26/10/2020

Women X Festival 2020 Film Reviews!

(beep)

hello there! how's it going? This weekend I am sitting back and enjoying a new festival which really excites me. It's all about sharing short films made by and/or staring women or non-binary people! I love that idea, and thought I'd jot down my thoughts on all the short films I watch! So let's go!

There are 5 short film categories and a special screening, so I will separate this post into those sections so that you can hopefully easily find the film you're looking for!

Redefining Belonging: Despite preconceived notions, this beautiful selection shows us the countless ways we can find kinship.

A Midwife's Oath

Seeing documentaries at film festivals is one of my favourite parts, because often these documentaries and topics are so important, but don' get the exposure they need. Learning about the war, and knowing that babies will continue to be born is one thing, but being able to meet the women who are there for those about to give birth really is special.

Midwives take an oath to care for the women who will come in, no matter their religion, skin colour, the language they speak, anything. Lauren Anders Brown, the director, and editor of this piece has really thrown us into a place that we need to learn and know about. With closeup and fast moving visuals, we can begin to imagine what day to day life is like for these heroes, giving up their lives to help bring new ones into the world. 

The film felt very peaceful, focusing on the good and positive side of childbirth which I appreciated seeing, even though it was juxtaposed with what the women were saying about war, hunger and other issues.

I think this is a brilliant documentary that really opens your eyes to the world outside of what we know, and something that I will recommend to friends to see to help them also learn and be aware of.


Dispel

This was such an interesting look at addiction and how children can be affected, but also how they feel that they can help. To set it with a love of sci-fi and dreams really was great, helping us see more into the world of Lizzie and how she was using the things around her to help her cope.

I'm a big Doctor Who fan, and watching this really did make me think about fictional heroes that we have and how the stories we see or read can be inspirational to us. The Doctor is an advocate for good, just like Celeste Skygoode in this. To see the crossover of worlds really did ensile a magic in me, and the knowledge that if we believe, we can achieve and win just like our heroes do.

The special effects and editing in this were fantastic, leading us to believe in this fantasy, and to thank for that is a great team of people. Standing out for me though is Chelsea Hernandez who worked on the SFX makeup, which really did bring the monster to life. From the visuals to the music, Dispel really created a world within the one we live in where monsters exist but can also be defeated.

Written and directed by Kylie Eaton, I think this short film has done really well to capture the audience but also tell an often difficult story with the respect and love it deserves. For the festival, is has been nominated for an award in quite a few categories, so I'm definitely not on my own with my thoughts on this one.


Ilana Dances

This is such a special insight into the world of a single mother of 3 who is also a pole dancer. The film began and I didn't know what to expect, but as we continued, I realised that it was a documentary, really allowing us to be intimate with this family and who they are.

Pole dancing is something that has always appealed to me, and I'd love to try it one day, as it just seems so beautiful, but could also maybe help me get some muscles haha! To see a mother so happy and open about what she does was fantastic, as pole dancing and the other jobs around it can be seen by people in many different lights. But at the end of the day, what's wrong with it? And if it's a job that you love and helps to support your family, why is there a problem? 

I loved how we learnt from the people on our screen in different ways, through classic talking to the camera, but also un simple ways by just watching their day to day routine. To hear Ilana's daughter talk about her job rather than Ilana herself was refreshing, but also so heartwarming to know that her whole family loved her and what she did and found nothing weird about it at all.

Nominated for the Best Documentary award at the festival, I can really see why with its beautiful, simple storytelling, but also important message that every job and person matters and that's what we should be teaching.


Malinchista

Next up we have a powerful animated short that challenges the words used by generations. We can often assume or not be bothered to learn, and in this case, that can be used to an advantage. I really liked this story, it made me worried at first, but as we discovered the true story and meaning of a word, it really showed how powerful we can be.

I loved the 2D animation style, using colour and movement to emphasise the words and chaos of history. Malinchista isn't a word I've heard before, but after seeing this and also doing some research, it really is interesting how our past can be passed down like a game of Chinese Whispers and change along the way. I like how film festivals allow us to see new, fresh ideas that we wouldn't have seen without them, and this is one that I am so glad to have learnt about and begun to understand.

I love how director Flora Rees-Arredondo wants people to reclaim this Spanish slur and empower Latinx women. A wonderful pick for this specific festival.


Ukde

This short film really tugged at my heart strings. Looking at the life of a woman and a child who is randomly thrown into her home, we really went on a journey with these characters, learning about the world we're in, but also ourselves.

