By Spencer Moon
April 25, 2006 Since festivals
cannot be all things to all people, Atlanta now has quite a few
film festivals. Enjoying its second year is the Atlanta Women of
Color International Film Festival, produced by Iyàlódè
Productions. The festival was held March 24-26 at the Auburn Avenue
Research Library. Admission to the festival was free.
Iyàlódè Productions will present a screening
of the audience favorites from the festival on May 5, 2006. According
to the festival's website, the top six films were:
1. Sweet Honey In The Rock: Raise your voice
2. God Sleeps in Rwanda
3. Daughters of the Wind (FILHAS DO VENTO)
5. City Of Women (A CIDADE DAS MULHERES) & Hoo Hoo:losing
mother tongue (tied)
6. Scene Not Heard: women in Philadelphia Hip Hop
Q&A with Festival Director Mojisola Sonoiki
The festival artistic director is Mojisola Sonoiki. In her role
as founder of Iyàlódè
Productions she works as a cultural activist, creating programming
and consulting on film festivals and cultural events around the
world. Mojisola recently completed a stint at IMAGE Film & Video
where she was the first black woman to head the 18TH Annual Out
on Film Festival. She programmed the first African-American series
ever shown in the Out on Film Festival.
Give me a brief history of the AWOCIFF?
Sonoiki: I came up with the idea of starting
a film festival focusing on the stories and achievements of Women
of Color in 1999 after working successfully on a series of film
screenings that explored alternative cinema in London. The first
festival was called "E Wa Wo(come & see) - Sistahs in Film"
showcasing films by Black women filmmakers from around the world.
The first of its kind in London, the festival was a sold-out event
and received critical acclaim. On moving to Atlanta, it only seemed
natural to continue where I left off, having found a void in the
film festival circuit here. 2005 was the first year of the Atlanta
Women of Color festival in Atlanta and it was extremely successful.
It has now become an annual event.
What is your biggest achievement in this year's festival?
Sonoiki: This year's festival was expanded
to include an extra day. Our biggest achievement this year was having
the extra day be very well attended.
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