HOME Manchester is delighted to announce upcoming Summer/Autumn highlights of its ongoing Celebrating Women in Global Cinema season, a year-long programme of films and special events highlighting and celebrating women in film from across the world. The season is co-curated by HOME’s Head of Film Rachel Hayward alongside Andy Willis, Senior Visiting Curator: Film and Professor of Film Studies at University of Salford.
Opening this Saturday 20 July, Lina Wertmüller: The Director in the White Glasses continues HOME’s series of mini-retrospectives celebrating ground-breaking women in film. The controversial and provocative Italian director began her career as an assistant to Fellini and went on to be the first of only five women ever to be nominated for the Best Director Oscar (for Seven Beauties in 1976). Recognising her status as a trailblazer, the Academy has recently named Wertmüller as an Honorary Oscar recipient for 2019, alongside David Lynch and Wes Studi.
In August, HOME will host the Women Over 50 Film Festival (WOFFF) which celebrates and champions older women on both sides of the camera, challenging the ageism and sexism many women face in the film industry and in many other areas of life too. On 7 and 12 August, two Best of the Fest programmes, each showcasing short films directed by/starring older women will screen – including Francis Lee’s (God’s Own Country) early short The Farmer’s Wife starring Geraldine James (7 August). In addition, specially selected WOFFF shorts will screen with general new releases The Souvenir (dir. Joanna Hogg) and Animals (dir. Sophie Hyde) in August.
In September, one of HOME’s most popular returning seasons Not Just Bollywood will have a Celebrating Women in Global Cinema take-over. In partnership with Dishoom, the Bombay café in Manchester, and curated by UK-based film scholar, Omar Ahmed and HOME’s Head of Film Rachel Hayward, HOME’s annual showcase of independent Indian filmmaking will devote the 2019 programme to female creatives in Indian film, including Deepa Mehta’s ‘Elements’ trilogy. Made over a period of ten years Mehta’s controversial trilogy was a monumental undertaking exploring homosexuality in contemporary India (Fire, 1996), the horrors of Partition (Earth, 1998), and religion (Water, 2005). The full Not Just Bollywood 2019 programme will be announced in the coming weeks.
As a celebration of women in global cinema, the season will include work from South and East Asia, Africa, Europe, and North, South and Central America. Malaysian filmmaker Yihwen Chen’s documentary Eye on the Ball – about a group of blind footballers aiming to become professional players – will screen on 14 September as part of Aperture: Asia & Pacific Film Festival 2019, and Hong Kong filmmaker Oliver Siu Kuen Chan’s Still Human, a recent hit at the Hong Kong box office, will screen on 24 September in partnership with Chinese Film Forum UK.
Additional one-off events include: the fourth live recording of the popular Girls on Film podcast on 3 September – presented by Anna Smith and with a panel including BBC Asian Network’s Ashanti Omkar and film academic and pop culture expert Dr Kirsty Fairclough, the audience will be encouraged to join in the feminist fun and conversation; a screening of Jane Campion’s debut feature Sweetie, introduced by Jackie Stacey, Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at The University of Manchester; and, a screening of Mike Newell’s Dance with a Stranger, written by Shelagh Delaney and based on the true story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain, and presented by Reclaim the Frame alongside a post-screening panel hosted by Birds’ Eye View’s Mia Bays with Delaney’s daughter, the writer Charlotte Delaney, plus a criminologist specialising in women’s imprisonment.
HOME will also host special preview Q&A screenings for several female-fronted new releases – acclaimed UK auteur Joanna Hogg will present her much-anticipated fourth feature The Souvenir (29 August) and Sophie Hyde will accompany her second feature, Animals (1 August), based on Emma Jane Unsworth’s best-selling novel. Other female-fronted new releases opening at HOME include: Isabella Eklöf’s crime thriller Holiday (from 2 August); Gurinder Chadha’s Blinded by the Light (from 9 August); Penny Lane’s doc about The Satanic Temple, Hail Satan? (from 23 August); and Andrea Berloff’s The Kitchen (from 20 September), starring Elisabeth Moss, Melissa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish.
Similarly HOME’s Engagement and Industry programmes will foreground women’s voices. An Introduction to the Female Gothic day course on 14 September will explore how Gothic novels from the 1790s and mid-Victorian period travelled to the screen to address women’s issues while an eight-week Women in Film comedy course, commencing 8 October, will explore the roles and representations of women in Anglo-American cinematic comedy. Open to all and beginner’s level, the course includes six sessions with course tutor Sarah Ilott of Manchester Metropolitan University and two course screenings. In addition, HOME’s fifth annual Artist Film Weekender (28 November – 1 December) – a celebration of the wild, inventive world of artist film – will be dedicated to female-identifying artist filmmakers from across the globe while HOME’s regular North West short film night screening, Filmed Up, will be a women in local cinema special, celebrating the great female filmmaking talent in the region (25 September).
HOME’s year-long commitment to championing women in film across the world and encouraging the female creatives of the future runs throughout 2019 and beyond with mini-season In Her View: Women Documentary Filmmakers kicking off January 2020. Curated by Dr Kirsty Fairclough of The University of Salford, the season will celebrate the female documentarians, oft-overlooked in the male-dominated documentary film world. From Shirley Clarke to Barbara Kopple through to Kim Longinotto and Jeanie Finlay, the season will focus on such filmmakers and present their forward-thinking, significant work.