By Nicole Tollefson
The 14th annual international festival of films by women directors presents three weeks of the best contemporary cinema, offering not only a reflection of our world, but also new ways of seeing ourselves.
The first six features—from Italy, France, Scotland, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Germany— are grouped under the banner “New Europe.” Moving past postcolonialism, these dramas and comedies identify a place where people are united by their situations rather than separated by their differences. From America, filmmakers look deeply into our collective souls, some exploring the dark territories of fear and alienation, while others use humor to decipher regret and tolerance. From Iran, a country defined in the United States primarily through journalism and political rhetoric, come two films that add complexity and humanity to our understanding of life there.
Special programs include Animation from Zagreb, a Croatian city famed for its long history in this genre, with a screening of new work by animator Nicole Hewitt; and a memorial tribute to French filmmaker Danièle Huillet, who died last October. And this year, the festival proudly presents two world premieres by local documentary filmmakers: Joanna Kohler’s Boxers will be screened at the Uppercut Gym in Northeast Minneapolis; and Melody Gilbert’s Urban Explorers: Into the Darkness lets us experience the thrilling and dangerous world of urban exploration without getting dirty or in trouble with the law.