While women have made great strides in reaching parity in both levels of participation and payment in many fields, cinema would not be included on the list. Seven percent of films are directed by women, a statistic only slightly less shameful than the number of female candidates fielded in the last Northern Irish assembly election. Friday’s film fest line-up, however, highlights female-made short fiction and non-fiction films. Coming off the back of their week long-film festival in London at the Barbican, Birds Eye View, an organisation supporting women in film, brings six short films made by female directors to the Belfast Film Festival. These films screen Friday night with the short documentary, Like a Ship in the Night, about three Irish women taking the boat to England for an abortion.
Although abortion is legal in Great Britain, it remains illegal in both the North and the South of Ireland. Perhaps not coincidentally, Northern Ireland also has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Western Europe. Like a Ship in the Night explores the story of three women from very different backgrounds sharing in a journey that 8,000 women a year make. Director Melissa Thompson will introduce her film and lead a discussion following the screening. Enjoy an evening of female-driven programming at the Studio Cinema beginning at 8:30 PM on Friday night.
Also on Friday…
Before James Cameron became the intrepid explorer, expert archaeologist, and self-proclaimed finder of Jesus’ tomb, he used to make some pretty flipping frightening films. Aliens is appropriately playing at the drive-in at the Titanic Quarter Paint Hall at 9:00 PM.
In what is apparently a regular club night fixture, RINKA offers a mix of screenings of independent films and live music. Jim Jarmusch’s ode to Coffee and Cigarettes begins the night, followed by electronica/avant-rock instrumentation from the Bangor-based group When Pilots Eject, finished off by what is described as “deviant acid turntablism” provided by DJs Sinister Industry with visuals from Chewie Films. RINKA kicks off at 8:00 PM at the Black Box.
Note: Hi folks, Jett here; the photo above was taken at the Queens Street Studios this Saturday past during the Cinemasports event - unfortunately I didn't have the time to participate, (the challenge: make a short film in one day - show it the same evening), maybe next year! If you're interested in making media in Northern Ireland definitely check out the QSS - they've got all sorts of stuff that would come in handy!
Note 2: Jett here again; I see I've illustrated Erin's post about the shameful lack of films directed by women with a photo of a bunch of guys who are off to make a film. Hmm.