The Eighth Annual Women’s International Film & Arts Festival, (WIFF) is set to kick off March 20, 2013 with a red carpet Florida Premiere presentation of the documentary film “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners,” introduced by the film’s co-Executive Producer Jada Pinkett Smith. The Red Carpet event will begin at 5:30 pm. The Opening night film will be screened at 7:30 pm at The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in downtown Miami, one of the largest in the country.
“We are delighted to open our festival with Mrs. Pinkett Smith and such a strong film,” said Yvonne McCormack-Lyons, WIFF Founder and President. “Mrs. Pinkett Smith is a fabulous representation of our festival’s mission, and the film reflects a period in the life of one of America’s Civil Rights female icons, Angela Davis. The event epitomizes what the festival is about: showcasing and empowering women’s dreams, visions, and voices,” McCormack-Lyons
The WIFF Opening Night screening of “Free Angela” in the Knight Concert Hall of the Adrienne Arsht Center will be a rare treat for Florida audiences. It will be only its second public screening in the United States. It is the only opportunity Florida audiences can see the film in theater. The film will be playing in seven other select cities nationwide. The evening is co-hosted by Miami-Dade Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan, District One. Proceeds from the event will benefit WIFF’s “Reel Girls: Real Women” media literacy and film making program for at-risk girls.
This year’s festival runs through March 24, 2013 and will showcase a rich assortment of films, including big budget films, world cinema, innovative independent films, international documentaries, and short films that reflect the lives of women around the world. Over the course of 5 days, a diverse selection of more than 50 films will be screened from more than 20 countries including: Spain, Italy, Turkey, Canada, England, Russia, France, Brazil, Iran, Haiti, Germany, Ecuador, and throughout the United States.
In addition to the screenings, WIFF also offers film lovers five days of events including workshops, panel discussions, symposia and parties held during the festival. “We selected films and events which capture all aspects of women’s lives whether it be sexuality, politics, spirituality, love, culture, identity and beauty,” said McCormack-Lyons.
About the Film
Free Angela and All Political Prisoners is a film by Shola Lynch, presented by Realside Productions and De Films en Aiguille, in association with Direct Cinema and the participation of Direct 8, with major support from La Region Ile-de-France, Canal Plus, the Ford Foundation and Black Entertainment Television Networks. Produced by Carole Lambert, Shola Lynch, Carine Ruszniewski, Sidra Smith. Directed and written by Shola Lynch. Executive Producers Overbrook Entertainment and Roc Nation.
Hailed by the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival as “a fascinating chronicle of justice and strength,” Free Angela tells the dramatic story of how a young professor’s social justice activism implicates her in a botched kidnapping attempt that ends with a bloody shootout, four dead, and her name on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list.
In this historical vérité style documentary, marking the 40th anniversary of her acquittal on charges of murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy, Angela Davis recounts the politics ad actions that branded her a terrorist and simultaneously spurred a worldwide movement for her freedom as a political prisoner. At its core, the storywrestles with the meaning of political freedom in a democracy negotiated between the people and its government. Strong, attractive, and engaging, Angela Davis is one such person who became a symbol at the center of this still relevant power struggle.
About the Women’s International Film & Arts Festival:
In its 8th year, The Women’s International Film & Arts Festival is a non-profit organization designed to bring women together from around the world to showcase women’s visions and voices and to address women’s issues through film and art. With women only comprising 7% of directors and 25% of producers, the festival’s mission is to increase the number of women in the industry, to empower women artists internationally and become the premier international festival for women. The Women’s InternationalFilm & Arts Festival is held annually every year as a Women’s History Month celebration.
Screenings will be held throughout Miami-Dade County at local theaters and the “WIFF Warehouse.” Sponsors include: American Airlines, Miami Film Month Presented by The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, WPBT-2 (PBS), Miami-Dade County, City of Miami, New Times, South Florida Times, and The Adrienne Arsht Center.
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Cambodian film Bare Hands Wooden Limbs will be screening at AMC Aventura at 7:00pm.To purchase tickets to the screening of Cambodian film Bare Hands Wooden Limbs log on to AKHUN TODAY!!
