Celebrating International Women's Day

Friday the 8th of March marks International Women’s Day - a time to celebrate women’s achievements while calling for a more gender balanced world. And what better way to celebrate than by engaging with a diverse range of women’s voices on screen?

The subject of equality in the film industry is a hot topic, particularly in the era of #MeToo. For many, it feels like there is finally a real movement behind equal pay, better work environments and equal opportunities in the industry.

At the same time though, both the Oscars and the BAFTAs failed to recognise a single female director this awards season, despite Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here), Chloe Zhao (The Rider) and Debra Granik (Leave No Trace) all receiving enormous critical acclaim for their work.

When films made by women aren’t being celebrated at the awards, it’s important that they’re supported at the box office. Reclaim the Frame - a new initiative run by the team behind Bird’s Eye View Film Festival – has been set up to do precisely that.

Reclaim the Frame have pledged to back 12 films by women writers or directors in the next 18 months, drawing on local networks of people championing female voices to help bring bigger audiences to films made by women. Known as ‘the Screen Influencers Project’ this new scheme, which is supported by the BFI, offers influencers across UK cities great benefits (free film tickets, MUBI subscription, film goodies) as a reward for helping to spread the word about overlooked female-led titles.

Reclaim the Frame will be launching in Sheffield with a screening of The Kindergarten Teacher (starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and directed by Sara Colangelo) on 13th March, alongside a panel discussion and a poetry workshop. You can find out more about the project and even sign up to be an influencer on the Reclaim the Frame website (www.birds-eye-view.co.uk/influencers).

And if you’re looking for something else to energise and inspire you this International Women’s Day, a new documentary provides a gripping and gleeful portrait of women accomplishing their dreams.

Maiden tells the story of Tracy Edwards, a 24-year-old cook on charter boats, who led the first ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989. Facing doubts from male competitors, rejections from sponsors and bets on her failure, Tracy refused to give up, changing the landscape of the sport forever.

Maiden is officially released on Friday 8th March, but there will be a special preview screening including a satellite Q&A with Tracy Edwards herself on Thursday 7th March at 6pm.


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