Women Of The Lens Film Festival:  A Festival Dedicated to Black Women and Women of Colour in the British Film Industry


women of the lens film festival

Women Of The Lens Film Festival:  A Festival Dedicated to Black Women and Women of Colour in the British Film Industry

Women Of The Lens Film Festival launches on Friday 10th November at the iconic venue Goldsmiths Curzon, London. This UK-based Festival was created to showcase the work and challenge perceptions of black women and women of colour in front of and behind the camera.

Women Of The Lens is the brainchild of Jennifer G. Robinson who has over 25 years of experience working in the creative industries. Jennifer has worked with Menelik Shabazz and other industry professionals to produce one the longest running London-based film festivals – The Black Filmmaker International Film Festival. To say that Jennifer is ‘passionate’ about the industry may be considered clichéd, but it is the best word to use that describes her innate commitment to create and deliver a festival of integrity to fulfil its ethos as described above.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the response to the Festival. It demonstrates to me the growing potential of what’s being created and my responsibility to filmmakers as they submit their precious creations. The stories contained in the Festival highlights the multi-faceted complexities of black women and women of colour. The stories show that these women’s stories are human stories, our stories that can be enjoyed by all audiences irrespective of their ethnicities. I’m excited by the coming events and humbled by the support received.”  Founder and Director Jennifer G. Robinson

Festival Coordinator Laurelle Jones says; “I have thoroughly enjoyed researching the film industry; digging deep for not only quality, but masterpieces that celebrate the gifts from women of colour in front of and behind the lens. The Festival has been warmly received, demonstrating the integral need for such a platform here in the UK. I look forward to the launch of this Festival as it gives birth to a unique experience in film championed by women of colour.”

Women Of The Lens Film Digital Broadcast Festival was created because the representation of black women and women of colour in the creative industries remains disturbingly low. The festival was created to reveal the complexity, diversity and multiplicities of women who are overlooked in the conventional/mainstream media-sphere. Their stories are our stories, human stories with varied narratives and as such, wider audiences beyond those of colour can truly engage with complex tales that move beyond the common tropes reserved for these women in typical media representations.

Women of The Lens Festival welcomes alliances with people who seek to challenge representations in front of and behind the camera irrespective of their ethnicities. 

For more information and interview requests

Ronke Lawal info@ariatupr.com

Images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9lrvtxdp9nx374i/AAC7GyVz_kwkRthDaN7sh1g3a?dl=0

Event Dates: November 10th, 24th, 25th and 26th

Tickets on sale via:  www.womenofthelens.com

Eventbrite: Click Here

Festival Launch Tickets: Click Here

Women Of The Lens Festival Social Media: Twitter/Facebook/Instagram: @WomenOfTheLens

All media accreditation and enquiries to Eshé Media. Email: info@eshemedia.co.uk

YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YAnDptThwU

Notes to Editor

With 54 productions, 14 Themes, 5 panels of debate hosted at two historic venues over 4 separate days the packed Festival kicks off with Themes as follows:

Can She Get Her Sexy Back?!: The sexuality of black and brown women have been up for grabs historically. The Festival screens Spike Lee’s Girl 6 and will include a panel discussion to challenge the perceptions of black women’s sexuality in film and get back the power of her sex. (Programmed: Friday 10th November, Curzon)

Bonds That Bind: Family comes with many ideological messages. Bound by blood but not always by heart. In this Theme, these messages are explored as people navigate their way through notions of duty, loyalty and love. (Programmed: Friday 24th November, The Cinema Museum)

Sugar And Spice And All Things Black Girl: Black girlhood in film is often fraught with representational issues. Cue films such as ‘Girlhood’, ‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild’, ‘Eve’s Bayou’ and most lately ‘STEP’. Included in this Theme is a panel discussion where conversations will attempt to explore how black girls can reclaim their own innocence within childhood. (Programmed: Saturday 25th November, The Cinema Museum)

Count On Me: Those people grown up with or those they’ve just met, friendship is an important part of socialisation. This Theme centres on films, which include alternatives to expectations of traditional family that friendships often supersede. (Programmed: Saturday 25th November, The Cinema Museum)

