Preview: Girls in Film Festival 2022

Girls in Film is in the House (of Vans)! The group dedicated to supporting women, non-binary and transgender filmmakers has organised its first ever festival, running this weekend in London. They’ve recruited some of their favourite film collectives to curate film screenings, whilst engaging and lively talks offer practical filmmaking advice from established figures in the industry.

Opening night will feature ‘Lost & Found’, a programme of films by Black female directors curated by trailblazing queer director Cheryl Dunye (The Watermelon Woman). Meanwhile, on Saturday, thanks to the folks at MUBI, there will be a special screening of Céline Sciamma’s mesmerising ghost story. Petite Maman is the latest film from the director of Portrait of a Lady on Fire. It’s not to be missed.

Amongst the films on show across the weekend will be Roxy Rezvany’s ASFF 2021 Official Selection film Wifi Rider. The short tells the story of a lonely Queer Palestinian teenager who spends his days on the internet, immersed in a world of Western popstars. Rezvany’s short is part of Habibi Collective’s curated programme at the festival, which is dedicated to showcasing emerging Southwest Asian and North African artists. Also screening in Baesianz Presents – a segment of the festival dedicated to short films from the Asian diaspora – is Rezvany’s short Photo Booth, which we recently spoke to the Brent-based filmmaker (read more here).

On Sunday, previous ASFF Guest Programme contributors TAPE Collective are curating a series of shorts by filmmakers of mixed heritage who are attempting to address the question: “But Where Are You Really From?” The programme explores code-switching, losing a language and the whitewashing of names – all resulting in the ‘othering’ in one’s own country. Included is Graham Clayton-Chance’s As British as a Watermelon – which played at ASFF in 2021. A film that questions what it means to belong, it’s just one fantastic element of this incredible-looking festival.

The panel discussions at the festival include ‘How Did You Get That Shot?’ as female cinematographers from the collective Illuminatrix Rising discuss their favourite scenes, and ‘Get It Made’, in which experts tell you how to get that all-important first film off the ground. For those who have scripts and need to learn how to sell their work in front of others, there is also an open mic pitch session with a panel of commissioners from The Guardian, Dazed & Confused, Channel 4 and the BFI. There is even a live recording of the Frank Film Club podcast, featuring Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams.

Girls in Film Festival 2022 takes place 6-8 May at London’s House of Vans. For more details, click here.

James Mottram