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Women in film

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


For those of you not familiar with the Bechdel test, it's basically a formula that examines whether or not women have significant speaking roles in a film.

It asks whether the script features at least two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man – a requirement just 50 per cent of films meet.

And if that wasn't enough to get your feminist blood boiling, new research has revealed that female actresses have considerably fewer lines than men. In fact, it's thought that male characters speak about 70 per cent of the total dialogue.

The study, conducted by USC, analysed 1,000 film scripts and discovered a few home truths about gender equality in Hollywood.

When it came to those behind the scenes, researchers found that there were seven times more male writers than female, and 12 times more male directors.

This pattern continued on screen as well, with 4,900 male characters, and just 2,000 female characters featured across all scripts.

What's more, female characters were often about five years younger than their make co-stars.

The study read: “Overall, researchers found that female characters tend to be more positive in valence, meaning they are more positive but this tended to be correlated with using language connecting with family values.

“Beyond the volume of dialogue attributed to men, male dialogue contained more words related to achievement, death and more swear words than the dialogue scripted for women.”

Unsurprisingly, the study also found that having more female writers in the rooms resulted in a 50 per cent increase in female representation, but with seven times more male writers in the industry, it seems the gender equality issues spans across every sector.


Luc Besson's, Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets, is set to hit Irish cinemas next Friday, and judging by the reviews so far, it looks set to be one of the films of the year.

Adapted from a French comic book, the sci-fi flick sees Cara Delevingne take on the role of Laureline, a strong female special agent who works alongside her partner (Dane DeHaan) to maintain order throughout human territories. 

Having previously starred in Suicide Squad and Paper Towns, fans of the actress will be used to seeing her as an independent protagonist, and she has now revealed that these are the only roles she will consider going forward. 

Speaking to Metro, Cara explained: "It’s a culmination of the role, obviously, what the role stands for, I think at the moment I’m really going for really strong independent females."

The 24-year-old also expressed her excitement at getting a chance to work alongside Luc Besson's whose work she is a fan of. 

"He really opened my eyes to sci-fi after Disney. It’s really crazy that I’m standing here today after being in one of his films after watching his films. After all the incredible women he puts in his films, I’m just so thankful he chose me."

Meanwhile Cara has been distancing herself from her former career as a model, saying she doesn't "give a s**t" about what she looks like. 

Speaking to Radio Times, the actress admitted that she feared the world of fashion would turn her into something she's not and revealed that the industry was no something she stood for. 

But, having firmly cemented her place in Hollywood, it looks like Cara won't be need to go back to the catwalk any time soon.