Women's Voices Now

Women's Voices Now (WVN) is an American not-for-profit organization with the goal of advocating women's rights through socially impactful films.[1] It organizes online short film festivals and other activities in its mission to "amplif[y] the voices of all women by promoting the free expression of women's struggles for civil, economic, political, and gender rights worldwide".[2][3][4][5] In addition to its festivals, WVN expanded to include an archive of films, a publication, educational programs, screenings, workshops and training, as well as providing scholarships.[1] The organization was founded in 2010 by lawyer Catinca Tabacaru and philanthropist Leslie Sacks.[6][7]

Women's Voices Now logo 2016.png

Festival historyEdit

The organization was founded in 2010, and its first film festival was held in 2011.[8] Every festival has a theme; the first festival's theme was Women's Voices from the Muslim World: A Short Film Festival.[9][8][10] The festival had over 200 films submitted from over 40 countries showcasing what life is like for women in the Muslim world.[10] The 2014 festival's theme was Women Bought and Sold: Voices United Against Violence.[11] The third, fourth and fifth festivals were held in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively, with both the fifth and sixth occurring in 2019. Each film festival had winners for six main categories. The categories are the Leslie Sacks Grand Prize for best overall film; Best Documentary Feature; Best Documentary Short; Best Narrative Short; Best Experimental Film; and Audience Choice for the last four categories.[12] The prizes for some of the categories include: $3,000 for the Leslie Sacks Grand Prize, $2,000 dollars for the winner in the Best Documentary Feature category, and $1,000 dollars each for the winners in the Best Documentary Short and Best Experimental Film categories.[12] The winners receive their prize once they deliver their acceptance speech to Women's Voice Now.[12]

The festival participants agree to participate in the online festival, and submit the final cut without any advertisements (with subtitles if required, since the Festival's official language is English). The upload and submission must include a high-resolution digital copy of the film, along with three stills, a poster, and a trailer if the film has one. If the participant wins, they must allow their film to be screened at the festival's closing event, and allow it to be available on the website.[12] The films must be about women (including trans women) and the issues they face in society today.[12] To be eligible, the filmmakers must guarantee the film is entirely their content, and those in the film must all have consented to be filmed.[12] The films vary in length as there is no time constraint.[12]

Other programmingEdit

In addition to the yearly film festival, Women's Voice Now also hosts an online archive of the festivals' films,[13] as well as an online publication called The WVoice.[14] Like the film festival, The WVoice focuses on international women's rights and voices.[15] It publishes written, audio, and visual bodies of work that document women's stories and issues that educate and foster cultural difference and connections, and promotes and advocates for women's rights.[15] The generally brief entries include essays, interviews, prose, short fiction, poetry, photo essays, and video essays under five minutes in length.[15][16] Finally, Women's Voice Now also runs workshops and training programs on what they do with their film festivals and how they support women's rights advocacy.[17]

2011 film festival winnersEdit

Category Title Director Country of Origin Year Made
Documentary Half Value Life Alka Sadat Afghanistan 2009
Breaking the Silence Ammar Basha Yemen 2009
Thorns and Silk Paulina Tervo West Bank 2009
Narrative Again Life Hassan Fazeli Afghanistan 2009
Francais Langue Etrangere Kartik Singh France 2009
Sunglasses Mustafa Kia Afghanistan 2009
Experimental Basita Laila Hotait Lebanon 2010
It is Written Mostafa Heravi Netherlands 2006
1700% Project: Mistaken for Muslim Anida Yoeu Ali USA 2010
Student Film Jazbaa: A Strong Will Rama Barhat India 2010
Male and Female Ahmed Adel Egypt 2010
The Unveiled Ola Diab and Shereena Qazi Qatar 2009[8]

2014 film festival winnersEdit

Category Title Director Country of Origin Year Made
Documentary Breaking the Silence: Moroccans Speak Out! GlobalGirl Media Morocco 2013
Mohtarama N/A N/A N/A
In the Name of Tradition May El Hossamy Egypt 2013
Narrative Swap Sayed Masoud Islami Afghanistan 2013
Aabida Maaria Syed India 2013
The Virginity Minarets Farhad Rezaee Afghanistan 2013
Experimental Take Care Afrooz Nasersharif Iran 2013
Get Along Parya Vatankhah Iran 2013
The Reflex Ali Mousavi and Hussein Mousavi Afghanistan 2013
Student Film Behind the Wheel Elise Laker Tajikistan 2013
Blobfish Ugur Ferhat Kormaz Turkey 2013
A Chronicle of Tahrir Square Nour Zaki Egypt 2014[18]

