World Cinema Festival Feb. 11-15 : Women Make Movies 2013

Gwen O’Brien
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN 46556
(574) 284-4579

February 4, 2013 (Notre Dame, Ind.)—The Saint Mary's College Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) will host the World Cinema Festival: Women Make Movies, Monday, February 11 through Friday, February 15. The award-winning films, which are free and open to the public, will be shown in the Vander Vennet Theatre on the ground level of the Student Center each night at 7 p.m.

Mana Derakhshani, associate director of CWIL, director of the Intercultural Studies Program, and a professor in the Department of Modern Languages says that the festival will bring a unique opportunity to area students and the South Bend-area community as a whole.

“The festival this year, features films made by women about women. It seems fitting that Saint Mary’s, a women's college, should be the venue to bring to light global women’s issues as told by women themselves. We are also very happy to offer this series from the very wide collection of films from Women Make Movies, an organization dedicated to supporting women filmmakers.”

Derakhshani added that the festival brings the world to Michiana through film. “How many of us have the chance to travel to India, Kenya, or Iran? Through these documentaries, the audience will discover the filmic art and everyday lives of women from around the word.”

Films not in English will be subtitled.

World Cinema Film Festival Schedule:

Monday February 11

Arusi Persian Wedding

A film by Marjan Tehrani

2008, 63 minutes

English/Persian, Subtitled

For filmmaker Marjan Tehrani and her brother Alex, growing up Iranian-American has always meant being caught between two worlds. In ARUSI Persian Wedding, Tehrani chronicles Alex and his fiancée Heather's journey to Iran to hold a traditional Persian wedding. Using the couple's personal journey, Tehrani explores complex and broken U.S. Iranian relations, employing a thoughtful collection of archival segments, historical audiovisual footage, photographs, newspaper headlines, and intelligence documents. A story of relationships on two levels, this heartfelt film offers rare glimpses of both a modern and traditional Iran beyond politics, revealing a diverse, passionate and vibrant country.

Tuesday February 12

Rights & Wrongs

A film by Corine Huq

2011, 135 minutes,


In this enlightening and informative film, Corine Huq examines how for centuries the Qu’ran has been interpreted by men to suppress women, but in fact when it was written, it represented an enlightened approach to women. Renowned Muslim feminists scholars and journalists, including Asra Q. Nomani, Mona Eltahawy, Azadeh Moaveni, Dr. Amina Wadud, Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl and Asma Gull Hasan, detail how from early on very different understandings of the Qu’ran lead to vastly different translations, with enormous repercussions for women living in different Islamic societies around the world. the film alternates between the history of Mohammad and his women, and issues facing women in Islam today – from the wearing of the veil, to praying in the mosque, and attitudes towards domestic violence, and honor killings. It also looks at how feminism works within Islam in the modern era. By returning to the roots of Islam, and understanding how societies have found justification for their treatment of women within the Islamic sources, this thoughtful and far-reaching film debunks the myths about women and Islam, paving a new way forward. Rights and Wrongs is the essential film for answering the many questions we have about Islam – and its often debated relationship to women.

Wednesday February 13

Africa Is a Woman’s Name

A film by Ingrid Sinclair, Bridget Pickering, and Wanjiru Kinyanjui

2009, 52 minutes

Subtitled (Shona)

Africa Is a Woman’s Name provides an opportunity for three of Africa’s leading filmmakers to tell their own country’s stories through the lives of the powerful women working to create change. Amai rose, a Zimbabwean housewife and businesswoman, Phuti Ragophala, a dedicated school principal in one of South Africa’s poorest communities, and Njoki Ngund’u, a human rights attorney and member of Kenya’s parliament, tell their individual stories, reflecting upon their own achievements and failures as well as needed initiatives for women and children in their respective societies.

Thursday February 14

Pink Saris

A film by Kim Longinotto

2010, 96 minutes

 Subtitles (Hindi)

“A girl’s life is cruel... A woman’s life is very cruel,” notes Sampat Pal, the complex protagonist at the center of Pink Saris, internationally acclaimed director Kim Longinotto’s latest foray into the lives of extraordinary women (Sisters in Law, Rough Aunties). Sampat should know – she was married as a young girl into a family, which made her work hard and beat her often. But unusually, she fought back, leaving her in-laws and eventually becoming famous as a champion for beleaguered women throughout Uttar Pradesh like Rekha, a fourteen-year-old Untouchable, who is three months pregnant and homeless. Fifteen-year-old Renu’s husband from an arranged marriage has abandoned her and her father-in-law has been raping her. Both young women, frightened and desperate, reach out for their only hope: Sampat Pal an dher Gulabi Gang, Northern India’s women vigilantes in pink.

Friday February 15

Club Native

A film by Tracey Deer

2008, 78 minutes


In Club Native, acclaimed Mohawk director Tracey Deer follows the stories of four inspiring Mohawk women who share about the heartbreaking costs of “marrying out” of the Mohawk Nation and the clash between love, growing up biracial, and preserving the fabric of a close-knit community. The filmmaker traces the roots of exclusionary attitudes to 100 years of discriminatory government policy, beginning with the Indian Act and exacerbated by lingering preconceptions about blood quantum that have left a divisive legacy within the community. The result is a candid and deeply moving look at the frustration suffered by many First Nations women, as well as a powerful story of the triumph of love and the human spirit.

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, women’s institution offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study. Saint Mary’s College has six nationally accredited academic programs: social work, art, music, teacher education, chemistry and nursing. Saint Mary's College ranks among the top 100 “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” for 2013 published by U.S. News. Founded in 1844, Saint Mary’s is a pioneer in the education of women, and is sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.