Special Report: 30th Créteil Films de Femmes Festival

By Moira Sullivan
Movie Magazine International
There have been 30 Creteil International Women’s Film Festivals in Paris, and this year’s special anniversary of three decades of quality film screenings and meetings with filmmakers took place from March 14th through the 24th.

Special invited guests included previous public or jury prizewinners, such as the highly acclaimed filmmaker of lesbian films Barbara Hammer, whose Nitrate Kisses won the best documentary prize in 1992, a film with rare historical archival footage of gay men and lesbians in Europe and North America. Barbara sends her greeting to San Francisco here in a short interview at the festival.

Other directors present were Suzanne Osten from Sweden, who won the public prize for The Mozart Brothers in 1986 a playful and engaging film about staging Don Giovanni. Next year Christina Olofsson also from Sweden won the best documentary prize for The Conductors, a film about successful international women who conduct symphonies. Also present this year was Safi Faye from Senegal, who won the jury prize for Mozanne, a film about a young girl who is forced into an arranged marriage made in 1996. The Belgian Chantal Akerman won the best picture award in 1975 and presented on closing night Jeanne Dielmann a film about a housewife played by the late Delphine Seyrig, whose repetitive rituals are filmed day by day until she has a nervous breakdown. Helma Sanders presented Deutschland Bleiche Mutter, the 1980 public prize winner about a couple who marry in Germany during the war and the disintegration of both their country and their relationship. The following year Margaretha von Trotta was awarded the best film prize for The German Sisters the story of two women who grown up in the same family but embark on different paths for changing society – one as a journalist and the other as a terrorist.

These films are landmarks in women’s cinema, with historical images of women’s lives on film. Though veteran French director Agnes Varda posed the polemic this year, why a women’s film festival? the answer was clear as we traveled in time to revisit these films and appreciate the legacy of women behind the camera as well as todays new work.

This year. the Creteil awards honored several excellent films and themes.

The public prize went to Hidden Faces a film about honor killings in Turkey by HSAKLI YÜZLER. And the jury prize went to Mainline, a film about a young heroin addict in Iran who is about to get married, made by RAKHSHAN BANI-ETEMAD & MOSHEN ABDOLVAHAB of Iran. The youth jury awarded Chitra Palekar’s A Grave Keepers Tale from India as the best film of the year, who like her ancestors tended to the burial of childrenThe public prize for the Best documentary went to BABEL CAUCASE TOUJOURS by Mylène Sauloy about who documents the caravan of a French theater troupe who travels to the Caucasus to meet the exiled people of Chechen in Georgian villages.

Festival director Jackie Buet has successfully navigated Creteil of 30 years of quality international women’s cinema, and we look forward to 30 more years of this fantastic pageant.

For Movie Magazine this is Moira Sullivan Paris FRANCE
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30th Créteil Films de Femmes Festival