It’s International Women’s Day on 8 March and here at PAC we are celebrating by highlighting some incredible films by women.
We are welcoming back highlights of the Feminista Film Festival with a truly inspiring selection of short films – from musical pursuits to outdoor challenges, these women are change makers and trail blazers. You’ll definitely be inspired to turn up the music and start planning your next adventure! (Image, Wood On Water, Feminista)
If you want a soundtrack to your adventure plans this next film is a brilliant place to look. You can watch the new documentary, Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché about the brilliant Punk singer, writer and performer. Poly Styrene was the first woman of colour in the UK to front a successful rock band. She introduced the world to a new sound of rebellion, using her unconventional voice to sing about identity, consumerism, postmodernism, and everything she saw unfolding in late 1970s Britain, with a rare prescience. As the frontwoman of X-Ray Spex, the Anglo-Somali punk musician was also a key inspiration for the riot grrrl and Afropunk movements.
We are also presenting Mouthpiece, with our regular partners, Reclaim the Frame, available from 12 March. The film is a powerful, funny and highly original look into the conflicted psyche of a fiercely independent millennial woman – played by two actresses simultaneously.
We screen a lot of films by women writers and directors, we partner with Reclaim the Frame and F-Rate our programme so that it’s easier to notice what you are watching but there is still a long way to go to reach gender equality in cinema. It’s easy to think that the battles have been won. When the headlines say that ever greater numbers of women are working in the industry, that awards are going to more female filmmakers, that the #metoo movement has changed everything it can feel like the work has been done. If you look behind those news stories though, what you see are the statistics. That although in 2019 the number of women working in the film industry reached a historic high, men still outnumbered women four to one in key roles. For the first time in its history, the majority of best director nominations at last weeks Golden Globes were women – Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman, Regina King for One Night in Miami and winner Chloé Zhao for Nomadland which won Best Director and Best Film. This is most definitely to be celebrated but we shouldn’t forget that Michaela Cole’s astonishing and blistering TV series I May Destroy You was completely ignored in the nominations.
“That I May Destroy You did not get one Golden Globe nod is not only wrong, it’s what is wrong with everything,” Deborah Copaken, a writer for Emily in Paris. “How anyone can watch I May Destroy You and not call it a brilliant work of art or Michaela Coel a genius is beyond my capacity to understand how these decisions are made.”
So, there is still work to be done, we are committed to doing it and we hope you are too. We are looking forward so much to being able to open our doors and to show some of this work up on the big screen. A film like Nomadland deserves that so much, but in the meantime, while we wait, there is much to celebrate and watch.
Anna Navas, Director and Film Programmer