Femspectives returns for online weekender
- Deborah Chu
- 6 April 2021
Highlights include screenings of Jane Arden's groundbreaking work The Other Side of the Underneath and the 50th feature from documentary filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin
As the film industry celebrates a historic year for the Oscars – finally, two whole women nominated in the category of Best Director! – it's never been more clear how much further we still have to go in order to achieve equal representation and opportunities in even the most seemingly-progressive of fields. Luckily there's always people doing the good work, and Femspectives returns to the scene to do just that later on this month.
The Glasgow-based feminist film festival returns for its third edition with an entirely online programme, which will run from Friday 23–Sunday 25 April. As the only Scottish festival solely dedicated to the work of womxn filmmakers, Femspectives' annual programme showcases the radical, innovative work being created by womxn directors around the world, as well as shining a light on social issues and politics that are often relegated to the margins.
Centred around the theme of 'dreaming', Femspectives is the latest film festival to turn to virtual screenings while lockdown restrictions continue to shutter cinemas, and has fully embraced the streaming format in order to connect with audiences outside its traditional city limits.
Highlights from the festival programme include the tender Georgian drama Comets; Canadian documentary filmmaker Alanis Ombomsawin's 50th film Our People Will Be Healed, which focuses in on one Manitoba school's efforts to decolonise their curriculum; a rare screening of Jane Arden's trailblazing 1972 feature film The Other Side of the Underneath; and the Hungarian documentary The Euphoria of Being, a tender portrait of an intergenerational friendship as a Holocaust survivor participates in a duet with a young dancer.
There will also be two short film strands, one curated by Glasgow-based creative practitioner Ane Lopez titled one dream, one square meter, which will showcase hybridised documentaries; and the other titled Dreaming While Black, focussing on critical aspects of the Black experience and curated by Edinburgh interdisciplinary artist Tanatsei Gambura.
Running alongside the screenings will be a series of live discussions that centre upon many of the themes and topics that the films touch upon, led by directors, curators and experts. The festival will then close on Sunday 25 April with a Feminist Film Quiz (7.30pm), for all you cinephiles out there.
Speaking of the programme, Femspectives co-founders Lauren Clarke and Kathi Kamleitner said: 'We are excited to be delivering this year's festival entirely online. Not only does it open our events to people all over Scotland and around the UK, we are also able to invite guests from further afield. The pandemic has shown that now more than ever, people long for engaging conversations to stay connected with each other and with what is happening in the world. After the successful launch of an online film club during the first UK lockdown, the online festival weekender presents a great way to keep delivering opportunities for these kinds of encounters.
One of our highlights in this year's programme is definitely revisiting Jane Arden's film The Other Side of the Underneath, which was the first film we ever screened at a Femspectives event. Not only will be be talking about feminist film archives, but looking back will also give us a chance to envision the future of the festival. Apart from that, we are particularly looking forward to see the work of our two guest curators and the discussions they are going to facilitate. It's great to see the festival team expand and hear more voices throughout the programme.'
Femspectives will run from Friday 23–Sunday 25 April, find out more at femspectives.com.