IMDbPro Roadshow Follow-up

IMDbPro Roadshow Follow-up

wift in cannes 2022
IMDbPro Roadshow Follow-up

Thank you to all who attended the IMDbPro Roadshow on 4/28/22! Please find the follow-up materials here with a breakdown of the items discussed in more detail.

As a WITI member, you are eligible to receive a 30% discount off your monthly or annual IMDbPro membership. To redeem this benefit, email Regina via assistant@wifti.net 

Watch the meeting recording here.

Watch Salma Hayek Pinault’s acceptance of our IMDb “Icon” STARmeter award here.
Watch a fun sizzle reel celebrating IMDbPro’s 20th anniversary here.
Follow IMDbPro on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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Join us in Cannes!

Join us in Cannes!

wift in cannes 2022
Join us this month for two events at the Cannes Film Festival! 

You can meet WIFT representatives from our global community during two events in Cannes. The annual WIFT panel, organised by WIFT Israel, takes place on May 20th and our grand WIFTI reception takes place on May 22 (invitation only). We cannot wait to see you again in real life!

 

wift panel cannes 2022

 

Information for our reception on May 22nd will follow soon, keep an eye out here and via our newsletter!

 

A letter from Ukraine

A letter from Ukraine

Valeriya Golovina
A letter from Ukraine

Dear WIFT International,

My name is Valeriya Golovina, and I’m a Ukrainian cinematographer and documentary director, who was privileged to work around the world until personal circumstances called me home to Ukraine. 

On February 24th, 2022 I woke up to the sound of shelling and airstrikes. Russia launched its brutal full scale war against Ukraine. My father and I spent two nights in the basement of our apartment while Russian forces were attacking our town in the South-East of Ukraine. We didn’t have water, electricity, mobile connection. When we went outside to look for essentials, I was terrified to see how empty the shops and pharmacies were. Right now, part of our region is under temporary Russian occupation. I am not able to reach Kyiv and reunite with my mother. Russian soldiers don’t let people out nor they allow in humanitarian convoys. 

I don’t know how to express what I’m feeling every day talking to relatives, receiving news, photographs, witnessing horrific crimes Russia is committing every hour. Whenever I go to sleep, all I see in front of my eyes is our cities in flames – Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy. I see the besieged city of Mariupol being completely erased, its residents, those who’re still alive, pleading for help. I see graves next to playgrounds. Crowded train stations. Tears and devastation in my people’s eyes. My mind keeps rereading a note from a kid who is hiding alone in the basement next to his parents’ dead bodies. 

5 weeks since this war has started for the world. For me, this war began in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea and occupied parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. I clearly remember boarding a plane at our regional airport and seeing wounded soldiers being carried  from a military aircraft into the ambulances and the sound of stretches echoing  around the runway.  I knew exactly where they came from. By the end of 2021 the war in the eastern Ukraine killed more than 14,000 people, 1.5 million others were internally displaced, leaving our nation with tremendous trauma and uncertainty. 

My creative work has been on hold because all the time is dedicated to ensuring the safety of my family and to humanitarian efforts. There are also many filmmakers, including women, who’re currently at the frontlines risking their lives to provide us with documentary accounts. There are filmmakers who’ve joined Territorial Defence Units. Others are writing from the bomb and refugee shelters appealing to the world for help and concrete actions. 

I do believe that there is nothing more powerful than an honest human story inviting us to care for one another across borders and continents. The war stories are always sharp and painful. They are concrete names, families, losses. Telling stories has always been my biggest love and inspiration. One of the places where I feel at home, apart from Ukraine, is with the camera in my hands. 

I am deeply grateful to my friends, colleagues, and our allies who have messaged me and offered their help. Please do reach out to a Ukrainian you know – your support means the world to us. I urge everyone working in film to undertake specific actions whether you’re a freelancer, a company or a studio – stand with Ukraine and abstain from any cooperation and participation with Russian cinema. One cannot allow a situation in which an aggressor attacking a democratic state has the right to be funded by international parties, submit their films for participation in international festivals, events, exhibitions without any consequences. 

My heart is with every single person in Ukraine and around the world who is fighting for freedom, independence and democracy. Thank you to WIFT International and my female colleagues for giving me a chance to share my story. 

Feel free to reach out to me at valeriya.golovina@nyu.edu. Any effort of support that I can join or provide any information, please let me know. 

My warmest wishes from my beloved Ukraine,

Valeriya

A letter from Russia

A letter from Russia

Maria Kuvshinova
A letter from Russia

Hi from nowhere, my name Maria Kuvshinova, before Feb 24 I used to be a Russian film critic and a cofounder of a feminist cinema web site which is now frozen or even closed (I really don’t know). I see no use (and no right) in covering Russian cinema after the horror of Bucha, Mariupol and many other cities of Ukraine. One of my Ukranian friends wrote on Facebook, that Russian culture has a moral obligation to be silent for at least 10 years only reflecting its imperial essence and exploring of the roots of evil manifested by the Russian army in Ukraine (and before Ukraine in Chechnya, Georgia and many other places of the former empire). I agree with him.

