Glasgow might well be gearing up for its annual Film Festival later this month, but there’s another exciting cinematic extravaganza taking place in Scotland’s largest city before GFF gets underway.
Femspectives is Scotland’s only festival that showcases the work of exclusively female directors, with movies from homegrown talent rubbing shoulders alongside that of filmmakers from places as diverse as Burkina Faso, Costa Rica and New Zealand.
The event works on a basis of pay-what-you-can-afford, and there’s even a travel fund set aside for those from further afield. Check out the programme in full here, but for now, we’ve compiled some of the highlights of the second annual Femspectives below:
Apolline Traoré / Burkina Faso, France / 2017 / 91 mins
Four women from very different backgrounds come together to embark upon a lengthy bus journey across West Africa, departing from Dakar in Senegal and arriving in Lagos, Nigeria. Though the trip itself might be a fairly mundane one for the privileged male, the fact that these four females are undertaking it alone (but together) asserts their independence in a patriarchal society.
Lindy Heymann / UK / 2018 / 42 mins
This experimental piece is part film, part spoken word and part song. Director Heymann takes her inspiration from real interview recordings and uses them to weave a thought-provoking narrative around questions of abortion and the rights of a woman to decide her own future. The screening is to be followed by an open forum discussion on the themes raised within it.
This documentary focuses on two transgender siblings as they struggle to understand and embrace their own identity at a time when President Trump is in power and the world seems to be tilting towards conservatism. En route, Luca and Ren navigate the changes to their own bodies and the dramas of a local beauty pageant, all the while coming to terms with who they are.
Antonella Sudasassi Furniss / Costa Rica / 2019 / 94 mins
Isa has plenty to keep her occupied – the humdrum chores of household duty and two young children to look after. So when her husband insists on a third baby, she realises that she’s reached a breaking point of sorts. A powerful look at how motherhood and domesticity can sideline a woman’s desires and lead to a repressed sexuality.
A chance encounter on the street leads Áila to Rosie, a young indigenous woman whom she soon discovers has been the victim of a grievous assault by her erstwhile boyfriend. Bringing Rosie home with her, Áila encourages the young girl to seek help and retribution for her suffering. The story is based on a real-life experience from director and star Tailfeathers’ life.