FOUNDED in 2002, the International Images Film Festival for Women kicks off today with Iranian production, Mainline at Avondale’s Vistarama Cinema.
Directed by Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, Mainline follows the uneasy
relationship between a mother and a daughter, made all the more turbulent by drug abuse.
The festival showcases films featuring women in major roles. The selected films are organised around a theme, which is “Fighting Women” this year. Entries in the festival look at the problems experienced by the ongoing exclusion of women from public life and how they fight to make the world include them on acceptable terms.
The selectors choose the films on the basis that they have all the attributes of good cinema and they must have some analysis of the woman or women featured in them. A jury awards the prizes and there is also an audience prize.
During the week-long festival in Harare, the films are screened and a number
of activities are planned to coincide with it.
Successful programmes organised around past festivals include a poster competition for high schools and colleges, art exhibitions and panel discussions.
Films are largely sourced through diplomatic missions and regional production houses, which reduces costs and make tickets affordable.
2007 feature films
About Sara is a Swedish film that tells the story of a young fatherless girl who is obliged to hospitalise her confused mum and sell their home. When she starts to work, her celebrated soccer-playing partner is unhappy: Her next relationship founders when she is given the promotion they were both hoping for.
After a few years, Sara can afford to buy back her old home and start renovating it. Wanting to be a mother without the complication of a partner, she invites different guys home — but finds herself drawn to one of the carpenters. Directed by Othman Karim with Linda Zilliacus as Sara.
The Angry Sisters is by director/screenwriter Alexandra Leclere with a cast that includes the brilliant actress, Isabelle Huppert. This French film features Louise, a beautician from Le Mans who pays her sister in Paris a short visit. Martine seems to have everything a woman could wish for — except for the one key ingredient, which Louise has. Louise and her happiness drive Martine crazy and shakes her life.
Antonia, directed, written and produced by Brazilian Tata Amaral with help from his friends, describes the ups and downs of a group of female rappers living on the outskirts of Sao Paulo. Their love of performing and creating music together — despite the many obstacles presented by being poor, black and female in a male-dominated profession — is inspiring.
Britain’s feature film entry is Becoming Jane, the true story of the love affair that inspired the young Jane Austen to become a writer. The attractive young Irishman, Tom Lefroy, becomes the inspiration for many of the male characters in her celebrated novels. It is directed by Julian Jarrold and starring Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Julie Walters, James Cromwell and Maggie Smith.
Four Minutes is unusual in many respects. Traunde Kruger has been giving piano lessons in a women’s prison for decades. She meets Jenny, a reserved young woman convicted of murder who was once considered a child musical prodigy. Her attempt to guide her pupil to victory in a music competiton leads to a
difficult, contradictory relationship which makes the German film fascinating and absorbing.
The festival will be at different venues including Avondale (at the Vistarama and Elite 100 cinemas), Alliance Française and Harare Gardens. It ends in Harare on December 8. It will also show in Bulawayo at the Rainbow in Bulawayo Centre and at the National Gallery from December 14-16. — Staff Writer.