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#Time’sUp

Dublin Feminist Film Festival is back, and better than ever.

The DFFF takes place from 20 until 22 of November at the Light House Cinema, and will prioritise shining a spotlight on women in film and promoting and celebrating female filmmakers.

The huge gem on Dublin’s cultural calendar hopes to inspire and empower others to get involved in filmmaking, and after the turbulent year in cinema with the rise of #MeToo, the DFFF has more meaning than ever.

The festival is run entirely voluntarily, and all proceeds go to charity.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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This year, the theme is REFRAME/REFOCUS.

Instead of foregrounding particular topics, this year features films which are directed by women but also shot by female cinematographers.

The emphasis is to get women as involved as possible in ALL aspects of film, not just in front of the camera.

The dual-aspect of showcasing and celebrating fantastic female film-making parallels with the hope to demonstrate women as compelling and complex characters and subjects.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The weight placed on cinematography this year is down to a very important fact: Rachel Morrison was the first woman ever to be nominated for an Academy Award for cinematography in 90 years of the Oscars.

Her work on Mudbound was breath-taking, and she worked hard for her nomination.

Historically speaking, cinematography has always been the hardest aspect of film for women to break into. One nomination simply isn’t enough.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Production roles have nearly always been male-dominated domains, but recently some of the most exciting and visceral films in global cinema have been created by women.

For the fifth DFFF, thinking of film from the point of view of a woman behind the camera asks questions about how women see the world.

TimesUp and #MeToo have asked hard questions which need answers, and women are stepping up all over the world to share our stories and experiences.

This includes screenwriting, cinematography, directing, producing and acting.

If someone won’t share your story and represent your experience, go out there and do it yourself. You can do it best.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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We’ve seen it this year with black female actresses taking control of their own projects to finally get the roles they have consistently been deprived of: Octavia Spencer, Taraji P Henson to Lupita Nyong’o are currently producing and seeking out their own projects.

From documentaries to dramas, short forms to features or foreign films to intersectional feminism, there are facets of every side of cinema on show.

Their current aim is to expand the notion of who ‘makes’ a film and what ‘films by women’ actually means, while raising questions about the idea of the gaze.

Do films shot by women encompass a whole other gaze? There’s only one way to find out… see you gals there.

As part of the festival there will be a talk by an esteemed academic on female cinematography, and a roundtable discussion with two Dublin-based female cinematographers as well as screenings of female-made films only.

Ready yourselves for some serious empowerment, ladies (and gents).

The deets:

The DFFF: 21st & 22nd November 2018 – Light House Cinema Smithfield Dublin 7

Launch & Special Events 20th November – The Generator Hostel Smithfield Dublin 7

Feature image: Instagram/@rmorrison

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It’s an incredibly frustrating aspect of reality that women and girls face constant public sexual harassment daily.

In Tuesday’s report written by MPs on the women and qualities committee in Britain, the issue has now been labelled “urgent” following a nine-month enquiry on the matter.

The report is insisting that the UK government take immediate and effective action to attempt to create a safer public environment for women.

From exercising in public parks and frequenting nightclubs or bars to simply utilising our city’s public transport, women can almost almost claim to have felt the burden of danger in communal spaces of our communities.

Experiences have more recently been shared of extensive experiences of sexual assault and harassment, and there are more accounts than ever of crimes being committed against women in public.

France has recently introduced a law against street harassment which results in on-the-spot fines for predatory comments and harassment such as sexualised remarks and wolf-whistling, after a woman was viciously attacked by a man for confronting him about his offensive behaviour towards her.

The committee has “heard evidence of widespread problems” of both men and boys “sexually harassing women and even girls on buses and trains, in bars and clubs, in online spaces and at university, in parks and on the street.”

The subject of school uniforms was also mentioned in the report, written by cross-party MPs, testifying that girls in their school attires are pressurised to avoid risky situations which "keeps women and girls unequal".

Street harassment has been described in the document as “relentless and becomes ‘normalised’ as girls grow up, contributing to a wider negative cultural effect on society.”

The committee also sets out seven steps which they aim to take in the report, among them is the proposal to force train and bus operators and publican landlords to take tougher measures towards fighting sexual harassment on their premises.

It also requests a public information campaign which is specifically designed to change attitudes, akin to road safety campaigns and first aid programmes.

The British Home Office also states that they view the epidemic problem as a “key priority,” and are devising an updated “Violence against Women and Girls” strategy and scheme.

Writing on public pavements in chalk has become a new pacifistic method for women to fight back, to feel safe in their own cities.

Regardless of government promises to eliminate such prevalent behaviour entirely by 2030, the Women and Equalities Committee concludes negatively that there is currently "no evidence of any programme to achieve this".

Twitter users especially are expressing anger at how ‘obvious’ the headline is, and that there is not a single mention of men in the article, who are by-in-large the major perpetrators of sexual harassment. 

It remains to be seen whether improvements will take place which will finally allow women and girls to feel safe, but the reaction online to the BBC’s headline has been scathing.

Let's hope governments worldwide bring in sharp ways to tackle this highly concerning problem which is so engrained in our culture that many of us have become completely desensitised to it. Safety is a right, not a privilege.

Have a look at BBC’s 100 Women I know video on Street Harassment here:

The Bristol Zero Tolerance group has also written an informative guide on how to respond to street harassment, which you can read here.

Stay safe, gals.

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Late last year, following a string of high profile sexual abuse allegations, a movement was created encouraging people to open the conversation and provide support for victims who has suffered in silence for too long. 

Since then, countless people have shared their own personal experiences through #MeToo, marking a shift in how we tolerate the issue. 

With that, many parents have chosen to break down barriers and open the discussion with their own children, in the hope that they will gain a greater awareness, and the ability to identify inappropriate behaviours. 

In an effort to inspire more of these types of conversations, YouTube channel Cut shared a poignant video of parent having a frank and honest conversation with their kids about sexual abuse. 

In the video, titled 'Parents Explain #MeToo', three mothers talk about what the movement represents and why it's so important. 

The emotional clip shows mother Nicole, explain what sexual abuse is to her son Nolan, before revealing that she had been assaulted as a child. 

“Sexual assault is where people do inappropriate things to other people including things with the private parts we just talked about. So a lot of people are scared to talk about when those bad things happen to them, okay?” she says.

“It happens to a lot of men and women, boys and girls. It happened to me when I was younger, I didn’t even tell Daddy until two years ago.”

“I think it’s important for you to know because these things can happen to kids, too.”

In similar discussions, two teen girls discuss the issue with their own mothers, with one even opening up about an inappropriate incident that happened to her at school. 

“I’m very proud of you. It’s okay to talk about these things,” her mother says.. 

“And that is the right thing to do, is to tell somebody right away. And you have to learn how to always speak up and don’t let anybody ever take advantage of you. This is never okay and it’s never your fault."

While the video may feature just three conversations, it highlights the need for children to be aware of the issues that happen around them and brings to light the importance of having an open line of communication between parent and child 

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