*Start times relate to when the screening will begin. Doors will open at least half an hour before this time - check individual events for further details.
Sundance award winner Dreamcatcher takes us into a hidden world of prostitution and sexual trafficking. Exploring the neglect, violence and exploitation that leave thousands of girls and women feeling that prostitution is their only option, it follow Brenda Myers-Powell, a former teenage prostitute who helps women and young girls to break the cycle of sexual abuse and exploitation. The film is a vivid portrait both of a community struggling to understand some of its most painful truths and an extraordinary woman who uses her past to inspire others.
A look at female activism in rural India that won the Special Jury Award at Sheffield Doc Fest, Pink Saris follows political vigilantes Gulabi Gang and their charismatic, complex leader Sampat Pal Devi. Famed for championing the causes of beleaguered women throughout the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, we watch Sampat thrust herself into the centre of family dramas amidst scores of spectators, convinced that for those who seek her out, her mediation is the only solution. Explosive and unflinching, with moments of unexpected light relief, Pink Saris is the study of a fascinating yet flawed, larger-than-life character whose orbit you can’t help but be drawn into.
A tale about friendship, trust and determination. Starring Italian youngest porn star, Marika Ferrero.
Winner of the Prix Art et Essai at the Cannes Film Festival and screened to acclaim at more than 120 festivals around the world, Sisters in Law is set in a court in Cameroon where State Prosecutor Vera Ngassa and Court President Beatrice Ntuba help women fight often-difficult cases of abuse, despite pressures from family and their community to remain silent. With fierce compassion, the two feisty and progressive-minded women dispense wisdom, wisecracks and justice, handing down stiff sentences that have inspired audiences to cheer from the aisles.
A winner at the San Francisco International Film Festival and the Chicago International Film Festival, Divorce Iranian Style is a a fly-on-the-wall look at the workings of an Iranian divorce court. A humorous, intimate, moving window into three Iranian women’s lives that reveals the skills they employ to navigate marital law, it showcases the resilience, ingenuity and guile they use to confront a biased legal system, an obstructive administrative maze and their husbands and families. A fascinating, subtle look at women’s lives and the country they live in, one that still remains a mystery to many.
Two fascinating documentaries about gender and sexuality in Japan: Dream Girls opens a door to the spectacular world of the male-run Takarazuka Revue, a highly successful musical theater company where thousands of girls apply every year. Shinjuku Boys follows three onnabes - women who live as men and have girlfriends - who work as hosts for a mainly female clientele at the New Marilyn Club in Tokyo, revealing their views about women, sex, transvestitism and lesbianism.
Two rarely seen early films, the controversial Pride of Place is a dark and expressive film about the boarding school - seen as a kind of miniature state with bizarre rules, indigestible food and absurd punishments - that Kim Longinotto ran away from. The stunning Theatre Girls takes us into a Soho hostel for elderly and destitute women - the only shelter in London that would take in any woman at the time.