Female Talent at GFF18: Trailblazers


This year, the GFF programme is bursting with female talent, both on and off the screen. The festival features 74 films either written or directed by women, showcasing the work of pioneer female filmmaker Ida Lupino with a dedicated strand, as well as Behind the Scenes and Sound and Vision events run entirely by female industry leads (Colour Blind Casting, NFTS Scotland Presents The Art of the Art Department and Soundtracking with Edith Bowman: Lynne Ramsay). 

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Ida Lupino in Moontide

Our CineMasters strand features three women who are irrefutably masters of the form, with all three of their films in this year’s programme having placed in Sight & Sound’s top 25 films of 2017. Included are Oscar-winning director Agnes Varda’s Oscar-nominated documentary collaboration with photographer/muralist JR, Faces Places, in which she stars, as well as Claire Denis’ latest film Let the Sunshine In, starring Juliette Binoche, and Lucrecia Martel’s Zama, her first feature film since 2008. 

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GFF18’s two other Oscar contenders both place women at the forefront. Best Foreign Language nominee A Fantastic Woman showcases a powerful performance from trans actress Daniela Vega, playing a woman who, in the wake of her lover’s death, must take a stand for who she is, as her right to grieve is questioned by those around her. The Breadwinner, nominated for Best Animated Feature Film, tells the story of 11-year-old Parvana, who disguises herself as a boy in Taliban-controlled Kabul in order to become her family’s sole breadwinner. This film is bursting with female talent, as Nora Twomey directs a standout adaptation by Anita Doron and Deborah Ellis of Ellis’ own novel, executive produced by Angelina Jolie. Nora Twomey will be in attendance for the screening of The Breadwinner on 23 February.

Special Mentions

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If you’re looking for a live event with a twist, Divas, Despots and Dancing: Assunta Spina with Live Score is notable in that it also features a female star with a screenwriting credit. This silent Italian film, shot in Naples in 1915, features leading-lady Francesca Bertini, who penned her own role in which she smoulders, torn between the men who can’t control her passions. This rare screening will include a new live score by The Badwills, followed by wild southern Italian folk dancing in the grand setting of St Andrews in the Square, the perfect backdrop for Bertini’s dramatics.

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School Disco: Cluless at SWG3

Alternatively, you can always show your support for female-led film classics with Amy Heckerling’s beloved Jane Austen adaptation Clueless. The iconic 90s hit is going head to head with Gregory’s Girl at SWG3, where it will be followed by a massive school disco-themed party with paper garlands, balloons, conga lines and prizes for the cheesiest costume and best moves. 


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