Culture is No Excuse for Abuse

CWFF 2016 Recap

In 2016, Honor Diaries held our second Censored Women’s Film Festival in Berlin, co-hosted by the Bild newspaper. Following on from the success of our first festival in DC the previous year, 2016’s festival aimed to be more international and to give a platform to marginalized and oppressed filmmakers whose voices weren’t being heard.

 

It was held at an independent cinema in Berlin and attracted an eclectic mix of locals, internationals, filmmakers and media. Throughout the day, we showed seven feature films and a number of short films from eight different countries, and held panels featuring speakers from around the world.

 

Some quick facts:

  • Over the course of two days, we showed 14 films and hosted 7 panels on honor-based/cultural violence against women
  • Guest speakers and filmmakers attended from the USA, Canada, the UK, Egypt, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • Over 150 activists, professionals, and media figures also came
  • More than 15,000 people watched our online live stream
  • Multiple media hits including: Voice of America News, Newsweek, and BILD.

 

Most importantly, CWFF 2016 was a dynamic and innovative space to discuss the most important issues of our day with people of many religious, ethnic, and political backgrounds.

 

SPEAKERS INCLUDED:

  • Fiona Carr, Head of Communications, Girls Not Brides
  • Leyla Hussein, British-Somali anti-FGM activist
  • Paula Kweskin J.D. LL.M, Festival founder, human rights attorney, writer/producer of Honor Diaries
  • Raheel Raza, Pakistani-Canadian Muslim women’s rights activist, featured in Honor Diaries
  • Fatima Sabri, Afghani women’s rights activist
  • Jordan Sanghera, son of Jasvinder Sanghera CBE, survivor of forced marriage; founder of UK charity Karma Nirvana, author, featured in Honor Diaries and Forced Marriage Cops
  • Düzen Tekkal, Yezidi journalist & author, director of Háwar

 

FILMS FEATURED:

  • Sonita (Iran/Germany): An Afghan-born teenager who – facing the threat of being sold into child marriage by her family – escapes to Iran. There, she is determined to control her destiny through music, and pursue her dream of becoming a rap star.
  • Háwar (Germany/Iraq): A Yazidi woman in Germany travels for the first time to her homeland in northern Iraq where ISIS terrorists commit inconceivable atrocities.
  • The Broken Destiny of Poetry (Afghanistan): Female poets in Afghanistan often fight for their right to read and write their poems.
  • Dukhtar (Pakistan): A mother and her ten-year-old daughter flee their home on the eve of the girl’s marriage to a tribal leader – and a deadly hunt for them begins.
  • Forced Marriage Cops (UK): This film investigates the cases of forced marriage in the UK with unprecedented access to the Manchester Police Force.
  • Honor Diaries (USA): Women speaking out against honor killings, child marriage, FGM and censorship.
  • A Pinch of Skin (India): This film juxtaposes female genital mutilation as a part of traditional Indian culture with the small voice of those considering it to be sexual politics.