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Joburg Film Festival: Unpacking The Gender Disparity In The Film Sector

Joburg Film Festival: Unpacking The Gender Disparity In The Film Sector

by: Mamaili Mamaila - 8 November 2018

Over Three Hundred Women Expected To Partake In This Pertinent Discussion

The second edition of the Joburg Film Festival (JFF) is set to take place on Sunday, 11 November 2018 at Constitution Hill in Braamfontein.
Hot on the heels of the Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Summit, this occasion aims to unpack the challenges faced by women in the creative arts industry by bringing together over three hundred women for free film screenings and a panel discussion. The insightful documentary film, ‘This Changes Everything’, which highlights gender disparity and inequality in Hollywood, will be screened at the event.

The content of the film will be used as a launching pad to kick off discussions around South African women and their daily experiences. This edition of the JFF will also be used as a platform for women to engage on issues regarding the gender disparity in the film, television and cultural landscape within South Africa.
According to Festival Director Angie Mills, “The Joburg Film Festival firmly stands alongside women in a worldwide call to action on issues of gender inequality, specifically in the film landscape.”

Over fifteen woman-centred films directed by women have been curated for the event. Speaking on Constitution Hill as their choice of venue, Angie says this historic space provides for, “a critical opportunity to further our own South African articulation of gender disparity through a conversation that is very much needed.”

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Poet Lebo Mashile, journalist Gail Smith, “Rafiki” lead actress Sheila Munyiva and Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT) will be leading the panel discussion and interacting with the audience. “Because we work in such a visible industry, it’s important that they lead the conversation and keep it in the spotlight. Every movement has its time and our time is now,” says SWIFT Spokesperson Zoe Ramushu.

Her sentiments are backed by Lebo who believes that there is a real possibility of creating a more equitable world for women if patriarchy is exposed and attacked. Describing this as a moment of reckoning, Lebo further states that, “in this light, media arts and entertainment play important roles as sites of visible resistance to misogyny and also as creative spaces where new realities for women can be envisioned.”

With key supporters such as the Department of Arts and Culture and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) among many others, the daily experiences encountered by South African women on gender disparity and how they are addressing this in their places of creative production will be a focal point. The NFVF which has worked tirelessly in engaging women on potential ways to close the glaring gender disparities, has dedicated programmes aimed at increasing women participation in the industry. “Men, in particular should participate in this important event because finding solutions to gender inequality is not the responsibility of women only,” says Acting NFVF CEO Shadrack Bokaba.
More information about the JFF can be found on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, or under their official hashtag – #JOBURGFILMFEST