As thousands of Russians I left the country after being arrested during an anti-war rally in Saint Petersburg on February 27. After the first days of intense anti-war protests, no possibility left even to call the current war a “war” publicly and not risking to be arrested with a potential of a 15 years term in prison due to a new “anti-fake’ law (officially it’s not a war, but a “special operation”). People who had no chance to leave the country are now checking their clothes for yellow and blue (the colors of the Ukrainian flag) before going out, as far as the police arresting people dressed in these two colors or wearing a greed band (symbol of protest) or something white-blue-white (a project for a new Russian flag without it’s blood-red bottom stripe). Anyone with any poster in hands with any text (or even without text, sometimes people just use 8 stars — *** ***** — which means “no to war’, “нет войне”) are being captured by police in seconds. People are being fired or/and arrested for spreading any information about this war on the internet. The price of a protest still low (a penalty or few weeks in prison), but tortures and humiliation is not a rare thing at the police stations and two arrests in a row would lead to a stronger punishment. And we don’t know how the repressive machine will act in a couple of months.

So, they are doing everything to shut down any protest. But people are still protesting and getting arrested every single day.

Surprisingly for many (but not for me) the most powerful, creative and organized ant-war movement in Russia nowadyas is a Feminist Anti-War Resistance emerged on Feb 25, the second day of war. Their telegram group includes 30 000 readers and participants, inventing more and more forms of protest on a daily basis, absorbing upcoming ideas of anonymous activists from dozens of Russian cities. They’re successfully trying to break through the lies broadcasted by the state propaganda by changing price tags in the supermarkets with anti-war messages, writing “no to war” on banknotes and contracting improvised memorials marked with a burial crosses in their yards. They are wearing black clothes each Friday (and also being arrested for that), supporting the strike fund (unfortunately no strikes yet), publishing evidence from Ukrainian women and inspiring readers to invent their own forms of protest. There are some public figures behind the FAR-group such as Daria Serenko, a poet, and Ella Rossman, a scholar (both are outside of Russia), but the movement is constructed as a horizontal no-leader organization easy to join only by willing to join.

Why the Feminist Anti-War Resistance is so successful (not in stopping this war by now, but in giving hope to many)? Russian authorities have been erasing all forms of political protest for years, but the growing feminist movement was never taken seriously by the men in power. The state ignored the demands of laws protecting women from the domestic violence or representation of women in power structures (or even on screen). Feminists were pariahs in mainstream media, and film industry, and literature circles and everywhere else. They were mocked by elites and constantly persecuted by far-right villains. But for all these years they (we) were raising their (ours) voice against violence and creating networks. Russian feminists already knew the enemy Ukraine is facing today: Russian militarism and imperial chauvinism they’re facing for years. Russian feminists know very well how all forms of violence are interconnected.

I really don’t know the future. I just want the war to be over and I don’t even bother with the Russian future or even with my own future. But every time I open the FAR channel on telegram I think that we may still have some future.

Нет войне.

Maria Kuvshinova (1978), Russian film critic from Saint Petersburg. Cofounder of KKBBD.com

Update on WIFTI Summit 2022

Update on WIFTI Summit 2022

WIFTI Summit 2022
August 30th, 31st 2022 · WIFTI Summit 2022

Celebrating Women in Film & Television International’s 25 year anniversary, the 2022 WIFTI Summit will take place as an online event happening from Lagos/Nigeria on August 30th and 31st, 2022.

This year’s WIFTI summit is the first one on the African continent ever and it will be part of the African Creative Market (ACM), an event that brings major stakeholders in the African and international creative industries together for creative trade. Due to Covid-19, the WIFTI Summit will be held as an online event with a delegation of WIFTI members in Lagos while our members of WIFT chapters all over the world connect online for talks, networking, panels etc. 

His Imperial Majesty the Ooni of Ife is supporting the WIFTI Summit as we explore cross-cultural storytelling.

Our ongoing goal for the annual WIFTI event is to strengthen every single member within our thriving global network so the programming of the 2022 Summit will be as inclusive and multifaceted as always while honoring our 25th anniversary. 

Further details about the program will be communicated through all WIFT channels once final schedules are confirmed. Meanwhile, please save the date. 

Dear Filmmakers All Over The World

Dear Filmmakers All Over The World

wifti worldwide webinar bhutan
Dear Filmmakers All Over The World

We are all shocked by Russia’s brutal attack on independent Ukraine, but our indignation should be backed up by concrete, responsible help for our Ukrainian sisters and brothers. Poland has become a natural place of refuge for many of them. Among them are also professionals working in film industry, majority of whom are women. They need a housing, food, basic necessities and also mental health services. In the future, we need to help them to return to work in their professions.

Polish film organizations are trying to provide help on an ongoing basis and work in cooperation with Ukrainian friends. First of all, our sisters and brothers need to rest. They often wait up to four days at the border. We are creating a list of organizations, companies and individuals that can provide refugees with temporary and later permanent housing. We are also creating a database of those who can later hire them in various film professions, who can also provide language lessons and professional skills for other markets. The Polish film industry is relatively small, so the help of filmmakers from all over the world will certainly be needed.

Many inhabitants of Ukraine fled as they were, without documents and money. We can help with the process of immigration paperwork now, even if they would like to move on.

We must remember that there are many filmmakers in Ukraine who do not want to flee. Who want to stay in Ukraine and provide us with documentary eyewitness accounts, cataloging the impact of the Russian invasion. Knowing how many influential people there are in the film world, they write from bunkers in their cities hoping to be heard and appealing to the whole world for help. They count on film industry leaders to pressure on international organizations and politicians, not to wait for the destruction of their country. They plea for support in making Ukraine a member of the European Union and NATO, and not succumb to the blackmail of the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.

We will send you a list of specific needs and addresses to which you can submit offers of your assistance.

Attached you will find the appeal of Ukrainian filmmakers from the Kyiv metro.

On behalf of Women in Film Poland

Renata Czarnkowska-Listoś

President