Looking into heavy topics like war and child trafficking, Ukde really shines a light on countries where sadly, these are normal things. There is nothing in place to support the people left behind, even if it is children. 

The acting in this short was superb. It all felt so natural and real, pulling us into the lives of the characters and letting us have our mix of feelings about them and our actions. This film is up for a few awards, including best acting, but also production design. I really loved the look of this film, the location and everything in between. I think this one stands tall in the categories it's nominated in, well deserved as we can really see.

I think like all of the films in this category, they all look at things that we need to educate ourselves on and be more aware of. Something like this may seem like a work of fiction to some, but to others, it's the reality of what's going on in certain places, whether we like that or not. There is so much work to be done, and to see this short really is inspiring to push harder, and work more at educating ourselves and helping out however we can.

Still from Ilana Dances


Unconventional Connections: From the hilarious to the heartwarming, these films illustrate the extraordinary ways in which we connect with others.

50 Shades

Sarah Hayton, writer and director, has done so well with this short comedy. We go into the salon with Jane, but are met with a scary Cheryl, who makes us think that Jane won't leave the hairdressers alive. I really liked this fun, twisted short as I love stories like this that use the unexpected to keep us on the edge of our seats.

Sometimes simple is the most effective, and in this case I completely agree. In under 2 minutes, our emotions are batted around as we hope and pray that no one on our screen gets hurt. This really was clever and I really want to watch it again.


Antonio

Set in 1970s Scotland, this film uses simple camera work and styles to transport us back in time. An Italian family moves in, leaving the parents struggling to fit in, but pushing their son to make friends through his love of football. This short made me think of the 1982 film P'tang Yang Kipperbang, using sports narration to make it feel like dreams were coming true whilst playing.

I've mentioned the look of the film, but it really was fantastic. In a lot of modern films, you can tell that it's new but with a filter or a few things thrown on top, but this short really did go above and beyond to set it's place and keep us hooked there. Nominated for quite a few awards, this film really does a beautiful job in showing the truth behind people moving to a new place. Back in the 70s it was tough, but have things really changed? I love that story arch a lot and appreciate time being spent on it.

I think the performances were authentic, sticking to the time period but also reaching out to a modern day audience and how we react to change or something new. I really can see this turning into a feature film, a bit like P'tang Yang Kipperbang, but instead of focusing on comedy and cricket, it looks at the lives of people who move countries and the worlds love of football.


Fred Forever

I gasped out loud at the end of this one! Oh my word, I think this has to be one of my favourites so far. The comedy and timing was genius, and the acting matched that perfectly. 

This story concept was so different, it's not like anything I've seen before, yet it had all the classic comedy components that really made it work. Along with the music and filming style, the 2 main cast members did brilliantly in making this story one to remember. A special shout out though to Phil Dunster who makes a cheeky cameo and if you've listened to the podcast I'm on, you'll know that we love him from being on the Cineworld adverts!

Written by Bethan Culliane and directed by Ellie Heydon and Lydia Bland, this female powered story really is a clever one, and like I said, one that really had me hooked and shocked me at the end. I think comedy shorts can often be hit or miss, but this one really did hit the nail on the head. One I'll definitely remember!


Love Spell

Set in the gritty yet pink glow of the 90s, Love Spell looks at a friendship but how one of the pair want more. Written and directed by Lauren Vevers, the story shows us how friendships can turn into desire and love, but for 2 people of the same gender, whether in the 90s or now, it can be hard to tell the truth about it. 

The actors who play Amber and Demi really help us get lost in this world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and blue eyeshadow, helping us to see what may or may not have been accepted by people at the time. I liked how the film centred around the school disco, as most romcom films do, but I appreciated how this one used it as a background activity, rather than the be all or end all like in most American teen films. This gave it a different vibe that I could begin to fall in love with as the characters started to understand themselves more.

Nominated for a few awards, I really enjoyed this watch, and even though it didn't feel like anything particularly new, the way it was told was. I really hope that it does well.


Roundheads and Cavaliers

Taking us back in time, but then back to a field in present day, we have this comical short! Alice is invited to try historical reenactment for the first time but finds herself caught between a Roundhead and a Cavalier in a fight for her love. I really liked this idea. It felt classic, but it was executed (no pun intended) incredibly well. 

Nominated for Best Comedy, the script, written by Kevin Mears, really shines as a look into the lives of people who do this sort of thing at the weekend. But it was also great to see an outside perspective, something that I think most watchers will appreciate. For me, I think that either Cariad Lloyd or Alex Carter could've been nominated for the best actor award as I really believed their performances. Often short films don't give people time to really dive into their characters, but this film just felt so natural. 

