GIRLS ON FILM
A couple of weeks ago, we attended the first edition of Girls On Film, a feminist film collective. We saw the Scorsese movie Alice doesn’t live here anymore. Afterwards we talked to the two “girls” that came up with the initiative.
How did you come up with the idea of organizing Girls On Film?
Chiara: “A few months ago, the idea just popped into our heads during a catch-up over coffee. We were discussing how so many feminist novels and essays have found a renewed appreciation in the last couple of years, yet so much female authorship in cinema remains undervalued. So, we started joking about hosting our own screenings. And then in the midst of our caffeine binge, we began wondering ‘hey, why don’t we just DO that?’.”
Sofie: “We both wanted to be more active in the feminist movement and we’re both into movies, so the idea to combine these immediately felt ‘right’ to us. We also sensed that we weren’t the only people with those interests, and that our screenings would fill a certain void in Antwerp’s cinema scene. We want our screenings to be easily accessible, people can come in to learn more about feminism and film analysis, or just enjoy a nice night at the movies, and it’s free!”
Can you tell us a little bit more about the event itself?
Sofie: “For every screening, we ask a relevant guest speaker to select a film which they think deserves more attention. We welcome films from every era and genre, but the film must have been produced or directed by women or must dominantly showcase female lives and experiences. Every screening is preceded by a short introduction, in which we interview our guest speaker about the movie.”
Chiara: “We usually ask for a short synopsis, and if there are any key scenes or details that deserve special attention. After the film, we open up the floor for discussion and questions about the movie and its representation of women. Meanwhile, you can enjoy a drink and stuff your face with popcorn.”
Why is it important to organize such an event in Antwerp?
Sofie: “A lot of people want to learn more about feminism and gender but are confused or intimidated. We believe in film’s potential to trigger debates and conversations about these topics, because films and actors stimulate our ability to empathize. Film just really brings people closer together.”
Chiara: “Oh, and just because we identify as feminist, doesn’t mean that men aren’t welcome, or that you have to be an expert in feminism to join. Girls on Film provides a very accessible space to come into contact with feminism. No preparation is needed, just show up and enjoy a great movie. Girls On Film is now hosting its movie nights in Kavka, which forms the youthful heart of Antwerp’s cultural and creative landscape.”
Your favourite hotspots in Antwerp?
Chiara: “If it is film related: definitely Cinema Cartoons. It’s such a charming theater where you can see both blockbusters and indie films, all in an intimate setting.”
Sofie: “For food and drinks, it’s hard to pick just one because Antwerp is heaven for coffee addicts and foodies. As we’re both fond of Indian cuisine: Savaan’s Ahaar and Mission Massala are must-visits. We’d also like to give a special shout-out to Vandaog Ist, a cozy coffee place near the university where we’ve had many meetings about Girls On Film.”
More Girls On Film right here. The next edition goes down on October 30, featuring "A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night".
Text by Anouk Van Tiggel
Pics by Iris Walraven