Dublin Feminist Film Festival discusses gender gap

The 6th edition of the Dublin Feminist Film Festival takes place from 22nd to 24th August, at the Lighthouse Cinema. For the 2019 edition, the festival presents Irish Female Filmmakers as its theme, however, it still keeps women from all over the country in the spotlight and the fight against gender disparity as its focus. 

Acknowledging the lack of support for women filmmakers is what has been making DFFF more important as the years pass by. Even though the number of women in the industry has increased, it is still far from equal. According to figures from the DFFF organisation, only one out of five Irish films are directed or produced by women. 

Since it was created in 2015, the festival has came up with debates on several subjects, not only about the film industry, but also female representation in different genres, their presence in media, sports and business. 

Reasons why you should go to the festival

1 Support your local filmmakers

Irish writers and directors are in the core of this year’s programme. Margaret Corkery celebrates the 10th anniversary of her film Eamon in 2019, followed by Kirsten Sheridan’s debut movie, Disco Pigs, which wraps up the first night of the festival. For the 23rd and 24th August, Kissing Candice brings the talent of Aoife McArdle in her first feature. The last day of the event is filled with women bravery, with Laura McGann’s Revolutions portraying the intense and challenging world of roller derby and the efforts of the female Irish team to enter their first World Cup.

Kissing Candice Dir AoifeMcArdle
Kissing Candice – Directed by Aoife McArdle
2 Watch short films from international directors

Even though the 2019 edition is focused on Irish directors and writers, names from other countries have also been chosen, following the same path of the previous years, which have been dedicated to international filmmakers. Driving Lessons, from the Iranian director Mrziyeh Riahi discusses how  laws can turn something as simple as a driver licence into a challenge for women. 

The list of international short films also includes:

Moon Rabbit – Kae Ho (Japan)

Ladies Beach –  Carmen Garcia Gonzalez (Mexico)

Early Days – Nessa Wrafter (UK)

And the Irish features:

The beekeeper –  Robyn Conroy

Clay Project –  Kathy Raftery

Mother- Natasha Waugh

3 See women overcoming barriers

During an interview with the Irish Film Institute, Laura McGann explains how she came up with the idea for Revolutions and how Roller Derby was seen as “the coping mechanism for unemployed” for some athletes. Not only the sport was important for the country (back in 2011, they formed the first Irish team), but it was also an escape for many of them. 

4 Animation is a women’s genre too 

Animated films scripts still leave women out. According to a study released in 2018, 17% of the lead or co-lead characters of animated movies are women. The industry is even tougher on women of colour, who account to only 3%. Either it is directing, producing or writing, the gender gap is an everyday barrier that female professionals have to break through. To discuss the accomplishments and difficulties still faced in this field, the last day of the festival features short animated films directed by Irish professionals. Wrapping it up, Ciara Barrett meddles a panel with the directors selected for this edition:

the bird and the whale
The bird and the whale – Carol Freeman

The Bird and the Whale – Carol Freeman

An Cailleach Bhéara – Naomi Wilson

From Darkness – Nora Twomey

Departure – Aoife Doyle

Late Afternoon –  Louise Bagnall 

Full programme and tickets are available on the festival website.


Jessica Sbardelotto
Jessica Sbardelotto

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