justification for this focus?
The festival will, via thirty gender sensitivity- and female empowerment- focused movies, attempt at fostering social reform and altering gender stereotypes. It will be able to provide a platform for training women, advocating for women-specific problems, fostering an entrepreneurial drive in them, and urging them to assume non-traditional functions. Furthermore, the university’s efforts towards the above goals will be furthered via the festival (DNA, 2016).
One study discovered that female actors had a mere 30.2% of named or speaking roles within Hollywood’s 700 greatest films between 2007 and 2014; of these only 28 movies had female directors (DNA, 2016). Through this film festival, it is hoped moviemakers will be influenced to portray women more often and in more prominent, non-traditional, and varied roles. For instance, film scripts can easily incorporate businesswomen, female security officers, taxi drivers, or scientists, who are interwoven into the story without any appreciable impact on the plot. This could go a long way toward broadening societal attitudes with regard to promoting social reform and altering gender stereotypes, if repeated several times (DNA, 2016).
Identify three films that will serve as the main event for the festival. Each film must relate back to the theme. In your justification, use specific scenes, rather than general plot summary, from each movie.
A League of Their Own
It is hard to envisage any link between the Second World War and the United States’ favorite pastime, baseball, until one takes into account the impact of this sport’s loss on Americans’ morale, as society looks to sport for entertainment even during times of crises, so as to forget the problems the world is facing for at least a couple of hours (Kinzel, 2014).
At first, contrary to reality, the all-girls baseball league encounters much scorn; in truth, it had instantaneously enjoyed nation-wide success. Its success was partly facilitated by the teams’ visits to little Midwest towns without access to baseball games, which was a big treat to the towns’ inhabitants. The movie depicts a tiny, powerful moment wherein females without a chance to choose have been acknowledged — one ball rolls over towards a fence where some Black spectators are congregated outside (undoubtedly because of restrictions on them entering the stands), and one of the women in this crowd gracefully shoots the ball over two waiting players’ heads into the hands of a third, standing at quite a great distance from the periphery. A fundamental connotation of the movie is the brilliant idea that any life choice is acceptable, no one is superior to the other, and following one’s dream is vital, irrespective of whether it lies within or beyond societal expectations (Kinzel, 2014).
Kundan Shah’s Kya Kehna
This Bollywood movie is a fine example of female-focused movies that kept a number of critics (who slammed it for production delays, its uneven song track, and continuity issues) wondering how it became a hit at the box office. The movie went on to receive numerous awards, one of which was the Filmfare Award for Best Story (Childers, 2002).
The movie centers on the much-debated issue of female morality. However, viewers will instantly understand that Priya (the lead character) is essentially good, despite the censure she experiences throughout. The movie highlights society’s double standards in harshly degrading and humiliating the girl and her entire family whilst utterly ignoring the fact that Rahul (the boy who got her pregnant in the first place) was also involved in the illicit affair. The movie makes a strong point on society’s unfairness towards women with regard to morality-related issues, by blaming it all on females’ behavior whilst totally overlooking men’s actions (Childers, 2002).
The movie opens with a scene depicting the lead female’s forthrightness — Priya is dared by friends to slap their school’s vice-principal for sexually molesting a classmate and she agrees, performing her dare onstage before the whole school on the occasion of their “farewell” ceremony, where Priya receives the “Best Student” award. While all are initially shocked, they instantly exonerate Priya for disclosing the truth. Hence, Priya shows viewers that females can be extroverted, courageous, and ready to stand up for people not strong enough to do so themselves. This vital trait ultimately helps her win back her townspeople’s love and respect (Childers, 2002).
Bridget Jones’ Diary
This movie is imbued with bits and traces of feminism’s second and third waves, and the postfeminist movement. Bridget is female empowerment personified — she takes charge of her life and life choices and dismisses Daniel upon realizing he isn’t worthy of her. She begins leading a disciplined life, cutting down on cigarettes and curbing her weight (Reichert, 2013). She represents a novel type of feminist who was brought up with the 1970s’ notion of gender equity and female sexual liberation, and debauched that notion into a “total womanhood” code that, on the outside, looks like woman empowerment, but actually commoditizes the female body and sex (Reichert, 2013).
