In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Toronto Women & Film Festival, co-founder, scholar and former TIFF programmer Kay Armatage joins us for a special onstage discussion with director Madeline Anderson, along with a special screening of Anderson’s 1969 short, I Am Somebody.
In 1973, women were allowed on the floor of the London Stock Exchange for the first time. The US Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade. One of Canada's first women's studies departments launched at the University of British Columbia. And in Toronto a group of feminists organized the Women & Film Festival.
A groundbreaking event born from extensive research into the history of women's filmmaking, and inspired by New York's First International Festival of Women's Films a year earlier, Women & Film screened an ambitious programme of Canadian and international films that included recent work by Liliana Cavani, Mai Zetterling, V?ra Chytilová, Sarah Maldoror, Mireille Dansereau, Penelope Spheeris, Elaine May, and Alanis Obomsawin (whose new documentary Hi-Ho Mistahey screens in this year's Festival). Retrospective screenings included films by Maya Deren, Ida Lupino, Dorothy Arzner, Agnès Varda, and others. Experimental art icon Joyce Wieland screened eight films, and also helped program a sidebar devoted to Canadian home movies.
To commemorate the fortieth anniversary of this watershed event, we are proud to gather some of the organizers, including Lydia Wazana-Tompkins and Kay Armatage, who went on to work as one of our key programmers for more than twenty years. Armatage will be joined onstage by Madeline Anderson, who will screen her 1969 civil rights documentary short I Am Somebody, which screened at the original event and injected a crucial discussion of the role of African American women into the feminist debate of the 1970s.
Four decades on from the height of
second-wave feminism, some question the
continued need for dedicated women's film
festivals. In this Mavericks conversation,
we hope to bring to life an exciting chapter
in film history, and to spark a conversation
on what films by women need today.