Industries & Festivals — March 19, 2013 at 11:40 pm

Female Arab filmmakers to be celebrated at UK film festival

birds-eye-view-festivalSome 10,000 festival-goers are expected to take part in a inaugural celebration of Arab female filmmakers at the 2013 edition of the Bird’s Eye View Film Festival, from April 3 to 10, Euromed AudioVisual reported.

UK-based organization Bird’s Eye View aims to challenge gender imbalance in the creative industries and each year celebrates women in cinema at its film festival.

“Arab women are dominating the headlines at the world’s most established film festivals, [and it] is the perfect time to shine a light on this increasingly important and diverse range of cinematic voices,” says founder and festival director Rachel Millward.

This year’s festival will set the stage for dozens of Arab female voices to be heard. The programme includes UK, London and live music premieres in addition to exclusive question and answer sessions with film directors.

Palestinian Director Annemarie Jacir’s award-winning feature, When I Saw You, is to make its UK debut on the festival’s opening night.

In hopes of fostering greater ties between film industries in the Middle East and North Africa region and in the United Kingdom, the Birds Eye View Film Festival, in partnership with the British Council, the British Academy of Film and Television Awards, and the British Film Institute, have invited some 20 international guests to London for a series of filmmaking workshops.

Filmmakers Dalia Al Kury, Carla Dabis, and Sawsan Darwazeh have been selected by the British Council in Jordan to attend event.

“The Jordanian filmmaking scene is increasingly gaining an international reputation and it is vital that we provide opportunities for dialogue between Jordan and the UK through such platforms,” explains Alaa Abu Qattam, art projects manager at the British Council in Jordan.

“We at the British Council are proud to support a Jordanian delegation of well-accomplished women filmmakers to represent Jordan in this year’s Birds Eye View Festival.”

Beyond nourishing bourgeoning female talent, Bird’s Eye View provides a platform for likeminded women to discuss the challenges of propelling forward in a male-dominated industry.

“For every ten men that agree to be in a film, one woman will agree,” says Jordanian documentary filmmaker Dalia Al Kury, who finds gender bias to be quite prevalent in her career.

These are the very issues she hopes to discuss with the other attendees at the event: “When half of societies —women— are not allowed to say what really matters to them in the media for fear of being judged, filmmaking suffers too, as it can no longer reflect reality.

Women filmmakers who should be concerned with fighting to make a good film [instead] have to spend half their energy on convincing characters to tell the real story, or reveal their faces, or convince their husbands to go on TV.”



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