Grannies who take up kung-fu to avoid rape and witch camps: the London Feminist Film Festival in Hackney will deliver disturbing exposes

Women condemned to live in a camp for witches, and grannies who do kung fu to avoid being raped by young men are just two of the fascinating topics showcased at the inaugural London Feminist Film Festival next week.

A celebration of feminist films past and present, the festival will open at the Hackney Picturehouse in Mare Street with the UK premiere of Myriam Foug�re’s Lesbiana – A Parallel Revolution.

Using archive footage and present-day interviews the film documents the lesbian feminist movement of the 80s, when women were creating women-only communes and collectives.

Gay rights’ activist Linda Bellos OBE will be one one of the post-film discussion panellists.

Meanwhile, The Witches of Gambaga provides a disturbing expose of a community of 100 women ostracised by their own families and condemned to live in a camp for ‘witches’ in Northern Ghana.

Another documentary, Kung-Fu Grandma was made by Royal Holloway student Jeong-One Park, and tells the story of elderly women in Kenya who are taking self-defence classes to protect themselves from rape by young men in their community.

The festival was set up as a response to the underrepresentation of women in the film industry, as well the lack of films addressing feminist issues and the narrow stereotypical portrayal of women on screen.

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Festival Director, Anna Read, said: “We want to celebrate women creatives whilst ensuring that this feminist ethos also extends to the films we show.

“Our aim is to inspire discussion about feminism and film, to support women directors, and to get feminist films seen by a wider audience”.

For the full line-up see

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