Global Voices Film Festival
Sunday, May 22, 2016 from 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PDT)
San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Unique voices. Innovative stories.
Women and girls aren't confined to minor roles and B-plots at the Global Voices Film Festival. Women take center stage.
Join UN Women, USNC San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, for the inaugural Global Voices Film Festival at the Premier Theater at Lucasfilm on May 22. The festival will showcase new independent films—two feature-length films and more than half a dozen shorts—produced, written and directed by women. You'll hear fresh voices, innovative story-telling and narratives that explore the diverse and complicated experiences of women from across the world.
Cap off the festival on a high note by joining us at the Filmmaker Awards After-Party, where you'll meet the filmmakers, honor their bold vision in a ceremony and enjoy complimentary craft beer, local wine and light fare as you listen in on a lively panel discussion.
Support women in the film industry and help change the discourse of gender representation in film!
Global Voices is a fundraiser sponsored by the US National Committee (USNC) for UN Women, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. The goal of the festival is to raise money and awareness for the work of UN Women, the UN body tasked with advancing gender equality and women’s development worldwide. 100% of net proceeds will benefit UN Women programs and initiatives, which advance the economic, social, and political well-being of women in developing countries.
Become a member
Become a member of the S.F. Bay Area Chapter to receive discounted ticket prices on this and future events, click here. Make sure to select our chapter when joining!
Early Afternoon Screenings
Lucasfilm Premier Theater
Raisa lives with her Ammi and three younger sisters in Hyderabad's Old City. When Ammi promises her 13-year old daughter, Zainab, in marriage to a foreign businessman, Raisa decides to save her little sister at any cost. In an old custom that has found new roots among poor families in Muslim ghettos, rich patrons pay for an arrangement brokered by efficient agents, while a pliant cleric draws up both marriage and divorce contracts simultaneously, so that the businessman is free to end the sham union whenever he is ready to leave the city. Desperate to find a way out for Zainab, Raisa hatches a dangerous and improbable plan involving an archaic remedy that claims to restore a girl's virginity.
Runtime 27 min. *Mature Content, Graphic Sexual
In the Footsteps of Regina Jonas
In the Footsteps of Regina Jonas was inspired by a trip, undertaken by America's pioneering women rabbis, to remember and memorialize the forgotten first woman to be ordained as a rabbi — Regina Jonas.
The film follows Rabbi Priesand, (America's first woman rabbi ordained in 1972, nearly four decades after Jonas), and her colleagues Rabbi Amy Eilberg, Rabbi Sandy Sasso, and Rabba Sara Hurwitz, the first to be ordained by their respective movements, as they walk the Berlin streets that Jonas walked, pour over Jonas’ archive discovered after the fall of the Berlin wall, travel to Terezin, site of the concentration camp to which Jonas was deported before being sent to the gas chambers in Auschwitz, and honor her memory at a moving ceremony at the Terezin columbarium. Deeply moved by Jonas’ faith, determination and perseverance, and distressed by how easily she and her singular achievements were forgotten, the rabbis claim her as their ancestor, pledging to keep her memory alive.
Directed by Gail Twersky Reimer. Runtime 11 min.
Set against the backdrop of a rapidly gentrifying Berlin, BIS GLEICH (Till Then) tells the story of Marta and Albert. An unspoken connection between these two elderly neighbors, who share a daily ritual but have never actually met, deepens when they face the inevitable...together.
Directed by Benjamin Wolff, written by Tara Lynn Orr. Runtime 21 min.
The indifferent streets of downtown Los Angeles serve as backdrop for a tale of a mentally unstable homeless woman, who, each day, takes up a bench in Grand Park to continue her incoherent diatribe with City Hall across the street. One day, an affluently dressed business woman takes up the bench in front her. Recognizing this woman’s sadness as her own, the homeless woman finds an unexpected connection and with it, a chance at salvation. That night, the businesswoman aches in a disconnected marriage, while on the street, the homeless woman is attacked and her possessions, stolen. The next day, the homeless woman storms into the park to resume her protest again but her fury is diffused by the arrival of the businesswoman looking shattered. Desperate to be seen, desperate to be heard, the homeless woman follows her affluent counterpart down the street, onto a bus, where she tries, once again, to speak.
Directed by Shelly Lauman. Runtime 20 min. *Mature Content
An MC (a Master of Ceremonies) is considered to be the host of a stage performance as well as a rapper and/or lyricist. This documentary follows over 10 exemplary female MCs who tell their struggles as emerging artists in the Bay Area music scene. These women are placed in a position of being over-sexualized, pitted against one another, and forced to conform to gender stereotypes.
Unfortunately, the case for struggling female musicians is that the mainstream music executives typically showcase only one female MC who is willing to both demoralize and sexualize herself for fame. This leaves other female MCs who are not willing to do the same at the wayside of the music scene.
We watch as the artists dissect and discuss how the hip hop community has evolved and what it has become for female artists as of today. These women feel that it is important to change hip hop’s discourse concerning female artists for both their own community and the world at large. As role models to their local communities these women encourage other young women to follow their passion in music and to not subscribe to the prevalent female stereotypes they may see in the music scene.
Directed by Kelly Jo Noonan and Laura Valladao, edited and produced by Megan Loretz. Runtime 1 hr. 5 min.
Late Afternoon Screenings
Unravel follows waste clothing on a journey across India, revealing how Western consumption habits are seen on the other side of the globe. Reshma, a young and perceptive worker in a textile recycling mill, dreams of travelling to the countries the cast off clothes are from. While Reshma and other women work, they construct an image of the West that the clothes spark in their imaginations, and share the rumours that travel with them. The film is based on the research of anthropologist Dr. Lucy Norris.
Directed by Meghna Gupta. Runtime 14 min.
The Way Back to Yarasquin
Mayra Orellana-Powell's childhood was similar to many children growing up in rural coffee communities around the world, except for one thing: Mayra's determined spirit. The second person in her village with a college education and study in the U.S., Mayra provided for herself as an independent, unmarried woman. Mayra dreams big.
This story captures Mayra's journey from the U.S. back to her hometown in Santa Elena, where she connects small coffee farmers to the specialty coffee market in an effort to raise the standard of living for these farming families. Beyond the exploration for coffee, this story emotionally captures the human side of coffee in a way that will inspire the role coffee lovers play in the sustainable development of rural communities like Santa Elena.
Directed by Sarah Gerber. Runtime 35 min.
Nina, a 9-year-old outcast Dominican girl with albinism, finds herself the target of a jealous classmate's witch hunt.
Directed by Gabriella Moses. Runtime 13 min.
Frame by Frame
When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, taking a photo was a crime. After the regime fell from power in 2001, a fledgling free press emerged and a photography revolution was born. Now, as foreign troops and media withdraw, Afghanistan is left to stand on its own, and so are its journalists. Set in a modern Afghanistan bursting with color and character, FRAME BY FRAME follows four Afghan photojournalists as they navigate an emerging and dangerous media landscape – reframing Afghanistan for the world, and for themselves. Through cinema vérité, intimate interviews, powerful photojournalism, and never-before-seen archival footage shot in secret during the Taliban regime, the film connects audiences with four humans in the pursuit of the truth.
Directed by Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli. Runtime 1 hr. 26 min.
6:15- 9 p.m.
Filmmaker Awards After-Party
Sessions at the Presidio
*The films are not rated, some of the content is mature, and may be inappropriate for young audiences.
All transactions are nonrefundable and nontransferable.
When & Where
U.S. National Committee for UN Women, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter
We are the local non-profit membership organization that supports the vital work of UN Women around the world.