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Festival Review
2nd Atlanta Women of Color International Film Festival

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)
4. Oxtails
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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