WOMEN’S INTERNATIONAL FILM AND ARTS FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES ITS 2010 DATES IN CELEBRATION OF ITS 5TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY
MIAMI, FL — The Women’s International Film and Arts Festival will be celebrating its 5th anniversary from March 26th – April 2nd 2010 in Miami, Florida. The Women’s International Film & Arts Festival (WIFF) is a unique, cultural event featuring films, visual and performance arts and other artistic expressions by women. It is one of only two film festivals in the Southeastern United States specifically dedicated to women, recognizing their brilliance and accomplishments. Film entries for this festival have been extended to December 7th 2009. The Host hotel for the festival is the Opera Suites and Marina hotel on 1750 North Bayshore Drive, Miami, FL 33132. The festival will be held at various locations throughout South Florida.
Founded by Yvonne McCormack- Lyons in 2004, the Women’s International Film and Arts Festival is held annually during Women’s History month. The event is designed to celebrate women and to help them realize their dreams, visions and voices. Throughout the past four years, WIFF has received more than 2,000 films from more than 60 countries such as Brazil, Chile, France, Taiwan, Germany, Mexico, Ghana, Egypt, Australia, Peru, New Zealand, Poland, Japan, Dubai, and of course films from the U.S., including our very own South Florida. Some films have received Emmy & Oscar nominations & Awards.
“We’re really looking forward to our 5th anniversary event as we celebrate this special milestone year and continue to provide opportunities for women’s issues and visions to be heard on an international level,” said McCormack-Lyons.
The Festival has garnered unwavering support of many of the most prominent women in the industry and South Florida Notable mentions include Founding Honorary Chair Ms. Ruby Dee, Emmy, Grammy & Golden Globe Award Winning Actress and 2010 Honorary Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, US Congresswoman.
Some of the festival attendees have included 2007 Oscar nominee (“Babel”) Adriana Barraza, 2008 Golden Globe Winner (“American Gangster”) Ruby Dee, “The Breakfast Club’s” Alley Sheedy, international performing artist Lucrecia, Nighttime TV host Chelsea Handler and many more. Films submitted include all genres and lengths (documentaries, short films, biographies, animated films, narrative features, etc.) are primarily directed, produced or edited by women. Some submissions are also made by men, but address a women’s issue, perspective or document a woman in history.
ABOUT THE WOMEN’S INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
The overarching mission of WIFF is to provide year-round programming which bring women artists from all over the world to South Florida to explore and engage in dialogue about issues concerning women. With women representing only 7% of film directors, every effort should be made to enhance the opportunity for women’s voices to be heard, and to present a
wider range of roles and identity choices for women. Through panel discussions, workshops, and symposia, WIFF’s goals include empowering women of all ages to see themselves in a broader context. To invest in the future, WIFF has created the WIFF “Reel Girls, Real Women” program. This program empowers girls-at-risk and with low self-esteem by
teaching them media literacy. The girls gain confidence as they produce short documentary films of their own.
FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT
Yvonne McCormack-Lyons has spent the past 20 years in the fields of communications and women based arts and culture programs. She is truly international. Mrs. McCormack-Lyons is a Canadian citizen, a second generation Jamaican, who was born in England and raised in Canada. A graduate of York University Mrs. McCormack-Lyons has been spearheading the award winning Women’s International Film & Arts Festival for the past four years. She oversees the annual selection of more than 500 films, develops arts and film programs empowering women, the media literacy/film education program for adolescent girls and oversees the international festival which occurs annually in March.
With a degree in broadcast journalism and production, she spent a number of years reporting and anchoring a weekly television program in Washington, D.C., which highlighted events around the public school system. She was recruited to relocate to Miami to produce and anchor and weekly television program which served both the local audience in Miami as well as in the Caribbean through the West Indian International Network in Miami and the Caribbean Broadcasting Union in Guyana, WI.
She went on to serve as Public Information and Marketing Directors for the State of Florida and Miami-Dade County, where she lead teams of communication specialists and marketers to promote arts programs such as music and dance concerts, international sporting facilities and events such as the Junior Olympics and the Nasdaq 100 tennis tournament, as well as local community events such as art & music festivals. Her work included: advertising, film production, television production, corporate sponsorships, collateral production and much more.
She currently sits on the Miami-Dade County Film & Entertainment Advisory Committee, The Broward County Cultural Executives Committee and has received a number of national awards for her work in communications and arts. She has been invited internationally to speak on areas concerning women in the arts, women and the media and films about women, advertising, film production, events planning, digital designs and broadcast communication.
The Women’s International Film and Arts Festival was honored with the “Best Miami Film Festival” in 2007 by the Miami New Times. With women representing only 7% of film directors, the Women’s International Film and Arts Festival is making every effort to increase this number and help enhance the opportunity for women’s voices to be heard, and to present a
wider range of roles and identity choices for women in this billion dollar industry.
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