Kicking off today and running until September 29, the 33rd Cambridge Film Festival offers a smorgasbord of big screen treats by female filmmakers. First off, we’d like to point you in the direction of Queens Theatre Emmanuel College next Thursday September 26, when Birds Eye View’s own programme manager Elhum Shakerifar will host a special screening of In the Shadow of a Man. Looking at the Egyptian revolution through the eyes of four very different women, this enthrallingly multilayered work received its UK premiere at BEV2013. Elhum will be joined via Skype by the doc’s director Hanan Abdalla, plus in person by London-based filmmaker May Abdalla and the British Film Council’s Rachel Robey, for a panel discussion about documentary practices in the Arab world.
There’s also a trio of highly recommended homegrown documentaries. Rapping up a storm in cinemas nationwide, Jeanie Finlay’s The Great Hip Hop Hoax unravels the extraordinary true story of Billy Boyd and Gavin Bain: two Dundee b-boys who reinvented themselves as Californian duo Silibil N’ Brains in order to ascend the music industry’s slippery power structures. Double Oscar nominee Lucy Walker is back with poignant snowboarder portrait The Crash Reel, which we’ll be returning to in depth for its theatrical release next month, while Sophie Fiennes helms the visually inventive and frequently hilarious philosophical cine-slalom The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, her second collaboration with cuddly cultural theorist Slavoj Žižek.
Moving from the factual to fictional, Cambridge’s dramatic slate includes Margarethe von Trotta’s eagerly awaited political theorist biopic Hannah Arendt, starring Barbara Sukowa in the title role, Małgośka Szumowska’s In the Name Of, which tackles taboos amid the Catholic clergy in rural Poland, and Eva Neymann’s WWII-era Soviet Union saga House with a Turret.
Among the many intriguing directorial debuts are Hannah Fidell’s tightly wound US indie flick A Teacher, Hanna Doose’s Berlin-based award winner Dust on Our Hearts, and Lucy Molloy’s thriller in Havana Una Noche. It’s a truly global selection, all landing on the banks of the River Cam soon! Be sure to check the full festival programme for details…