Directed by Chloe Thomas, I think it's really interesting to see a female perspective on historical events like this. Often women aren't involved, or they play wenches, and aren't up close with the fake action. But I'm so glad that this film didn't really give people names or roles or stop people from getting involved due to their gender. I really did enjoy this short, and it's the kind of thing that I can imagine being a TV series.


The Turtles

Written and directed by Maya Witters, this cute little comedy sees a woman wanting out a relationship, but her love for turtles may help her start another. To be honest, with this title, I didn't know what to expect from this film, but I was pleasantly surprised. 

In primary school, we had a class pet who was a tortoise called Charli and it was always so cool to be picked to feed or care for them, so I completely understand the fascination with them in this film. I think to have them be the familiar face whilst the world was changing was a really sweet idea. 

For me, this film didn't feel natural at points, but I did enjoy the acting and the overall story, looking into the life of someone questioning their current relationship as well as their sexuality. I like the idea of this short, and think that it will leave anyone watching it in the same mood.

Promo image for Love Spell


Striking Perspectives: See the world through fresh, unique lenses in these enlightening and distinctive shorts.

Alice

Based on Noel Coward's poem 'Alice Is At It Again', we see the world of a young girl as she yearns for more than her bedroom offers. I've never read the poem, or heard of it for that matter, but to be pushed into this world really was a spectacle that I truly enjoyed. From here to there and everywhere in-between, we don't know what's true or false, or if we really know who the character of Alice is. 

Directed by Laura Scrivano, this incredibly beautiful forest space calls out to us, just as it does to the character it wants. It was amazing to see the height and beauty of this wooded space as something delicate and bright, and not dark and creepy as most films suggest. To then juxtapose this with the house where Alice has to stay was again amazing, suggesting that a dark story isn't scary, but bright and welcoming.

Sarah Snook stars in and narrates the film. I think her voice and playfulness are perfect for this role, really feeding this fairytale and pulling us into the world. I'm now so intrigued but this poem that I want to read it and learn more. I'm really surprised that this short film has only been nominated for 1 award, but I hope it does well.


Falafel Sundays

Wow, I have just seen this and wow, I loved it. This is the 2nd animated film that I have seen for this festival, and I have loved them both. I am always in so much awe of people who can bring art to life in this way, no matter how simple or in-depth.

I loved how it was short and snappy, getting straight to the point but then travelling far from it, making us think about even the silly moments and forgettable times we have in life. We have these connections, whether a lot or a little, and whether we choose to dwell on them or not, the world will continue spinning and changing. I loved how simple this short was, but at the same time so clever and deep.

Made by a small team, it's lovely to see how much work has been put in from the writing of the story to the composing of the music. For me, this is how you do it. No big fuss or stress, just simple but something that we can all understand or relate to. I also love falafel so that helps.


Full English

I was so happily surprised with this short! Focusing on loneliness, mental health and framing that on the dying trade of English coastal towns was an amazing idea. 

Caroline Wildi, staring in the film, has been nominated for the best performance award and I'm so glad because this really was an incredible watch. It felt like a horror, but with its colour and charm, it took us away from that place and left us as confused as the customers and even the owner of the hotel. Written by Emily Carlton, I thought this monologue style piece really came together well, and it was the perfect way of putting the story across in my opinion. The repetition and changing of tones worked tremendously to show the shakiness of the woman we were following, and to show a glimpse of what she was dealing with.

I've mentioned the colours, but the look of this short really caught my attention. Kind of like a Wes Anderson film with a certain colour palette and filming style, it really made a name for itself and knew what it was. This film really stands out to me in the festival, I'm so glad that I've been able to see it!


Not for money, Not for love, Not for nothing

I scrolled down to this film and was super intrigued by the title, but then as I pressed play, I began to realise that this was going to be a serious film to really get into. Looking at sex workers and their experiences, it was fantastic to have another documentary in the festival. Diving into topics like this can be difficult, but the way that it was done, really giving control to the women who told their stories rather than creating an intricate narrative was the perfect way to bring this idea to life. 

Using animation for anonymity was so clever, and the animation and colours used, in my opinion, were perfect in helping to tell the story but in a way that didn't seem too dark and scary. It allowed the women to be people, for us to see them in a fair light, rather than pushing us to assume the worst. Animated by Ola Szmida, I really loved this whimsical feeling style paired with the words of the women, and I think it worked really well.