The Trouble With Women: What are the life experiences that define ‘womanhood’? Are society’s definitions firmly bound? The Trouble With Women Theme offers first-hand experiences. (Programmed: Saturday 25th November)

Who Do You Think You Are?! Chapter One and Two – Tribute To A Classic: For women and other people categorized as ‘minorities’, the concept of identity is an ever-present one. The Festival was overwhelmed with submissions in this Theme, so much so that there’re two different screenings. The Festival also pays tribute to the film Burning An Illusion, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Menelik Shabazz. The screening will be preceded by a panel discussion and introduction of the film. (Programmed: Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th November, The Cinema Museum)

We’ve Been Here Before: Migration and immigration are subject maters not far away from the top of any political or social discussion. There were healthy productions covering this important topic, which seek to position a point of view from those described as ‘migrants’ and/or ‘immigrants’. The films show the importance of the movement of people across the globe. (Programmed: Sunday 26th November, The Cinema Museum)

Free Form Artists: An entrancing Theme that is filled with creative artists truly finding undifferentiated, boundary-free self-expression through dance, music, animation and craft. (Programmed: Sunday 26th November, The Cinema Museum)

Lost Civilisations: This Theme channels the history and traditions surrounding civilisations of the past, physically, and romantic notions of tradition and culture. The films take audiences on journeys to locations where civilisations come under threat and what that might mean to wider society. (Programmed: Sunday 26thNovember, The Cinema Museum)

City-Scape Dramas: What does life look like under the shadow of an urban sprawl? Screenings in this Theme are about relationships that are influenced by ‘the city’ almost as a character in and of itself, and the peculiar human bonds cities bear. (Programmed: Sunday 26th November, The Cinema Museum)

Self-Well, Self-Full, Well-Ness, Well-Being: Mental health is a subject which is still a taboo subject in society and one which is rarely discussed without fear and uncertainty. This is often reflected in film. This attitude towards mental health often keeps people isolated, harbouring feelings that they are alone. These films are accompanied by a panel discussion, which attempts to unpack our issues around mental wellbeing. (Programmed: Friday 24th November, The Cinema Museum)

Power In The Feminine: Taking power in self and one’s sexuality is powerful and is a Theme the Festival will run throughout. This selection of film embodies the feminine and takes pleasure in desire, autonomy, choice and acceptance of self in whatever form. (Programmed: Saturday 25th November, The Cinema Museum)

What Is Broadcast Today?: Whether or not one works in the industry, it’s often difficult to imagine a time without the internet. As technology progresses and advertising revenues fluctuate between traditional and alternative platforms of broadcast, the blurring of what we’d understood to be broadcast has changed. The panel discussion will include conversations that try to offer new definitions of Broadcast. (Programmed: Saturday 25th November, The Cinema Museum)

About Jennifer G Robinson

Jennifer’s career straddles the Journalism, Education, Film and Media disciplines.  Fusing her passion for Film and Education, Jennifer taught Film and Media for over 15 years from GCSE through to undergraduate level. She then progressed to Education Management and Curriculum Design.

Jennifer is a trained journalist and has been working for over 16 years in a tumultuous industry. Her latest work can be found on the UK’s premier outlet in news and entertainment for black British talent, The British Blacklist.

Following the return of the black filmmaker international film festival, Jennifer worked with iconic filmmaker Menelik Shabazz and was appointed Festival Coordinator. The longest-running film festival primarily for black British filmmakers, saw its comeback in 2015 and was located at north London’s Bernie Grant Arts Centre.

Interspersed within these landmarks, Jennifer has set up her own PR Consultancy, Eshé Media. Of course, whilst the Consultancy manages all types of tasks relating to PR, Jennifer follows a natural expertise pathway to ground the Consultancy in Film and Education.

Despite all the pledges from the establishment to install programmes to reflect a more diverse population within and without its workforce, Jennifer believes that the representation of women of colour in front of and behind the camera remains stubbornly low. With this in mind, her latest enterprise sees Jennifer creating a new platform called Women Of The Lens Film Digital Broadcast, a Festival.