The Second Annual Brooklyn Women’s Film Festival was held over the weekend at the end of June at the underground bar in the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. The event was billed as “run by women, about women, and for everyone.” During the weekend four programs were screened, each composed of ten short films. Most featured female writers and protagonists, and all were directed by females. The money collected from the screenings will go to the New York Women in Film and Television association.
Katy-May Hudson is the founder and director of the festival. She hails from Australia, and is an independent filmmaker, writer and performer with the New York Neo-Futurists theater collective.
“Part of our mission is smashing the Bechdel test,” Hudson said, referring to a new rating system by IMDb which issues an F-rating to films which were either written, directed or feature a woman main character. A triple-F rating signifies all three criteria have been met.
Hudson, who just had a baby four months ago, says that the #metoo movement has spurred growth in the women’s film niche, receiving four times more submissions than the previous year.
The short films (less than 20 minutes long) in one program originated in five different countries and dealt with a broad assortment of issues related to the female experience. The films covered such topics as trans femininity, motherhood for migrant workers and post-partum depression. Two films explored the issue of suicide, and another with miscarriage. There was even a musical documentary about the Kiwi Coffin Club. This film followed a group of senior citizens in New Zealand who design their own affordable coffins. Some depicting Elvis and/or leprechauns.
“I think it’s important that filmmakers who are women can be seen telling stories about anything they want,” Hudson explained. “They can tell stories about men, they can tell stories about soldiers, they can tell stories that are violent, scary, loud, quiet. Why not?”