This short really was engaging in giving a fantastic insight into the lives of the people it featured. More needs to be taught about sex work and all that it entails, the good and the bad. Hopefully something like this can be picked up and shown around as it really is needed.


The Plant Collector

I really love the idea of this film. A woman collects plants that are owned by murderers and bad people to kind of protect them from the evil I guess. I've never seen anything like it and to keep it short and simple was a fabulous idea.

Using an old camcorder to film on, it made me think that this film could be set anytime over the last 30 years maybe which I liked. It added to the mystery of the women that it focused on as well as the mystery of the murderers and who they were. Written, directed and produced by Kathryn MacCorgarry Gray, this mockumentary puts us in the strange position of being interested by the woman shown, but also scared by her. Does this character have similar characteristics to the people she steals plants from? 

I just really think that this idea was fresh and different, really pushing me to want more than just a 5 minute film, but I guess that's the point of it, to leave us wanting more!


The Story Of All Of Us Women

Wow, this film nearly made me cry. To know that in certain places women aren't allowed abortions is one thing, but to learn that they can go to prison if their baby sadly doesn't make it, even if it's natural and abortion wasn't even thought about. Again, another powerful documentary presented by this festival that really is something the world needs to be educated about.

Set against beautiful landscapes and ever-changing nature, we're introduced to a few women who are brave enough to tell their stories. We follow them down moving rounds, never sure what the destination is, until the final moments where we discover the truth. I think the choice to tell these stories in this way was an incredible move, really shattering what we thought we knew about abortion and laws regarding it around the world.


The Train to Qinling

Such a beautiful tale of adventure and learning to trust. I think animated tales like this can be so sweet and simple, but have an even bigger message. 

When a traveller gets lost, the only thing there to help is a panda. I thought that this idea was so sweet and loving, really making me want to travel. There are so many films where this sort of instance would've ended badly, however it was lovely to see that this had a positive message and ending of friendship.

The animation style felt real yet still had a fantasy look about it which I liked, allowing us to dive into the world of the film and leave home for a short while.

Still from The Story Of All Of Us Women



Selfhood Stories: Explore the strength of individual human beings as they respond to difficulties and hardships.

Asphyxiate

A woman tries to gasp for air as she drowns in the memories of a tainted relationship. Wow, the editing and style of this film was perfect, really helping us get to grips with the story and what the woman was going through. Michaela Longden who stars in the film is nominated for best performance and you can really see why. She's delicate, beautiful and really takes us to a place that a lot of people have been to. Also written by her, we can see how important this kind of story is to her and that it's told properly and respectfully.

Directed by Nicole Pott, we're thrown around the relationship like the couple shown, understanding their ups and downs in an intimate way, really emphasised through the closeups and chosen camera angles. I love the use of colour and shapes, standing out even to the general film watcher as something more than just a simple film. You can see why it's nominated for what it is.


Coming Out For Christmas

Made by some of the creators of the festival, this film really gets us into the Christmas mood. I think LGBT+ centred films can feel odd or cheesy or just down right wrong, but this one felt real. The premise of the film is simple but clever, using one of the biggest days of the year as a way to tell your family your important news. I loved the slight twist of the news not being able to come out, keeping us on the edge of our seats through the film, wondering if the truth will ever be allowed to come out.

I liked how simple things were, allowing us as the viewer to position ourselves at the Christmas dinner table and be part of the family, whether we were the character wanting to come out or the ones sat ready to support the news. This really was a sweet watch.


For The Woman On The Floor

Looking into the world of trauma and how people cope with what they've been through, this film is a really interesting one. Using a mix of real footage and animation, we learn about the inner demons that someone is facing, and will always be facing unless they are able to get help.

I found the style of this film to be really beautiful and moving. It felt simple and sweet yet delve into the affect of trauma on people in a way that I haven't really seen done before. Nominated for best performance, Erin Lustria plays someone who could be anyone dealing with their issues. Unsure and confused, this short was written so well in looking at emotions and feelings and respecting them, not hyping them up for extra drama.

I just really appreciate this film and it's message. The use of metaphors but also realness. I think this one has done such a good job.


ill, actually

What an interesting documentary to see! This short film allows us to see into the lives of people who share their lives online, sometimes also including or hiding their illness. I've never seen anything like this, apart from ridiculous American teen films that show something like this in a way that doesn't respect the real people, so I'm really glad that we're able to finally see their stories from their point of view.

