Millions of women around the world are disconnected from one another and unheard by the world. Speak up in the struggle for women’s rights. Tell your story. Tell her story.
The Festival was a success, and the films are incredible. Thank you to everyone who submitted, and everyone who joined the movement. Stay tuned for WVN’s next Festival in 2014!
Behind the WVN Film Festival +
In 2010, WVN created its first project, the short-film festival entitled Women’s Voices from the Muslim World (“The Festival”). The Festival gives voice to women of all faiths living in Muslim-majority countries and Muslim women living as minorities around the globe. Today, women in Muslim-majority countries still face many legal and cultural impediments to their basic freedoms and civil rights. Subsequently, many female artists are unable to freely present their work, let alone advocate messages of change within their societies. However, these women are showing powerful defiance and an incredible capacity for transforming their communities from patriarchal societies, with large discrepancies between the rights and welfare of men and women, into more open and tolerant societies, accepting of diverse religious, political and social standpoints.
These fascinating transformations desire more attention, and the often censored and emerging artists covet participation in their local movements of social change. The Festival is WVN’s response to the critical global focus on women’s rights specifically in Muslim-majority countries. As a catalyst for social change, it provides the most widely accessible on-line outlet for emerging discussions on women’s rights issues, thereby educating, empowering and uniting those who participate. WVN’s multimedia forum elevates an already complex and nuanced social and political dialogue. Through direct and neutral information, honest and open communication, and the sharing of stories and solutions, we help build societies that include women as equal partners, with justice and freedom for all.
A call for short-film submissions was released in June 2010, and we received over 200 films from 40 countries, ultimately selecting 98 for the final competition. Currently, WVN films are being viewed on-line in 176 countries. The films will remain on-line for the duration of the two-year Festival cycle - it is important to us that as many people around the world as possible will hear the voices we are projecting and will be moved to challenge their thoughts, assumptions and behavior pursuant to the lessons embodied within our films.
Significantly, The Festival is a competition that gives $30-40,000 in monetary awards to 23 filmmakers in 5 categories - Documentary, Fiction, Student, Experimental, and Audience Choice - along with Honorable Mentions, effectively supporting upcoming women’s rights driven projects. The prize money for the Festival competition directly assists the financial stability of underserved individuals and artist communities that are actively seeking social change and a betterment of their civil, economic, and political statuses and rights.