HATICE KuBRA – Flying Broom keeps spotlight on problems of women, society

Flying Broom keeps spotlight on problems of women, societyWomen are crazy about shopping, women are easily hurt emotionally, women are their children’s primary caregivers, women are not good at math and so on. These are among the thousands of stereotypes that strip women of their real identities and set them apart as a different society.To defy this tragic fate of women, the Uan Supurge (Flying Broom) International Women’s Film Festival in the Turkish capital has been diligently trying to shed light on the problems of women and, thus, society since its launch in 1998.This year, the festival broadens its scope not only with its jam-packed program of 107 films from female directors hailing from 39 different countries but also with its slogan “Festival ok Guzel Gelsene!” (the festival is very beautiful, why don’t you come!) which calls for the active participation of young cinephiles from May 8 to 15 in Ankara.“By adopting this slogan, instead of picking up a theme, we are addressing a crowd that is mainly made up of youngsters. We would like to share the dynamism of the life and of the youngsters on the streets and the energy they are channeling into every corner of our lives with the festival goers,” the organizers of the annual cinematic event, the Flying Broom Women Communication and Research Association, told Sunday’s Zaman in an e-mail interview on Thursday.‘Give your soul a chance to have a rest’“We would like to give the message that [people should] ‘go out on the streets, benefit from the regeneration of life in the spring and give your soul a chance to have a rest and nourish it by attending the festival’,” the organizers said ahead of the inauguration of the festival, which will unveil its 17th edition next week.The festival will open on the night of May 8 at the Ankara State Opera and Ballet (ADOB), where the organizers will present veteran Turkish actress Muhterem Nur with the Flying Broom Honorary Award. The organizers cited the 81-year-old actress and dubbing artist’s appearance in 170 films, and her successful portrayal of unforgettable female characters among the reasons why they deemed her worthy of the award.Turkish-Armenian film critic Alin TaIIyan, the first women to head the Turkish Film Critics Association (SIYAD) and who was also elected as new president of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) in April, is another name who will be honored at the opening ceremony. TaIIyan will receive the festival’s Bilge Olga Achievement Award — presented in memory of the Turkish director-screenwriter Bilge Olga — along with film editor iek Kahraman, art director Natali Yeres, Nezahat GundoIan, actress Iebnem Snmez and film producer Zeynep zbatur Atakan.The free-admission festival will feature a total of 15 sections. One section, “Each Has A Different Color,” is made up of 12 international critically acclaimed feature films, including “What They Don’t Talk About When They Talk About Love” from Indonesian director Mouly Surya and “The Blue Wave,” by Turkish co-directors Zeynep Dadak and Merve Kayan. “A Country: Greece” is another section that will be presenting productions from Greek directors such as Jacqueline Lentzou’s “Thirteen Blue” and Rinio Dragasaki’s “Dad, Lenin and Freddy.”Domestic violence, child bride’s exploredOne of the two women’s film festivals in Turkey, Uan Supurge has also had a section devoted to the issues of domestic violence, early marriages, child brides and the rights of young girls for nearly 10 years. Titled “Family: Incident Scene,” the section has a total of 11 films in its 2014 edition. Indian director Junaid Imam’s “The Festival of Marriages,” Iranian filmmaker Pouran Derakhshandeh’s “Hush! Girls Don’t Scream” and the Turkish film “Once I Was a Little Girl” by Gulin Balta Tezcan are among the highlights.Uan Supurge does not forget the older women this year, adding the section “YaIsIz KadInlar” (ageless women) to its program to honor mothers and grandmothers on Mother’s Day in May. Billing the section as a gift to all mothers, the organizers noted it underlines that life is beautiful at any age and must be enjoyed. The three-piece section offers Swedish director Maria Fredriksson’s film “Coffee Time,” Lidia Duda’s “Everything is Possible” from Poland and “Juliana” from Spanish filmmaker Jana Herreros.Another woman the festival is honoring in one of its sections is late-actress Edith Carlmar, the first female director of Norway. The festival-goers can enjoy her debut film “Death is a Caress,” her last film “The Wayward Girl” and her 1953 production “A Young Woman Missing” in the “A Witch from the North: Edith Carlmar” section, a joint effort between the festival organizers and the Norwegian Embassy in Ankara.‘My Madam Curie,’ a most interesting section “My Madam Curie” is another new section the festival has added to its bill — as part of a project of the same name, which seeks alternative ways to help first-grade girls choose an occupation by deconstructing stereotypes about gender-specific jobs. The festival organizers expect this section to be one of the most interesting parts of the cinematic event with its three short animated films that will have their premieres at Uan Supurge. “The Tie” by Iranian director Azam Najafian, “There and Back” by Turkish directors zlem SarIyIldIz and Bilge DemirtaI, and Sevda DoIa’s “Pedals and Heels” are the section’s films — about four different female scientists. “In this section, we will also see the success stories of women who do jobs that are not [traditionally] associated with females,” the organizers said.Side events of the festival include workshops by TaIIyan, Atakan and film critic-producer Emine YIldIrIm, who is the screenwriter of Ramin Matin’s award-winning film “The Impeccables.”When asked if there would be enough men at the festival, the organizers said they are aiming to draw attention to the problems of 50 percent of society — females — and, thus, society itself. “The festival appeals to anyone — from young to old, male to female — who is interested in … the art and development of the whole world rather than being sensitive to the problems of just the geography they live in. For this reason, there were lots of male festival-goers in the former years and they [will] continue attending the festival in the upcoming years,” the organizers noted.One of the problems the festival constantly draws attention to is the insufficient number of females actively working in the movie industry. The organizers have talked about this issue in a press release, saying that only eight out of the 88 local productions hitting theaters in 2013 were directed by female filmmakers.In Thursday’s interview, the organizers repeated the seriousness of this problem and added that the number of females who work as screenwriters, art directors and costume designers is not enough either.“In the movie industry, there is no equality of the sexes. To solve these issues, the number of women’s film festivals should increase and the existing ones should be supported. For this reason, Uan Supurge, as the first women’s film festival of Turkey, is an important cinematic event that has left a mark in the movie industry of the nation, which is celebrating its 100th year.” Edith Carlmar

SOURCE: Todays Zaman

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