Directed by Zoe Hunter Gordon, I think this documentary is so incredibly put together, using a mix of intimate camera angles to really give us an up close look into these people's lives, along with narration, making it feel like we're having a friendly chat altogether.

I guess as a society, we assume the worst, but it's brilliant to see this short and know that people aren't allowing their illnesses to define them, rather they are taking control like they should be.


obscure origins

Surrounded by thick forest, Run lives within a group of isolated women as they grapple with the ancestral expectations placed on them. This short really invited me in with the filming choices and colours. Not just a typical film looking at tradition, we dive into a fantasy world, watching the women as they learn.

Written and directed by Molly Moody, we learn about life and death in a way that only few films have tackled. This story is something that we can all relate to in regards to present day, but something that also feels so foreign, that it can only be a story.

Looking at loss in a cinematic way, we can start to learn about traditions around the world, but also reflect on our own. This film really does stand out to me, feeling out, but also incredibly present.


Pink and Blue

Using animation, this short explores the life of a transgender man and his experiences. It really does make me upset, knowing that some people aren't accepted because of who they are, but to see stories like this reminds me that it will and can be ok. To have the courage to share a story so personal can be hard, to look over the most difficult time, but can also be healing, for not just the person involved but for anyone viewing who needs that slice of love also.

Simple yet important, I really am impressed by this short and how important the story is.


Scare

This comedy looks at the thing so many women go through, pregnancy tests and one night stands. I think that this short film idea is genius, really playing with something that a lot of people can relate to but in an electric, fun way. The extreme of it, the intenseness of it, I totally fell in love with the story.

Written and directed by Sarah Grant, this short really caught my attention and you can see why this film has been selected to be part of the festival. This topic is often a big taboo, but to add animation, the thoughts and feelings that everyone must go through, to me it really is perfect. To go through the thoughts it did, I really respected it for not just being a 2D piece, and go into detail on thoughts and topics that so much of the world go through.

Absolutely brilliant.


Stitch (2018)

This was such an incredible insight into the world of disability benefits and how you have to constantly be proving that you're disabled in able to keep your disability allowance. It's awful to think of all the people that are affected everyday because the people at the top don't believe them.

I loved the animation style for this short, with the mix of knitting and crochet to create this world of togetherness but also something that could easily come apart. Juxtaposed with the real footage, we're bought back to reality and reminded that this is a true story for a lot of people.

I think this animation really is powerful, and I think more should be done to make us aware of things like this happening, so that we can be there for people even if the government is not.


Stitch (2020)

Using the covid-19 lockdown as a backdrop, we see a woman's journey as she takes the opportunity to improve herself. I really liked this idea as it's something that anyone can relate to. We all went through stages of baking bread, learning to knit, wanting to do more exercise, and to show that through this monologue style piece that's simple but ends with a satisfying bang is brilliant. I love it!

Still from Scare


Journeys to Truth: The wonderful shorts depict the engaging personal journeys and revelations of various remarkable women.

A Disappearance

When a child goes missing, a former celebrity psychic uses it as an opportunity to claw back her fame. Such an interesting idea, written and directed by Laurence Brook and Laura Spini. I like how it delves into tough topics, things that we never want to admit are real, but sadly they are. I think to use that as a backdrop is tough, but so clever in it's approach and construction.

It felt like we were members of the audience, but with the camera angles, it felt like we had an access all areas pass that meant we could really see the truth behind everything. The colours, or lack of, really heightened the atmosphere, really making us feel scared and tense about the situation and how it might unfold.

Starring Sophie Thompson, who is nominated for best performance, we really do feel like we know her as an old celebrity maybe who we've lost contact with. She does an incredible job in holding our attention, but also making us question her motives and what the truth really is. I really did like this, as a lot of the TV shows I like look at subjects like this and have quite dark themes, and I can imagine seeing a TV series following this sort of event.


Beat It

Following 2 uni students on an early morning stroll, the film seems simple and sweet to begin with, hinting at possible family problems and issues, but then we're thrown into the deep end with them. I really liked how they used what happened as a catalyst to finally talk about what they needed to talk about. It's a shame that we feel the need to keep everything to ourselves and only feel we can talk when something bigger happens. 

Written by Laura Gordon, I think it's fantastic that such heavy topics are being looked at withs much care, but also so much realism, not softening the blow for the watcher. Adding in a few twists and turns, we learn how trauma can get to us in ways that we don't expect or even know about, but that we should do something about it, when and if we can. A sweet story, that will stick with me I think.

