Our programme of films featuring the work of female directors has coincided with the development of the F-rating, a new system designed to flag up the significant involvement of women in film, on either side of the camera.
The F-Rating Manifesto
The stories we see on screen influence our lives. We want to hear stories from everyone, not just from one section of society.
We want diversity in filmmaking, both on and off screen.
The F-rating was founded by Holly Tarquini at Bath Film Festival 2014 where we wanted to highlight films which feature prominent women both behind the camera and in front of it.
Every film which ticks yes to the one of the following questions receives the F-rating of approval:
- Does it have a female director?
- Is it written by a woman?
- Is/are there complex female characters on screen who exist in their own right (not simply there to support to the male lead)?
The F stands for feminist.
Feminism is: "The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities." We believe that feminism benefits everyone.
Birds of Passage sees the origins of the Colombian drug trade through eyes of an indigenous Wayuu family that becomes involved in the booming business of selling marijuana to American youth in the 1970s. When greed, passion and honour collide, a fratricidal war breaks out and puts their lives, culture and ancestral traditions at stake.
Directors Guerra and Gallego wisely don’t get into too much of the production or distribution side of the drug business. Their attention is more on the family. While the numerous weddings, funerals and other ritualistic gatherings evoke the Godfather saga, the mob classic that most comes to mind is The Sopranos.
Prepare for a love story like no other with this audacious Scandinavian fantasy, winner of Un Certain Regard at Cannes 2018.
Customs officer Tina is known for her extraordinary sense of smell. It's almost as if she can sniff out the guilt on anyone hiding something. But when Vore, a suspicious-looking man, walks past her, her abilities are challenged for the first time ever. Tina can sense Vore is hiding something she can't identify.
As Tina and Vore’s relationship develops, she finds out more about who she really is and is forced to make a potentially life-changing decision.
Keswick Peace and Human Rights Group Screening
In January 2013, Laura Poitras started receiving anonymous encrypted e-mails from "CITIZENFOUR," who claimed to have evidence of illegal covert surveillance programs run by the NSA in collaboration with other intelligence agencies worldwide. Five months later, she and reporters Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with the man who turned out to be Edward Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The resulting film is history unfolding before our eyes.
Kena and Ziki long for something more. Despite the political rivalry between their families, the girls resist and remain close friends, supporting each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety. Inspired by Monica Arac de Nyeko's "Jambula Tree", which chronicles a story of two girls in love in Uganda, Rafiki challenges deep rooted cynicism about same sex relationships among actors, crew, friends, and family in Kenya.
Rafiki was banned in Kenya, illustrating the societal tensions that same sex relationships can engender. As such, Rafiki makes for an interesting companion piece to Disobedience, shown on Friday
Agnes Varda, one of the leading lights of France's honored French New Wave cinema era, and professional photographer and muralist, J.R., partake on a special art project. Together, they travel around France in a special box truck equipped as a portable photo booth and traveling printing facility as they take photographs of people around the country., They create special, colossal mural pictures of individuals, communities and places they want to honor and celebrate. Along the way, the old cinematic veteran and the young artistic idealist enjoy an odd friendship as they chat and explore their views on the world as only they can.
Described as a "luminous magic-realist fable" this is the story of Lazzaro, a beautiful peasant whose sweet nature makes people mistake him for simple-minded.
He is happy to help anyone in his village, which is ruled over by the evil Marchesa. Lazzaro is befriended by the Marchesa's petulant son, who convinces him to stage a dramatic incident to secure a ransom.
A myth of a modern Italy consumed by corruption and decline, Happy as Lazzaro, is a beautifully shot (on Super 16mm) film incorporating some exquisite imagery.
Winner of the Best Screenplay Award, Cannes 2018
Keswick Peace and Human Rights Group screening followed by a Q&A with Norma Marcos
"I'm 16 and I've already been through 3 wars." Farah Baker, a young Palestinian, denounced the situation of Gazans under the Israeli blockade, in a tweet followed by 70 000 people.
In summer 2014, shocked by her tweet and by the war on Gaza, Norma Marcos took her camera and encountered Palestinians in Bethlehem before, during and after the war on Gaza. Through an artist, a banker, a florist, a woman race driver, a woman mayor - we discover how they are affected by this conflict in their daily life and how they rebuild their society despite the oppression.
After a one-night stand on New Year's Eve, Elena and Jake fall madly in love. Within weeks they are living together, and not long after they are trying for a child.
When the baby doesn’t materialize, pressure builds and the idea of a family starts to overshadow their relationship. A passionate, romantic, and contemporary love story, about the struggle to remain in love when life doesn't give you everything you want it to.
Shown as a companion piece to Nae Pasaran, Too Late to Die Young is set the summer of 1990 as democracy comes back to Chile. In an isolated community, Sofía (16), Lucas (16) and Clara (10), face their first loves and fears, while preparing for New Year's Eve. They may live far from the dangers of the city, but not from those of nature.
At the time of writing, this is one of those rare gems with a score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.