Cinema and Society: The Aswan International Women Film Festival Tackles Child Marriage in the Region
Saturday saw the closing of the fourth Aswan International Women Film Festival (AIWFF), one of our favorite festivals in the region, and the first international women’s festival to be held in Upper Egypt!
The festival featured workshops, seminars, and the ‘Nut Forum for Women’s Issues’. Nut is an annual forum that tackles some of the pressing issues that women face.
This year, the forum discussed the issue of child marriage, and how it has been addressed in films and campaigns, as well as the challenges facing female filmmakers in the industry.
The forum was headed by Dr. Azza Kamel, Vice Chairwoman of the festival’s board of trustees.
Female activists attending the forum highlighted that women across the region face similar challenges, and explained that early marriages are still common in Yemen, Jordan, and Palestine, among others. They explained that despite the presence of laws criminalizing this act, it continues to be practiced in villages.
The forum stressed the importance of addressing this issue in Arab films and series, as art is a powerful tool that can help in raising community awareness and combating the spread of this phenomenon.
Hesham Ali, the Art Director behind this year’s AIWFF poster, had also chosen to dress the model in the poster in white, to hint at the issue of child marriages through his design.
The five-day festival included the screening of 31 films from 29 countries and is the first women’s film festival in Egypt, as well as the first international festival held in Upper Egypt.