Fingers

Doing a final fitting for her wedding dress, we are introduced to Tamar who suddenly can't open up her hands. We are confused like her, but try to learn with her about the truth and what's going on. We're left spending the film batting around ideas and possibilities, hoping that it will all be ok.

Using a handheld filming style, my previous points are really emphasised, painting us next to Tamar, joining her on her day. I really loved the colours, making everything feel warm and homey, but at the same time quite stark and icy.

I liked how it looked at things that so many relationships go through, but also how bad things can be used as a positive to brighten it all. Written and directed by Hofit Sigavi, I really was pulled into this story, understanding why it has been nominated for best writing in the festival.


Hatsu

Such an amazing insight into someone else's world. This film really did surprise me with its detail and cinematography as we learnt about the lives of some sister's who had to look after themselves after their father is deported. It breaks my heart seeing films like this, knowing how real these stories are, and are still taking place in our world today.

Nominated for best cinematography, production design and costume design, this short is a work of art, allowing us to romanticise the life of these girls, but also know how harsh life is through the juxtaposition of the darkness and script. Written and Directed by Rita Iris Prieto Matzuki, this film feels like a pastel dream, even a period drama, but obviously uses an intensely sad story as its power.

I found the acting really strong, matching to the rest of the film. From prettiness to destruction, we go on a journey with the sister's, hoping for the best but knowing to expect the worst.


Sealskin

Set against a beautiful coastal landscape, this film shows the story of Tara and the decision that she has to make after finding a sealskin. This film looked like a selection of oil paintings, all slowly telling this story of hardship is such a beautiful way. Nominated for best cinematography and costume design, this period drama really comes to life through the way it looks, transporting us to the seaside town where its set.

Written and directed by Daisy Leigh-Phippard, this strong story lets us see history from a new perspective, putting us into the shoes of Tara and living her life for a while. It really is impressive, with quality you would expect from an episode of Game of Thrones, but truly appreciated on this level also.

I really liked this look into a mother and daughter relationship, showing us how we can relate to something, even set hundreds of years ago. Parent/child relationships are different with everyone, but lovely to see this one set in this way.


SH'HAB

Set against a beautiful landscape of blue skies and rocky shores, this short captured my attention in seeing a young girl wanting to own her life and not grow up waiting for a man. But then venturing further into the film and seeing that it's about more than just that, I grew to really like it.

Nominated for both best production design and cinematography, from my previous points you can really see why. This film, as well as being a fantastic story, it looked fantastic too. It felt soft and natural, drawing us into the place, feeling like we were also at home, yet not like the young girl. I found the acting in it to be really great, especially that of the young brother and sister who really took hold of the ropes in the film.

Written and directed by Amal Al-Muftah, this simple story looks at love and wanting more from life, as well as the dangers that come with it. 


Still from Hatsu


Special Screening: Shades of Blue

This film explores mental health and its effects within the black community. Recently, my social media pages have been buzzing with articles and awareness, making us aware that often black people are treated differently by medical professionals, even black people who are pregnant. It's so awful, but it needs to be spoken about, people need to come forward so that things can be done to change it and make sure that everyone, no matter the colour of their skin, is accepted, understood and looked after. To now this this in documentary form is brilliant, and hopefully this sort of film will continue the movement and bring more awareness to the matter.

Directed by Sophie Abramovici and Jamie Lemomu, this film really does well to explain mental illness, both what it is and how people deal with it. Instead of feeling like a typical sad documentary about that topic, it left me feeling motivated and inspired to do more for my mental health, and for the black people in my community who need that support to.  Whether that's continuing to learn and sign petitions, or really challenge the people I meet, films like this are always a great way to begin the push for the next thing.

With a mix of handheld and sat down footage, this short felt professional but also welcoming, like we were sitting down to chat with the people and learn from them as friends, rather than just be educated and then left to figure out what's next on our own.


Omg, I've finished the festival and watched every short film! It's been nice to discover so many new stories and talents, as well as revisit past ideas and build on them. It's been sad that the first year of this festival couldn't take place in person, but I've really enjoyed being able to just chill and take the festival at my own pace, even if that means binging 15 films and then not doing anything else for a few hours. I'm unsure of the winners, but I'll leave links to the festival and Rianne Pictures who created it if you want to learn more! https://riannepictures.com/womenx

So yes, that was the first ever Women X Film Festival! It's been fun, now it's time for bed!

(beep)




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Be nice. Spread positivity. If you disobey these 2 rules in any way, I will never answer your call.