Sat, Sep 07, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Women Make Waves fest gears up to show 75 films

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwanese actress Allison Lin, ambassador for the 26th Women Make Waves Film Festival, stands next to a poster promoting the festival at a news conference in Taipei on Thursday.

Photo: Pan Shao-tang, Taipei Times

Seventy-five films are to be screened at the 26th Women Make Waves Film Festival in Taipei next month to raise awareness and focus on issues that affect women and society, the organizers said.

The films, which examine topics such as sexual harassment, violence, refugees and homosexuality, are to be screened at the Spot Huashan cinema at Huashan 1914 Creative Park from Oct. 4 through Oct. 13.

The festival is to open with On Her Shoulders, a 94 minute documentary released last year, which follows Iraqi Yazidi human rights activist Nadia Murad as she meets with politicians and journalists around the world, bringing attention to the genocide and sexual slavery that is happening in her homeland.

Fesitval director Pecha Lo (羅珮嘉) said she chose On Her Shoulders as the opening film because she felt that the media in Taiwan mainly focus on domestic political debates between the pan-green and pan-blue camps and pay little attention to international news.

Because of this, it seems that people lack certain channels for finding out what is going on in other parts of the world, she added.

“It would be a really good idea to have an opening film that talks about global issues such as war, sex slaves and gender equality,” she said. “This film has it all, so I thought it was the best choice for the opening.”

The film was also selected because it raises awareness about multiple topics that this year’s festival is focusing on, Lo said.

The festival’s closing film, A Woman Is A Woman (女人就是女人), a 93-minute feature film released last year about the lives of transgender people in Hong Kong, is significant because it showcases a “minority within a minority,” Lo said.

“Within the LGBTQ film community, there is a lack of voices representing transgender people, so it is a minority within a minority group,” she said, adding she finds the film really special because 90 percent of the film crew were women.

The producers of the film chose women to fill roles such as cinematographers and scriptwriters, she said, adding: “I think most of them are lesbians as well, because the intention was to allow minorities to have an opportunity to contribute to the making of the film.”

The festival is also to include a competition showcasing 18 films by female Taiwanese directors, including Sophie Shui’s (隋淑芬) award-winning short drama A Trip with Mom (帶媽媽出去玩), which is about an unemployed son taking his elderly mother on a journey.

Winners of the Taiwan Competition’s Grand Prize and other prizes are to be announced at a ceremony on Oct. 10.

The Taiwan Competition was launched in 2014 to introduce work by female Taiwanese directors.

Lectures and conferences addressing topics such as politics and art, non-mainstream film and the empowerment of women are also to be held.

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