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12th International Filmmor Women's Film Festival on Wheels

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Merhaba for the 12th time, in the most difficult, most anxious but at the same time most hopeful one of the twelve years Filmmor Women’s Film Festival saluted spectators!

It is so difficult to resume in a short greeting note, all that we have lived through since the last festival! Actually, cinema was left in the wake of many other things last year! Thus, we could start festival preparations later than usual. But a programme refreshing the spirit of last year and rethinking about it awaits you.

We have no other way than claiming our rights and gains after all those years of sexism and conservatism trying to get what we have gained by struggle!  Last year, once again, duties like “motherhood”, “wifehood” were imposed upon women at the expense of their rights and freedoms, or even lives; the survival of the family was blessed as if it is more precious than even the right to live! This is all done by the state, excluding us, despite us. And we resisted as always. Everywhere, in different ways…

Like women’s rights, their bodies and labour are distrained too, by force and violence. Violent manifestation of the mentality which regards women as convicts of husbands-marriages, child abuse and rape by forced, involuntary marriages, and women murders are as severe as ever. Besides political agents increasing this oppression and violence, women unfortunately experience more violence when they resist this oppression. But in the wake of every single woman murder is a woman who dared to end the marriage that has become a spiral of violence, a woman who dared  to divorce that husband at the risk of being killed, a woman who resists, risking not to obey that husband, that father, that older brother, that lover! They are the women who can’t get any protection-support even though they apply the police-station or the prosecution office alone, on the page 3 news written in the language of the murderer, and judgemental about the dead one, women whose names and resistance remembered by none, resisting to death… For us who have to resist in every moment of our lives in order to be alive, resistance is not a new thing… We sometimes resist in order to live as we want, and sometimes just to live. We resist. At times with our bodies, at times with our choices, at times with our writing, at times with our cameras. Behind the cameras of this year’s films are once again women who resist. The resisting, hopeful films of the recent years are on the section Women’s Cinema… On the section Our Bodies Are Ours are films stating that our bodies belong to us on this world where women’s bodies are a field of power and war, on the section Sex-u-a-li-ties are films who break the routine about sexuality and sexual identities…  Catherine Breillat who stands against all the stereotypes and limitations of conservatism on women’s bodies with daring, radical and ground-breaking films is our guest with six movies this year. And we also wanted to memorise on the twentieth anniversary of her death, a woman director who resisted, paying high prices in order to make films; Bilge Olgaç, with gratitude and three films.

And the section that is also the main theme of the festival this year: A Purse of Her Own. A job, an income, a budget of her own… As a coincidence, this is the year of Emek (*) blues; Emek Movie Theatre being closed down and our blues as we never had economic power to hold the festival there; the main theme of our festival is Labour, women’s labour! Our labour paid, unpaid in a men’s dominated market-world. All around the world, women’s labour is still not waged equivalently for equal work, never waged if spent in the family. And our labour, work, income is under the risk of being pushed out of labour market with regulations like flexible working hours for women who raise children… Rather than emphasising on the gravity of the situation, we say A Purse Of Her Own with films refreshing our hopes for a future where women work for wages deserved-equivalent for equal work, women earn what is equivalent for their labour, having an income, purse of their own. We of course say, “Same to us.” No festivals, no screening will be held in Emek Movie Theatres from now on but we believe that independent women’s film festivals like Filmmor with no links other than women’s solidarity will have Emek Movie Theatres…

Purple Camera Award for Promising Woman Film-Maker is for the second time a part of our festival that has continued for ten years without a competition, with the motto “women need solidarity, and unity rather than competing.” With our wish to be by the side of women who want to make films and are at the bottom of the ladder, with solidarity….

And this year there is Kaleidoscope. The festival used to host films by only women regarding affirmative action, from this year on a man director will be the guest of Kaleidoscope with his film. The aim of the workshop is to surrender to the view of women, films made by men on women–purple needles in stash- and create an opportunity to discuss with the director of the film…

Kaleidoscope organised for the first time this year will take place in coming years, i.e. we are just starting…

We present 12th Filmmor Women’s Film Festival in Istanbul, Mersin, Adana and Muğla, with panels, discussions, workshops inviting all women to solidarity, resistance and dreaming, and obtain a purse of their own….

Festival Team

(*) Labour in Turkish.