(Image: Lupita by Monica Wise Robles, our World Premiere)

Across history women had to take change into their own hands, and fight for justice and their place in their societies, their working environments, even their own houses. The world looks different from the perspective of those who do not have the power as a natural gift, and the fight for equality becomes a necessary one. 

Portraits of women who gave their lives to open the path for others, be it for the right to justice and political memory of crimes covered by the Mexican state in To See You Again (Carolina Corral, Mexico, World Premiere), for the right to safety and justice in Iran in The Art of Living in Danger (Mina Keshavarz, Iran / Germany, World Premiere), or for the right to land and culture, against the systematic attack to indigenous communities in Mexico in Lupita (Monica Wise Robles, USA / Mexico, World Premiere). 

Caring for one another has been, since always, one of the most powerful strategies for women to stay above water and live in often quite challenging circumstances and societies. In Everyday Greyness (Clara Kleininger, Poland / UK, World Premiere), a rehabilitation house is also a refugee; in Mother-Child (Andrea Testa, Argentina, UK Premiere), teenage mums are guided and sometimes cuddled by doctors in a hospital; in The Washing Society (Lynne Sachs, USA, UK Premiere), the workers of a New York Laundromat give a sense of their lives while caring for one another under the spirit of the organization of African-American laudresses founded in 1881; in The Kiosk a daughter - the filmmaker - builds a film on her mother’s kiosk, giving us a sense of the importance and uniqueness of her lifetime work; in Playback (Agustina Comedi, Argentina, UK Premiere), the memories of the transgender and drag queen community in the 80’s offer us a film that calls for a pact of friendship and solidarity for the future.

Ritual and transmission of knowledge, memory and testimony is another fundamental strategy for facing violence, silence or invisibility. In They Whisper But Sometimes Scream, (Lala Aliyeva, Azerbaijan / UK, UK Premiere), intimate words of pain and longing are offered to a lake as a collective depositary; in Yãmĩyhex: The Women-Spirit (Isael Maxakali and Sueli Maxakali, Brazil, International Premiere), an ritual is prepared to invoke the spirits and the myth of their ancestors.

Women who have given their lives to art, even in times when that seemed like an unnatural provocation: in A Cat is Always Female (Martina Mestrovic, Tanja Vujasinovic, Croatia, UK Premiere), we find a portrait of Croatia’s most important sculptor, Marija Ujevic Galetovic; in A Month of Single Frames (Lynne Sachs with and for Barbara Hammer, USA, UK Premiere), the material filmed by Hammer in 1998 is transformed by Sachs into a poem on creation, observation, age and meaning; in Welcome to a Bright White Limbo (Cara Holmes, Ireland, International Premiere), the work of Oona Doherty in its political and aesthetic strength; in Shut Up Sona (Deepti Gupta, India, UK Premiere), the singer and #MeToo activist Sona Mohapatra fight for equal opportunities against a patriarchal society and industry in India; in The Go-Go’s (Alison Ellwood, USA / Ireland / Canada, International Premiere) the LA female punk band is portrayed as they made history; in Brigitte (Lynne Ramsay, UK), the photographer Brigitte Lacombe’s creative process is the center of a reflection on image and gaze; in Sisters With Transistors (Lisa Rovner, UK, World Premiere), Laurie Anderson narrates the untold story of the women who made an important part of the history of electronic music.

In Into The World, women filmmakers challenge injustice and inequality, denouncing crimes committed under the shadow of law, calling for change through their cinematic inventiveness and courageous artistic and political gestures. 

In Aswang (Alyx Ayn Arumpac, France / Germany / Norway / Philippines / Qatar / Denmark, UK Premiere), we witness the persecution and murder taken againts the poor in Duterte’s Philippines; in Breadline (Carol Salter, UK, World Premiere), poverty in contemporary Britain is seen through the daily gestures of a volunteer in a food bank; in Film About A Father Who (Lynne Sachs, USA, International Premiere) the filmmaker’s father becomes the starting point of a story of family secrets and the strange processes of love bonds; in Oeconomia (Carmen Losmann, Germany, UK Premiere), the invisible mechanisms of capitalism are analyzed; in Remnants of a Revolution (Cha Escala, Philippines, World Premiere) a hidden history of the Philippino Comunist Party reveals its dark side; in Seekers (Aurore Vullierme, France, UK Premiere) the historical violence against Native Americans is accessed through the daily struggle of two members of the Jicarilla tribe; in Stolen Fish (Gosia Juszczak, UK / Poland / Spain, World Premiere) the daily struggle of fishermen in Gambia reveals a structure of human and natural resources exploitation by foreign economies, deepening poverty and unprotection; in Stop Nineteen (Danielle Swindells, UK / Ireland), locals in Belfast face the perversion of the phenomenon of ‘dark tourism’;in The Story of Plastic (Deia Schlosberg, United States / India / China / Indonesia / Philippines / Belgium) the links between environmental destruction, capitalism and the cycle of plastic are inventively revealed; in Us Kids (Kim A. Snyder, USA, UK Premiere) the survivors of the Parkland shooting fight for gun control; in You Think the Earth is a Dead Thing (Florence Lazar, France, UK Premiere) the threat to biodiversity in Martinique reveals its link with the history of slavery.

The hommage to the recently deceised Sarah Maldoror brings the work of a filmmaker who pionneered in Pan-African cinema and the political fight for the liberation of Black people under the colonial oppression.

On Rebellions, the portrait of a poet, a house and a family in Constructions (Ilona Bruvere, Latvia, International Premiere); in Episodes - Spring 2018 (Mathilde Girard, France, International Premiere) a group of friends reflect on life and politics during the occupation of Universities in France; in Outside (Danielle Arbid, France) the window of the filmmaker during lockdown becomes the screen to a mysterious girl; in The Undertaker (Yael Bartana, The Netherlands / USA, UK Premiere) a call for disarmament through a collective ritual; in United Voices (Hazel Falck, UK, World Premiere) trade unionism in the UK is seen on the context of precarity and the attack to the workers’ rights; in We’re Still Here (Melissa Herman, UK, World Premiere) the struggle for housing rights in the growingly aggressive capitalism of London; in Where’s Edson? (Dácia Ibiapina da Silva, Brazil, International Premiere) a compelling portrayal of the struggle of the Movement of Homeless Workers in the capital of the country.

Ghosts & Apparitions brings Dying Under Your Eyes (Oreet Ashery, Israel / UK), a poetic reflection on loss and identity; Frem (Viera Čákanyová, Czech Republic / Slovakia, World Premiere), a truly fascinating voyage through the human’s insignificance and transience on a time of climate crisis and post-humanist technological visions; Point and Line to Plane (Sofia Bohdanowicz, Canada, UK Premiere), a letter of love and grief on loss and beauty; The Metamorphosis of Birds (Catarina Vasconcelos, Portugal, UK Premiere), an astoningly cinematic reflection on loss and the reconstruction of family bonds; The Tunnel (Hsu Hui-ju, Taiwan, International Premiere), a unique experiment on storytelling and the political portray of contemporary Taipei; Truth or Consequences (Hannah Jayanti, USA, UK Premiere), a ghostly portrait of a community and the resonance of its past; Work Or To Whom Does The World Belong (Elisa Cepedal, Spain / UK, International Premiere), the portrait of a community of miners on a time of economical, political and social shift. 

The focus on the work of Lynne Sachs brings a movement through her work, under the perspective of the links between the practice of translation and the passionate encounter with others through filmmaking.