Dis/Uguale: Florence’s ‘Cinema e Donne’ Women’s Film Festival

Women’s Film Festival sponsor Gilda Gradi

November 21 – 25: CINEMA E DONNE WOMEN’S FILM FESTIVAL. Cinema La Compagnia, via Cavour 50/r. Screenings from 11 am – 9 pm.  For the complete schedule, visit the web site.

With a schedule of 45 international movies, Florence’s Festival Internazionale Cinema e Donne will be celebrating its 40th anniversary with a powerful thematic focus, Dis/Uguali, or “Equal and Not.”

Special guests include French actress and movie director Coline Serreau and Dacia Maraini, an Italian novelist, playwright and poet.

This year’s festival title signals the organization’s intent to celebrate the successes of female artists in cinema, as it does every year, while also calling attention to the barriers to achievement that still exist in the community. The creators, however, make clear that their intention is not to complain or victimize the women’s condition. The program, instead, will concentrate on the strength of past, present, and future women. Dis/Uguali is not their white flag, it is their battle cry.

The event will showcase many unpublished works, including documentaries, shorts, and animation from a variety of countries. The majority of the films are screened in their original language with Italian subtitles, but on Sunday, November 25, an American short from 1971 entitled Woo Who? May Wilson  by Amalie Rothschild will be screened at 3 pm.

Cinema e Donne will re-tell the story of the feminist movement in Europe; pointing out that while many results were won for society during this time, such as changes in laws and customs, modern women are still fighting for more equality in a variety of fields. In fact, one of these women is a local Florentine business owner who does her part for the movement by supporting the festival, Gilda Gradi.

On the final evening, there will be an award ceremony, which is the focus of Gradi’s sponsorship. The list of the Premio Gilda recipients has already been released on the festival’s website along with the show times for all films. The winners include “Il mare della nostra storia” for best film, Mariam Al Ferjani for best actress, Silvia Lelli for the Antiviolence award, Helen Doyle for the career award, and Karoline Burckner for the distribution award.

Gilda, the mastermind behind the beautiful Bistrot Gilda nestled along Piazza Lorenzo Ghiberti, is a lively woman passionate about the celebration of women in art. She has sponsored the program for 11 years and say she plans to keep doing so because she enjoys meeting new women from all over Europe who are transcending boundaries in film arts. For a woman whose name is used in all of the awards at the festival, Gilda expresses a modest demeanor regarding her own involvement. When asked about her personal reasons for being involved, she directs attention to what she considers more important: the women artists. Just one of the ways that she is a true embodiment of the spirit of the yearly celebration.

As if the celebration was not already meaningful enough, the last day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. For this reason, the festival representatives will hand out orange ribbons for attendees to wear at the final ceremony and show their solidarity for the cause.  (madison perez)