SIFF Spotlight: Reel Women Who Slay

Badass True Stories About Real Women at SIFF 2018.

Reel Women Who Slay

.What could a comedienne, a bicyclist, a diva, an activist, a hip hop star, a filmmaker, a survivor, a poet, and a punk have in common? All the badass protagonists of our Reel Women Who Slay films pursue big dreams and smash glass ceilings all over the world. From Afghanistan to Sri Lanka, from Cairo to London, from Standing Rock to Serbia, these stories of incredible women will inspire anyone who has ever been told they couldn't and persisted anyway. Grab your gang and feast upon our fearless femme offerings this festival. Artwork by Jessica McQuarrie.

Afghan Cycles

Afghan Cycles

Meet the inspiring women who have come together to fight for their rights-to bicycle. Based in the mountainous province of Bamiyan, the National Cycling Team is Afghanistan's first women's racing league, even though the very act of riding is still considered a "morality crime."

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Ballet Now

Ballet Now

Taking on unprecedented responsibility, 27-year-old New York City Ballet dancer Tiler Peck brought Ballet Now to life in Los Angeles last summer as both director and lead performer. This inspiring documentary follows the prodigy's many roles and tribulations as she singlehandedly prepares for the curtains to draw on her show.

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Looking for Oum Kulthum

Looking for Oum Kulthum

The parallels between an Iranian filmmaker and her subject, the legendary Egyptian diva Oum Kulthum—both of whom struggle to achieve their artistic visions in male-dominated societies—are explored through a unique film-within-a-film structure by visual artist Shirin Neshat.

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Love, Gilda

Love, Gilda

The inner life and lasting impact of beloved comedienne Gilda Radner is given a touching tribute through revealing newly discovered audiotapes, rare home movies, interviews with friends Lorne Michaels, Martin Short, and Laraine Newman, and her own diaries as read by admirers Melissa McCarthy, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, and Bill Hader.

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MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A.

MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A.

The world of musician, activist, provocateur, and Sri Lankan immigrant M.I.A. is revealed through decades of previously-unseen personal diaries which anchor a kinetic documentary that is every bit as unconventional and uncompromising as the international hip-hop star herself.

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On Her Shoulders

On Her Shoulders

This empowering documentary tells of 23-year-old Nadia Murad, a Yazidi genocide survivor determined to tell the world her story. On a journey that leads her down paths of advocacy and fame, she becomes the voice of her people and their best hope to spur the world to action.

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The Other Side of Everything

The Other Side of Everything

For Serbian filmmaker Mila Turajlic, a locked door in her mother's Belgrade apartment, closed for 70 years, provides the gateway to both her remarkable family history and her country's tumultuous political inheritance as she dissects Yugoslavia's breakup.

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The Poetess

The Poetess

A smash hit reality competition in Saudi Arabia isn't searching for pop stars, but poets, and writer Hissa Hilal made headlines around the world as the first woman to ever make it to the final round, using her televised platform to speak out against religious extremism and champion women's rights.

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Warrior Women

Warrior Women

Famed Indigenous and women's rights activist Madonna Thunder Hawk and her daughter Marcella are highlighted in this uplifting yet heartrending documentary about an indomitable spirit undeterred by age or government apathy.

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Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist

Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist

Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood's subversive looks helped ignite the punk rock movement and have continued to redefine British fashion for the past 40 years. Still sassy at 76, Westwood reveals her passions, inspirations, and fierce determination to retain the integrity of her brand and her legacy.

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