by Jasmine Davis
International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month often offer unique celebrations of women and empowerment around the globe. People from different countries around the globe learn about women empowerment through art shows, speeches, book readings and film festivals. This year, there are many different film festivals and celebrations happening in diverse corners of the world, all centered around women.
The Herat International Women’s Film Festival is being held on March 8th, 2013, in conjunction with International Women’s Day. Rather than being a competitive event, this festival is planned to bring women-centered issues to the forefront. In addition to film screenings, the event will include roundtable discussions, educational workshops for filmmakers and tours of historical sites around Herat. The festival is sponsored and planned by the Armanshahr Foundation and Roya Film House in conjunction with NGOs and outside funding. The festival is a platform for “exposing communities to diverse ideas and creating a forum for peaceful exchanges, both inside the country and regionally.”
Another event in New Delhi, India, also plans to celebrate women-created films and teach crowds about women empowerment. The 9th Annual IAWRT Asian Women’s Film Festival will be held from March 5 - 8 in New Delhi. Women from different South and Central Asia countries will be attending. According to a recent news article, “Diverse subjects are on the radar such as gender, sexuality, parenthood, nationality, migration, urbanization and art - strong and innovative works that are honest journeys of personal and political interrogation.” The festival is free and open to any who wish to attend, and includes a photo exhibit entitled ‘Fragments’ byMonica Bhasin and Uma Tanuku and installation 'Shame Was A Place Inside My Heart' by Priyanka Chhabra Manmeet Kaur and Sohini Dasgupta.
Women and empowerment are the subject of another film festival to be held in August this year in Zimbabwe. The Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe founded the International Images Film Festival for Women in 2002. This year’s theme is “Women Alive - Women of Peace”. According to the press release about the festival, “The theme celebrates women of all ages who have dedicated their lives to become peacemakers, thereby becoming role models for their communities.”
These festivals each hope to open up the world of filmmaking to women and women’s empowerment issues. They each aim to show the public how to empower women through film to tell their own stories in a unique and individual way. They showcase amazingly diverse films from women filmmakers around the globe, offering the public a chance to explore beautiful works from female filmmakers, fostering women’s empowerment along the way.