Ankara had a lot of interesting films, an excellent organization, but the public participation was not so large. That is to say the size of the audiences, but the participation in the discussions with the directors after the films was, in my opinion, really very interesting. The questions to the directors were significant, serious and smart.

In the opinion of the writer of this article, the Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival is a very important institution. In merely 7 years of its existence, it has made lots of steps, not only as a film festival, but as a strong tool in women’s hands that allows them to speak about their problems in a society constructed by males.