Female film talent shines at BBFF on International Women’s Day

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While the number of female directors at the helm of the US top 100 grossing films dropped to a paltry 2% in 2013 according to Variety Magazine, the number of female filmmakers at the Byron Bay International Film Festival continues to grow.

One-third of BBFF’s 2014 programme is thanks to women filmmakers and on International Women’s Day, Saturday 8th March, BBFF celebrates their talent with a special showcase of their work.


In Burra Jurra, a surfing charity seeks to promote positive social change in local indigenous communities by reconnecting indigenous children with their roots through surfing. The world premiere screening will be attended by Director/Producer, Juliet Carrington and Burra Jurra Patron, Layne Beachley. Trailer: http://vimeo.com/72864162

The highlights include:

  • World premiere of Aussie surf film Burra Jurra (Ocean), a doco about the life-changing indigenous surf charity that features patron Layne Beachley and a long roll call of Aussie surf talent including Adam Melling, Joe Haddon, Pauline Menczer and Sean Kay.
  • World premiere of Aussie documentary A Woman’s Deeper Journey Into Sex, by Director/Producer Sally McKenzie, which explores if women need emotional connection?for good sex and features the infamous Heidi Fleiss and Jesse Jane.
  • World premiere and Closing Night film Rise of the Eco Warriors, by award-winning Director Cathy Henkel, which traces the journey of a group of passionate and adventurous young people in Borneo. Their mission is to confront one of the great global challenges of our time, saving the rainforests and endangered orangutans.
  • Australian premiere of New Zealand film Pretty Brutal, by Director/Producer Monica De Alwis, follows self-titled girl skaters Pieces of Hate, Kid Vile and Naki Kronik into the full-contact world of New Zealand’s first Roller Derby league.
  • Australian premiere of American documentary Coney Island: Dreams For Sale, about the struggle to protect the renowned amusement park from an unscrupulous developer. American filmmaker Alessandra Giordano will be in attendance.
  • Ones to watch, Young Australian Filmmakers, former Tropfest winner Genevieve Clay (The Interviewer), Natalia James (Tritch) and Charlotte Hamlyn (The Dangers of The Aquarius).

Festival Director, J’aimee Skippon-Volke says, “This year’s selection of films by female filmmakers is outstanding. At a time when the number of female directors is shrinking in film capitals like Hollywood, we thought it was important to showcase and celebrate the achievements of female filmmakers.” Skippon-Volke adds, “This year we have around one-third female filmmakers. I look forward to the day that reaches one half.”

“We were fortunate to be able to schedule the films to coincide with International Women’s Day on Saturday 8th March, an annual flagpole inspired by gender equality and recognising the value women’s perspectives bring to our world balance.”

AFI Award-winning Australian director, Cathy Henkel says, “Women represent half the population and a different point of view. I think it’s essential that audiences by able to experience that point of view.”

Henkel adds, “Australia fares better than the US – we have a lot of talented female producers and directors – but there’s definitely room for more. And a comment like Cate Blanchett’s in her Oscar’s speech helps enormously to bring attention to this continuing imbalance in Australia.”

Don’t miss this incredible all female line up at Byron Bay Film Festival 2014 on Saturday 8th March.

Session Times:
Burra Jurra: Saturday 8 March 6.30pm SESSION 29 at Byron Community Centre.  http://vimeo.com/72864162
A Woman’s Deeper Journey Into Sex: Saturday 8 March, 8.30pm SESSION P5 at Pighouse. http://awomansdeeperjourneyintosex.com/trailer/
Rise of the Eco Warriors: Saturday 8 March 6.30pm, Closing Night Gala Party Film at Palace Cinema. http://vimeo.com/71936468
Pretty Brutal: Saturday 8 March, 10.30am SESSION 26 at Byron Community Centre. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFBw_m28q2o
Coney Island: Dreams For Sale: Saturday 8 March1.00pm SESSION 27 at Byron Community Centre. http://vimeo.com/67427702
Female Young Australian Filmmakers: Saturday 8 March 3.30pm SESSION 28 at Byron Community Centre. http://vimeo.com/67427702

For tickets, program information and news, visit www.bbff.com.au