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UnderWire Festival: Women in Film Next Week
David Moats , November 18th, 2011 14:50

David Moats previews the UnderWire festival, which celebrates women in film and runs from November 23 to 26 at London's Shortwave Cinema and various other venues

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Too many of our cultural spokespeople seem to think that the project of feminism is complete - that women have been completely placed on a par with men and that anyone thinking otherwise is a power-mad butch lesbian. Last night, successful business woman Hilary Devey of Dragon’s Den fame reiterated the now trite mantra that there is no more ‘glass ceiling’, and that any woman who believes in herself can enter the boardroom or politics. This is despite the fact that figures still show large pay divides between the sexes, and misogynistic talk rampent in our culture

But one of the most important places of inequality is behind the camera. There is an unfortunate lack of female voices within the UK film industry - a gap made more pernicious due to the privileged place of films in our culture. This silence becomes especially felt in cinematic representations of women, where female characters are often no more substantial than the two dimensional puppets in Woody Allen films who, even in our current age, still enter the camera’s leering gaze wearing slinky dresses and soft focus accompanied by saxophones.

So we at the Quietus are extremely pleased to be media partners for the second UnderWire Short Film Festival - which showcases the raw cinematic talents of women. The programme showcases female talent in all aspects of film production as well as a wide range of genres. See listing here.

We are also excited to be participating in the UnderWire Best Film Journalism Award (along with Aesthetica, Electric Sheep and Little White Lies) where we will be training our winner Clare Pennington in the art of film journalism over the comming months.

Also check out the stimulating programme of talks and events on Saturday 26th at Shortwave Cinema including a Film Criticism workshop with Catharine Bray (Film4), Guy Lodge (Variety), Frances Morgan (Sight & Sound), Hannah Patterson (Kamera Books) and Virginie Sélavy (Electric Sheep) as well as a discussion of representations of women in music videos.

Stay tuned next week, when we will have a full interview with the organisers on some of the highlights of the programme and the ideas behind the festival.