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“Say It Out Loud” Film Festival Opens

The Young Women’s Parliamentary Group’s ‘Say It Out Loud’ Film Festival fair and screening of films based on women’s empowerment and ending Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is on again.

Place your support to end GBV.Place your support to end GBV.

The event will be opened today, Tuesday 5th December at the National Museum auditorium and will end on Thursday 7th December 2017.

Despite much awareness on ending domestic and gender-based violence, statistics show 40-65% of women and girls face violence in their homes and from close relations. People that could help have differing views on this, thus we can say that ignorance and silence has developed a culture of letting acts of violence go unnoticed.

Thus the birth of this Film Festival in December 2016.

The audience at the National Auditorium during the 2016 film festiivalThe audience at the National Auditorium during the 2016 film festiival.

This is the first of its kind for Solomon Islands, and is now an annual event.

Since 2014, YWPG has been actively supporting EVAWG (Ending Domestic Violence against Women and Girls). All along, it took part in the ‘16 Days of Activism’ and similar initiatives to support the cause.

But in November 2015, YWPG took another step to support EVAWG and partnered with Melbourne University, Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI) and others, to co-host the “Girls In Front” film festival.

During this time Melbourne University professors /film experts, Jeanette Hoorn, Barbara Creed, and Helen Simondson of ACMI discussed with YWPG Executive to collaborate and introduce filmmaking to young women in Solomon Islands using the YWPG membership and network.

The idea is to encourage young women to lead in the media/filmmaking industry and effectively advocate relevant messages using film as a platform. Thus “Say It Out Loud” was developed from then on.

Young women especially will tell their story through film and thus responsibly use media to positively advocate for the issue and empower young men to see domestic and gender-based violence as everyone’s concern.

Activities for the three days will include:

  1. Filmmaking competition (3 months prior to 16 Days of Activism)
    • Filmmakers produced their films, competing in 3-5 mins Short narrative film; and/or 10-15mins Doco films on the theme “Break the Silence”. Films submitted to “Say It Out Loud” film festival organizing committee will be given to a team of judges. The films will be judged a week prior to the festival in late November. Winners will be awarded during an Awards event. The mode of filmmaking is flexible – filmmakers can produce from professional filming equipment to even smartphones with recommended video editing apps.
  2. Screening (Day 1 to 3 evenings)
    • Screening of films in a public arena to get “People’s Vote” on films produced. This is an opportunity for filmmakers to have their films exhibited.
  3. Film Fest Fair (Day 1 to 3 daytime);
    • A public fair for local filmmakers to showcase their other productions, as well as talks on filmmaking and advocating on ending domestic and gender-based violence. Filmmakers are permitted to film the event on their own and post it online, as a way of promoting the festival.
  4. Awards (Day 4 Evening event)
    • A formal occasion to award winners of this film festival. It is planned for December 10th 2017. Tickets will be sold for the event and 70% of proceeds will go towards the Christian Care Center.

Opening of the 16 Days activism against domestic violence has already been done on 25th November 2017, therefore, organizers of this festival will go straight into activities for the 3 days. This year’s program is supported by the Australian Government and Side by Side Campaign, Oxfam.

Awards for the best films will come in cash and trophies. As tribute to former YWPG Chairlady Ms. Kyera Varnel who passed away early this year the overall award is named after her. Under her leadership Ms. Varnel initiated the Film Festival concept back in 2015. Her family Mr and Mrs Kwalea are the proud sponsors of the Kyera Varnel Award.

Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Ajilon Jasper Nasiu will be will closing the festival event at the Awards Night on Sunday 10th Dec 2017, at the Mendana Hotel.

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