The images of women on film directly impact the way women are perceived, judged and treated in society. With women representing only 5% of filmmakers, it is vital that women filmmakers are supported, women’s films are exhibited and the number of women in this multi-billion dollar industry increases. To achieve these goals, The Women’s Institute provides two programs:
The Women’s Institute For Film, Media & Communications is comprised of two major initiatives:
1. A Quarterly forum addressing social justice issues unique to women
2. An innovative media/ literacy and filmmaking project targeting adolescent girls
This series is designed to bring together a cadre of policy experts, grassroots leaders and multimedia industry professionals to holistically address the impact of contemporary media on the female image. Through film and other media, WIFF examines the global impact of social and cultural issues faced by women around the world.
Throughout the year, WIFF and its partners (universities, women’s organizations, etc.) hold quarterly symposia exploring social justice issues, through film and open panel discussions. Each quarter is designed to engage participants, mobilize action and forge international partnerships.
Through the screening of insightful and dynamic films, panel presentations and stimulating lectures, WIFF expands the dialogue on the oft-overlooked plight of women in the struggle for equality and justice. Through this series, WIFF promotes advocacy around social justice issues unique to women, including the impact of socioeconomic factors, power, politics, access to health services, reproductive rights, sexuality, girls education, religion, etc.
To address the impact media has on developing minds, the Reel Girls, Real Women program is a media literacy education project designed to enable young girls between the ages of 8-18 years old to develop analytical skills needed to enhance critical thinking, effective communication and productive citizenship in a world where mass media, popular culture and digital technologies dominate our cultural landscape.
The second component of Reel Girls, Real Women is a filmmaking training program, which affords participants the opportunity to examine the historical portrayal of women in the media and operate camera to direct, redefine and reshape the images of women as both powerful and positive.
The program’s objectives are three-fold :
1. To teach girls the art of media literacy
2. To introduce girls to the art of filmmaking
3. To enhance girls communications skills and increase self confidence