Dublin Feminist Film Festival has established firm roots on Dublin’s cultural calendar, shining a spotlight on women in film. DFFF promotes and celebrates female filmmakers, hoping to inspire and empower others to get involved in filmmaking.The theme for #DFFF2018 is REFRAME/REFOCUS. Rather than foreground particular topics, our programme this year will feature films not only directed by women, but also shot by female cinematographers. In emphasizing the role of the cinematographer, we aim to expand the notion of who ‘makes’ a film and what ‘Films by Women’ means, while also raising questions about whether and how films shot by women feature a different or other gaze.
Why Cinematography?In 2018 something remarkable happened: Rachel Morrison garnered an Academy Award nomination for Cinematography for her work on the film Mudbound. At first glance, this might not seem so out of the ordinary. Over the last four decades, women have regularly and increasingly been nominated for and won international awards for production roles that had previously been male-only domains. Not so with cinematography, however. Morrison was the first woman ever to be nominated for her work behind the camera in ninety years of Oscars! Awards aren’t everything of course. But historically speaking, cinematography has been the most difficult filmmaking role for women to break into.And yet for the past several years, some of the most visually exciting films in world cinema have been shot by women. Long-standing talents like Ellen Kuras, Agnés Godard, Caroline Champetier, and Mandy Walker have in recent years been joined by a huge influx of international cinematographers like Quyen Tran, Nanu Segal, Reed Morano, Morrison, and many more.For the Fifth Dublin Feminist Film Festival, organisers have decided to highlight the role of the female cinematographer. In coming to this decision, they thought about it from several different angles. Does a woman’s camera “see” differently? If much of what makes film so compelling is the visual, can a film be “by” its cinematographer as much as its director? And institutionally and structurally speaking, why has the field of cinematography in particular been so reluctant to accept women into its ranks?Thus they present REFRAME/REFOCUS, wherein they hope to reconsider, not simply the role of the cinematographer in general, but very specifically the role of the female cinematographer and how she lights, frames, and moves through the onscreen space that constitutes our visual filmic experience.To that end, all the films they screen this year – features and shorts – were directed and shot by women. As part of the festival, they’re also featuring a talk by an esteemed academic on female cinematography, and a roundtable discussion with two Dublin-based female cinematographers.It’s important to celebrate the work of Rachel Morrison, and DFFF heartily congratulate her on her achievement. However, as they continue to reconsider the fantastic work that female cinematographers are doing around the world, they hope it will become increasingly clear that one nomination in ninety years simply isn’t good enough.
Tuesday 20th November 2018 – Generator, Smithfield 6pm: Drinks Reception & Launch7pm: FREE TALK: Dr Paula Quigley (TCD) – Women and Cinematography
A consideration of the often distinctive contribution of women directors and cinematographers to developments in film style and spectatorship.8pm: FREE EVENT: Filmmakers Deirdre O’Toole and Eimear Ennis Graham in conversation.
Deirdre O’Toole is a lecturer in the National Film School of Ireland, IADT. As a cinematographer, she has shot feature documentaries, music videos, and dramas. Her work has won awards at The Cork International Film Festival, NIKON ‘I am a Music Video’ Award, and The Radar Music Video Awards. Her work has played at the Raindance Film Festival, Galway Film Fleadh, Berlin Music Video Awards and received honorable mention from the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.Eimear Ennis Graham started her career with the feature film “Cold” which premiered at the 25th Galway Film Fleadh in 2013. In 2015 her second feature film “Shem the Penman Sings Again” garnered a very successful festival run playing at the Galway Film Fleadh, Cork Film Festival and saw a wide cinema release across Ireland. 2015 also saw Eimear as the winner of ‘Best Cinematographer’ at the 6th Underground Cinema Awards. In 2015 she shot “Today” which won the ‘Best First Short Film’ at the Galway Film Fleadh. In 2016 “Terminal” picked up the ‘Best Short Film Award’ at Indie Cork Film Festival and the Boston Irish Film Festival along with nominations for the London Critics Circle and an IFTA.
Wednesday 21st November – Screen 3, Light House CinemaLight House Cinema is a specialist independent cinema in Smithfield, Dublin. Their eclectic schedule includes feature films, shorts, classics, foreign language ... More 6pm-8.15pm: Shorts Programme Plus Feature Parklands6pm: Shorts Programme
View our 10 Finalists for this year’s Shorts Award. Winner announced after our feature Parklands.7.15pm: Parklands
Director Kathryn Millard, DoP Mandy Walker, Australia, 1996 (51 mins)
Featuring Cate Blanchett in her first starring film role, Parklands focuses on a young woman Rosie’s investigation into her dead father’s sordid past. Shot on 16mm, the film’s narrative focus on personal history and memory is complemented by an expressive use of lighting and a complex colour scheme. This visual style was executed by director of photographer, Mandy Walker, who won an Award of Distinction from the Australian Cinematographers Society for her work on the film. By printing on reversal film and processing it as a negative, Walker helped Millard to created the desired effect–of a film that looks like it’s been stored ‘in someone’s back shed for a number of years’.
8.15pm: DFFF 2018 Shorts Award Winner Announcement
Presented by Filmmakers Megan K. Fox and Mia Mullarkey
Thursday 22nd November – Screen 3, Light House Cinema
6pm: The Seen and Unseen (Irish Premiere)
Director Kamila Andini, Cinematographer Anggi Frisca, Indonesia 2017 (1hr 23mins)
The Seen and Unseen, the second feature directed by Kamila Andini, is a follow-up to both her acclaimed debut, The Mirror Never Lies, and her short film Following Diana, also shot by Anggi Frisca. An elliptical tale that deftly interweaves realism with a theatrical mythology, it examines the trauma facing young Tantri as she and her family nervously await a prognosis for her hospitalised twin brother, Tantra. Frisca’s camera imbues both natural landscapes and drab interiors with a sense of slow-building wonder and mystery – she also manages to shoot some of the darkest sequences you’re likely to see in contemporary cinema, which develop the film’s ethereal metaphors in a way that transform Tantri’s loneliness and grief into something more intimate and profound.
In Balinese with English Subtitles
The Seen and Unseen
Director Lucia Puenzo, Cinematographer Natasha Braier, Argentina 2007 (1hr 26mins)
A thoughtful examination of the life of an intersex teenager, XXY features an excellent cast, anchored by the fierce performance of Inés Efron, and the playful, provocative cinematography of Natasha Braier. Alex (Efron) has been raised as a girl – including taking hormone pills – by her loving, but somewhat confused parents. Now 15, she has started to reject the binary definitions that have bound her thus far. Braier’s camera resists the voyeurism of many of the villagers, while remaining refreshingly frank in the way it captures Alex’s growing understanding of her sex and sexuality. Like its protagonist, XXY resists easy categorisation.
In Spanish with English Subtitles
Director and Cinematographer Kirsten Johnson, US 2017 (1hr 42mins)Cameraperson is Kirsten Johnson’s remarkable autobiographical documentary about her life and career as a cinematographer. It brings together 20 years of Johnson’s personal and professional footage, weaving together scenes from around the world that have left their mark on Johnson. From the title alone, which reminds us of the gender-bias inherent in the more commonly used term “cameraman,” this unique project allows us to gain insights into the under-represented figure of the female cinematographer.Tickets: €11/€9
€13/€9 Combined Ticket for Shorts Programme + Feature Parklands (21st November)Available NOW from: www.dublinfeministfilmfestival.com For more info see Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.