From 'Travelers to Outsiders', and 'Borderless Traps' to 'Queer Looks' the Cologne Feminale hit most of the bases in this extravaganza of female energy behind the camera. Take Care of My Cat by Jeong Jae-eun (Korea 2001) won the Debut prize of 2,500 Euros at the Feminale ran from October 2- 6 powerful portrait of five young girls who try to find their way into adulthood. In Gold We Trust by Marie France Collard (Belgium 2001) won the Public Award of 500 Euros, a film about the termination of the Levi's Europe 501 jean operation in Belgium and France.
Spotlight on Filmmaker Ngozi Onwurah
Highlights of the festival include a stunning press conference by Anglo Nigerian festival guest Ngozi Onwurah. Born of biracial parents she came to a middle class town in England from Nigeria in the 1960's to escape the war in Biafra. Onwurah regarded her new home as another kind of war and several films she made during the 1980's and 1990's depict this. Welcome to the Terrordome (GB 1995) is an urban sci fi dystopia with a B movie aesthetic, the first Black-British production and one that gave Onwurah international attention. In Who Stole the Soul, GB 1990 Onwurah captures testimony of black musicians to investigate the question 'Who owns black music'?
The umbrella concept of linking an international lesbian program with selected films from the transgender scene into 'queer looks' is a recent development in the international festival circuit. Several memorable films and events such as the European première of By Hook or by Crook (USA 2001) were presented at the Feminale this year. In a style reminiscent of early John Cassavettes, Silas Howard presents a buddy movie with a 'get rich' plan starring Harriett Dodge and herself. Also worthy of mention (considerable) is Jamie Babbit's new short Stuck (USA 2001) filled with gritty, mahogany tones, and her subject is grim and somber.
A Matinee Special: Maya Deren
A program sponsored by was dedicated to avant-garde filmmaker Maya Deren (1917-1961) The European premiere of the rare 1951 Deren classic "Ensemble for Somnambulists" Martina Kudlacek'snew documentary In the Mirror of Maya Deren was shown during Feminale to a packed house.
With future plans for combining the Feminale with the Femme Totale festival in Dortmund into one larger festival, each with its own established course. Cheers to an independent Feminale for 2004!
This is Moira Sullivan for Movie Magazine International, Cologne Germany
© 2002 - Moira Sullivan - Air Date: 11/02
Feminale 2002, Cologne GERMANY