2017 film festival winnersEdit

Category Title Director Country of Origin Year Made
Leslie Sacks Grand Prize Masoumeh Sona Moghadam Iran 2015
Best Documentary Feature Profession: Documentarist Shirin Barghnavard, Firouzeh Khosrovani, Farahnaz Sharifi, Mina Keshavarz,
Sepideh Abtahi, Sahar Salahshour, Nahid Rezaei
Iran 2015
Best Documentary Short Women of Fukushima Paul Johannessen and Jeffrey Jousan Japan 2012
Best Narrative Short Leeches Payal Sethi India 2016
Best Experimental Film Borders Elizabeth Mizon United Kingdom 2015
Audience Choice Save Gangamaya Gopal Shivakoti Nepal 2016
Auto Driver Meena Longjam India 2015
I Don’t Like Her Javad Daraei Iran 2016
Memory of a Heart Tribeny Rai India 2016[19]

2018 film festival winnersEdit

Category Title Director Country of Origin Year Made
Leslie Sacks Grand Prize Qandeel Saad Khan and Tazeen Bari Pakistan N/A
Best Documentary Feature Hauntings in the Archive! Nina Hoechtl and Julia Wieger N/A N/A
Best Documentary Short Kayayo, the Living Shopping Baskets Mari Bakke Riise Ghana N/A
Best Narrative Short Sea Child Minha Kim N/A 2015
Best Experimental Film The First of the Free Girls Alexandra Velasco N/A N/A
Audience Choice Ballad for Syria Eda Elif Tibet N/A N/A
Kayan: Beyond the Rings Marko Randelovic N/A N/A
Aver Felicia Villarreal N/A N/A
Beauty Fear Violence Anouk Phéline N/A N/A[20]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "About Us". Women's Voices Now. Archived from the original on 7 May 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  2. ^ "What we do". Women's Voices Now. Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  3. ^ Ahmed, Quanta (8 October 2010). "'The Women's Voices Now' Film Festival: Women's Voices From the Muslim World". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 11 September 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Women's Voices Now Online Film Festival". Festival Focus. Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Online Film Contest Focuses on Muslim Women". Voice of America. 3 November 2010. Archived from the original on 30 August 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Leslie Sacks, founder and principal of Leslie Sacks Fine Art and Leslie Sacks Contemporary, dies at age 61". artdaily.com. Archived from the original on 11 October 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  7. ^ "New Kids on the Block: 5 Galleries to Keep Yours Eyes On in 2015". Observer. 26 December 2014. Archived from the original on 7 May 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  8. ^ a b c "Womens Voices Now Films Festival is coming soon". Archived from the original on 1 April 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Women's Voices from the Muslim World". Women's Voices Now. Archived from the original on 9 August 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  10. ^ a b Vankin, Deborah (22 March 2011). "Women in the Muslim world, as captured on film". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 14 August 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Women Bought and Sold". Women's Voices Now. Archived from the original on 11 August 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g "The Women's Voices Now Online Film Festival". FilmFreeway. Archived from the original on 14 April 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Womens Voices Now Films - Watch Films from Womens Voices Now". Womens Voices Now Films. Archived from the original on 3 January 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  14. ^ "The WVoice – Medium". Medium. Archived from the original on 7 May 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  15. ^ a b c Now, Women's Voices (8 August 2018). "About". Medium. Archived from the original on 9 May 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  16. ^ Now, Women's Voices (8 August 2018). "Submission Guidelines". Medium. Archived from the original on 9 May 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  17. ^ "Workshops". Women's Voices Now. Archived from the original on 7 May 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Womens Voices Now Films Festival is coming soon". Archived from the original on 1 April 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  19. ^ "2017 Film Festival". Women's Voices Now. Archived from the original on 9 May 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  20. ^ Admin (20 April 2018). "The 2018 Women's Voices Now Online Film Festival Winners". The WVoice. Archived from the original on 9 May 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.

External linksEdit