Compare and contrast the movies to each other to effectively explain how they relate to your chosen theme
The movie, Bridget Jones’ Diary’s idents indicate a diary account, written in a messy hand to echo Bridget’s “don’t-care” attitude. The lighting effects are effectively used, with dull lights suggesting negative protagonist moods. Similarly, the brown furnishings of the room reinforce the feel that Bridget is a forlorn woman. Furthermore, the ‘Without Anyone Else’ background score’s non-diegetic style reinforces viewers’ perception of a lonesome character. One pities Bridget when she looks at her phone for missed calls and pretends to sing (Janvigokanii, 2015).
It may be assumed that viewers’ appreciation of “Kya Kehna!” is partly because of their understanding of the portrayed conservative setting that claims to depict a liberated female but doesn’t condemn or cast doubt on the conventional patriarchy within which the tale is set. It makes us think of the movie’s untapped potential, and what would happen if its makers had really challenged the status quo, which has been done successfully and brilliantly in earlier similar-themed movies (Childers, 2002).
“A League of Their Own” presents an authentic ambivalent appeal. While baseball groupings are something audiences are familiar with, the female players, their coach’s slow unfolding and how this preliminary step towards female empowerment and freedom fit into professional baseball’s parochial rules. Ultimately, when the players reunite, it is an emotional moment — one has to acknowledge the fact that these women were definitely true pioneers (Egbert. 1992).
Include the rationale for your proposed film festival.
Equal treatment of males and females in all areas of life is undoubtedly vital to sustainable global development. Nevertheless, the female empowerment-sustainability link has been typically ignored. Gender bias continues to be entrenched across the world’s many cultures, societies, economies, and political systems. Females encounter outrageous degrees of abuse and unequal treatment, which is utterly wrong, and hinders their attempts to fully participate in decision-making and societal activities (Hawley, 2016). Media and communication proves highly vital to female development and empowerment. Female educational and career progress have facilitated media development. Females contribute significantly to every walk of life, right from population control to quality-of-life enhancement and spreading literacy. Movies constitute a key media channel, grabbing vast audience’s attention via diverse settings and stories, and enabling them to see beyond the narrative and be ethically/morally involved. This will directly facilitate the female empowerment process. Mainstream media has typically depicted a stereotypical, subservient image of females. The alternative media idea first stemmed from the mainstream black out option which may be outlined by reviving mass communication’s purpose; this is why film fests constitute the ideal mode of conveying women empowerment messages to society.
Childers, H. M. (2002). “You go girl!” Nationalism and women’s empowernment in the Bollywood film Kya Kehna! Louisiana State University, 5.
DNA. (2016, February 17). Empowering women through films. Retrieved from DNAIndia: http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/interview-empowering-women-through-films-2178506
Egbert, R. (1992). A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN. Retrieved from: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/a-league-of-their-own-1992
Hawley, J. (2016, February). Why women’s empowerment is essential for sustainable development. Retrieved from IIED: http://www.iied.org/why-womens-empowerment-essential-for-sustainable-development
Janviigokanii, (2015). Technical Analysis: — Bridget Jones’ Diary. Retrieved from: https://janvigokanimedia.wordpress.com/2015/10/04/technical-analysis-bridget-jones-diary/
Kinzel, L. (2014, April 25). Why “A League of Their Own” Is An Overlooked Feminist Triumph. Retrieved from Xojane: http://www.xojane.com/entertainment/why-a-league-of-their-own-is-an-overlooked-feminist-triumph
Reichert, N. (2013, April). How Bridget Jones Diary shows women’s empowerment of postfeminism as well as freedom of second wave feminism. Retrieved from Feminist Theories and Fiction: https://feministtheoryfictionunil.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/how-bridget-jones-diary-shows-womens-empowerment-of-postfeminism-as-well-as-freedom-of-second-wave-feminism/
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