18th International Women's Film Festival goes online from today

The festival is organised in sections: Right-Based Cinema, Women's Cinema, Our Body are Ours, Sex-Gender-Sexuality, Feminist Frame, Feminist Memory and Consecutive Films.

The 18th International Filmmor Women's Film Festival on Wheels will be held online this year, as many other festivals, because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The 18th edition of the festival can be joined on Filmmor website. It opens today (Friday) and will last until 22 June, presenting 38 films from different countries as well as debates and meetings with the directors.

The festival is organised in sections: Right-Based Cinema, Women's Cinema, Our Body are Ours, Sex-Gender-Sexuality, Feminist Frame, Feminist Memory and Consecutive Films.

One of the jewel of this year's festival is the tribute to Alice Guy-Balché, French pioneer filmmaker, active from the late 19th century, and one of the very first to make a fiction film.

We talked with Melek Özmen from Filmmor about this edition of the festival.

We are in a difficult process, but the festival is a good news. What will be the featured films in Filmmor this year?

There is a documentary about Alice Guy-Blaché, Untold Story. Everyone who makes or love cinema should know the filmmaker who invented this art. We will have the opportunity to watch three films by Claire Pijman. In total we will show 38 films. And of course we will have meetings online with director, industry representatives, workshops like how to make your own film at home.

How will you run the program?

The festival will be online. Film screenings will be by registration and reservation from the festival website. Interviews and meetings too. Interviews will also be broadcast on our social media channels. When we tried to make the festival free, we couldn't do it with the online platforms that sell tickets. We have therefore set up our own online platform. We will try it for the first time, I hope everything goes well.

How can one register then?

Viewers should subscribe to filmmor.org and register to the films or events you want to follow.

Which issues are addressing the films you received this year?

Every issue on this planet is the subject of feminist cinema; everything concerns us. The cinema of women does not deal with special issues that are reserved for women or referred to them. There are movies that look at cinema and life from a more feminist angle, but there are movies on every subject.

How will the global pandemic affect women directors?

Our name is women's film festival because this is our historical mission, but we are a film festival. Other festivals promote men's film. We will see the effects of the pandemic on cinema in a long time. Sectors such as cinema will clearly have difficulties, but we can predict that the most affected won’t be male filmmakers.

The sectors that bear the burden of the pandemic are women-dominated sectors. Women's work has become even more difficult. Both at home and outside. Like any crisis, this will also be a gender crisis. Fortunately, we also have a lot of experience to fight bad conditions. So I think we can cope with this crisis and find new possibilities and ways out.

How was Filmmor affected?

We never took a break, to make sure we could go online. We work from home, as we can’t go to the office until the outbreak ends. The work conditions for the Istanbul team of the festival are not too difficult apart from these limits. We are very sad because of the raid and arrests targeting Diyarbakır partner Rosa Women's Association. Diyarbakır team gives us morale from WhatsApp. I guess we try to find a balance between what happened, what it should be, what we can do, and take it from there.