The annual 16 Days 16 Films short film competition has revealed a heavyweight jury including James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, Emmy-winning actor Anna Friel (“Marcella”) and award-winning “Blue Story” producer Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor.
This jury also includes actor and political activist Ashley Judd (“Berlin Station”), directors Phyllida Lloyd (“Herself”) and Sarah Gavron (“Rocks”), writer Abi Morgan (“Suffragette”), actor Stacy Martin (“Nymphomaniac”), actress and producer Julie Gayet (“Raw”), stunt performer and intimacy coordinator Teniece Divya Johnson (“Succession”), actor Jasmine Trinca (“The Goddess of Fortune”), and director and actor Tamara Yazbek Bernal (“After Lucia”).
The short film competition platforms female filmmakers and their films, which “explore, emote, and educate” on forms of violence against women. Inspired by the UN Women campaign 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, the initiative will run online from Nov. 25 – Dec. 10, between the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women and International Human Rights Day.
Sixteen finalists have been chosen from more than 350 submissions from the U.K. Ireland, France, Italy, Mexico and the U.S. All films are directed by a female-identifying filmmaker, are 20 minutes or under, and discuss the many forms that gender-based violence and inequality and discrimination can take. One finalist short film will be released per day during the 16 days.
The initiative will conclude with a streamed online event and awards announcement on Dec. 16, hosted in partnership with Girls on Film.
The jury will choose the winning filmmaker and two runners up, with each of the three receiving a cash prize. The first-place winner will also receive the opportunity to create a new public service announcement for U.K. Says No More, a national campaign focused on raising awareness and preventing domestic abuse and sexual violence in the U.K.
16 Days 16 Films was launched in 2018 by female-led U.K. film production and distribution company, Modern Films, in association with U.K. Says No More. The initiative is also supported by the Kering Foundation, that supports local survivor-centred organizations that provide comprehensive services to women, and works with younger generations to combat violence against women through prevention programs.
Specialist non-profit organizations supporting the campaign include Chayn Italia in Italy, En avant toute(s) in France, Fondo Semillas in Mexico, and NNEDV in the U.S.
This year’s 16 Days 16 Films short film competition finalists are:
“Absent” (U.K.) dir. Libby Burke Wilde
“Alejandra, I Love You” (Mexico) dir. Minerva R. Bolaños
“Backwards God” (U.S.) dir. Natalie Cook
“Ballet After Dark” (U.S.) dir. B.Monét
“Blossom” (France) dirs. Lysa Lamorisse, Cannelle Anglade, Ethel Harnie-Coussau
“Expensive Shit” (U.K.) dir. Adura Onashile
“Eyes Down” (U.K.) dir. Charlotte Daniel
“Good Thanks, You?” (U.K.) dir. Molly Manning Walker
“Halwa” (U.S.) dirs. Gayatri Bajpai, Nirav Bhakta
“Heart Eyes and a World” (U.K.) dir. Rosie Morris
“Her Song” (Ireland) dirs. Éabha Bortolozzo, Jack Kirwan
“Paperthin” (U.K.) dir. Lucía Florez
“The Road Is a Red Thread” (Mexico) dir. Melissa Elizondo Moreno
“Thread” (U.S.) dir. Yuri Jang
“Time & Days” (Italy) dir. Alessia Buiatti
“Reshma” (U.S./Italy) dir. Livia Alcalde