51FEST IS THE FIRST FESTIVAL CELEBRATING WOMEN IN FILM

Julianne Moore. Courtesy of Flickr and 51fest.

“I heard he was suing for defamation, and I thought – the hell you are, not this time.”- Harvey Weinstein accuser Hope D’Amore had the audience at 51fest in pin-drop silence as she detailed the daily challenge of confronting the latest news about her alleged attacker.

51Fest inaugurated their first-ever edition with astonishing praise and support from the film industry’s biggest female names. 51Fest “featured no fewer than nine standing ovations (Kathy Griffin earned three alone) alongside tears, chants, laughter, and post-screening conversations with the real-life heroines behind each of the films.”

51Fest is an annual festival celebrating the voice and vision of the female majority through screenings and conversations – all by or about women. Their fist edition delivered raw stories from heroic women, whether they were Oscar winners, investigative journalists or Syrian refugees.

The festival was presented by Women in the World and IFC Center on July 18th in New York City.

Kathy Griffin. Courtesy of Flickr and 51fest.

The 4-day event was comprised of premieres of feature films, series, and documentaries, followed by in-depth discussions with creators and stars. Women make up more than half of the population, and 51Fest aims to put them where they belong: at the center of the story. The festival builds on the mission of the Women in the World Summit, founded by Tina Brown in 2009, to amplify and celebrate women’s voices.

The first annual festival opened with docu-comedy Kathy Griffin: A Hell Of A Story, focused on her battle to reclaim her life and career after a media fallout. The program also presented the New York debuts of After the Wedding, with producer and star Julianne Moore in person for a post-screening conversation; British thriller Official Secrets, starring Keira Knightley as an Iraq War whistleblower, followed by a discussion with HuffPost editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen, award-winning Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman, and real-life subject Katharine Gun; Brittany Runs A Marathon, which won the Audience Award for U.S. Dramatic Feature at this year’s Sundance Film Festival; Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, a rousing portrait of the legendary firebrand journalist; For Sama, winner of the Oeil D’Or award for Best Documentary at this year’s Cannes Film Festival; and Untouchable, an incisive look at movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and the sexual assault allegations against him that came to light in 2017.

51Fest also hosted the world premiere of the first episode of Unbelievable, a new limited series drama starring Toni Collette, Merritt Wever and Kaitlyn Dever; the North American premiere of the Irish drama A Girl from Mogadishu; and a sneak preview of the comedy Otherhood, starring Angela Bassett, Patricia Arquette and Felicity Huffman. The festival featured a conversation with Cecile Richards and Ai-Jen Poo, co-founders of the new powerhouse women’s activist and organizing group Supermajority.

 

Courtesy of Flickr and 51fest.
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