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FFFB 2020: Celebrate women in film

The second edition of the Female Filmmakers Festival Berlin launches this week. Jewell Sparks surveys the packed programme, which includes 66 films from 25 countries.

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Fall Back Down, the festival’s opening film, is a punk romantic comedy about a depressed ex-activist who takes a job in a sweatshop. Photo: Kiss Off Entertainment

The Female Filmmakers Festival Berlin (FFFB) takes place from October 7 – 15 at Moviemento. This second edition of FFFB is a hybrid edition with live screenings taking place from the 7th to the 11th and an online section that runs from the 12th to the 15th and this year includes a ‘Diversity in Film’ and ‘Women in VR’ panel discussion.

FFFB has set a high standard from the beginning and has collaborators joining forces to support their mission of providing a platform to amplify diversified voices of women in film and music from across the globe. Supporters of this year’s fest include local businesses and associations such as BRLO and VRBB. The festival will screen all 66 films from 25 countries, this year with a focus on Australia and Italy.

“We have films that represent a variety of genres and themes,” says cofounder Natalie MacMahon. “Despite all obstacles, we will have many international guests and the audience will get the chance to get to know our filmmakers during our Q&As or after the screening in the lounge”. FFFB will award 15 films this year, including the introduction of the Green Award.

This year’s festival also features an art exhibition titled “Paint the Town Red”, which opens officially on the 7th at 18:30 at Moviemento. Artists exhibiting this year include Constanze Flamme and Diva De Agostino, and the exhibition is curated by Aviv Maoz, a Berlin-based artist who is part of the FFFB team. The exhibit kicks off with Jameson drinks, followed by the opening film Fall Back Down (19:00), in presence of the director Sara Beth Edwards, AKA SB Edwards, who has previously written on the Netflix original series Travelers. Fall Back Down is a punk romantic comedy about a depressed ex-activist who takes a job in a sweatshop where he and his co-worker make a grim discovery. Another film on our radar is Mama Told Me Not to Look Into the Sun, which premieres on the 9th at 21:45, and tells the story of Kamilla (40), who lives with her mother Gudrun (72) in a secluded house in Italy, surrounded only by vineyards and forest. She takes care of the land, farm and of disabled Gudrun. When the mysterious stranger Rocco (35) turns up, wanted by the police, Kamilla hides him against the will of her mother. Kamilla and Rocco begin a passionate affair.

Another recommendation is the Sci-Fi Short Film Program “She’s from Venus” on the 10th, a marathon of totalitarian regimes, alien invasions, genetically modified humans, deadly pandemics, sinister technologies and – most importantly – extraordinary courage and humour in the face of adversity. Also on Saturday is a focus on Australia with the “Where the Wild Roses Grow” program. The audience is taken on a lavish journey through the quirky, exquisitely charming world of Australian indie productions.

The winners will be announced on the 15th during a digital broadcast. Also taking place on the 15th (17:00) is a pitching session where eight film and music video producers / directors will pitch projects to a panel of judges from the industries of film (Nici BrücknerWorldcolor Studio and FFFB opening-night film director SB Edwards), media (our own film editor David Mouriquand), distribution (Jordan Mattos – Cinemarket) and venture development (yours truly, representing BITHOUSE GROUP /UNITED17 Ventures).

All films will be screened in their original version with English subtitles, followed by Q&As with the directors and film crews. Tickets to the fest are limited, with only 40 people permitted during each screening as a result of COVID-19.

FFFB / October 7–11, Moviemento, October 11 – 15 digital programming and panels. Full programme and online screenings at http://www.fffberlin.com.