Girls on Film Festival

Girls On Film Festival: In Conversation

How was Girls on Film Festival (GOFF) conceived?
Girls on Film Festival was founded in 2014 by a group of Melbourne movie-lovers who were sick of seeing the same dude-centric films with limited roles for women. They decided to create a fun space where they could watch some of their favourite female-driven stories together with a bunch of other feminists and promote the work of incredible local female creatives. Inspired by Riot Grrrl feminism, the festival brings together film, music, zine-making and of course parties!

Does collaboration play a part in the organisation of GOFF?
If so, in what ways?
Collaboration is a big part of how GOFF runs. For starters, we are not-for-profit and entirely run by volunteers so job-sharing allows us to keep our lives in balance and ensure that organising GOFF is as fun as attending.

As well, we are passionate about helping young women get started with careers in the arts, events and activism, and giving opportunities to women to take on a larger role than they might have ever done in the past. Our collaborative work environment allows us to share skills and knowledge so the team gain valuable work experience. We also collaborate with young female creatives to give them a platform to showcase their work. The best example of this is probably our Girl Germs event, where local girl bands perform, female artists show their works, and young women curate activities to share their passions with our young audience.

How important is the representation of women in cinema?
Very! From a young age we learn about the kinds of people we can be, and the kinds of roles we can fill in life from what we see around us, including

the screen culture we consume. When we limit the kinds of roles that women fill on screen we reinforce stereotypes about gender that limit women’s aspirations and ensure that their path is harder if they want to fill a non-traditional role. On top of this, we would say that diversity in representation is important because it helps to keep films interesting. Who wants to keep watching film after film where women are forced to play the same 3 characters? At GOFF our core programming objective has always been to show films with female characters that reject the cliched character stereotypes that female performers are usually forced into and that women can enjoy watching together.


How do festivals like GOFF, that highlight the presence of women on screen, affect the film and arts industries?
Events and festivals that promote women in the film industry show that there is a demand for better representation of women. It is so important that we celebrate and support the amazing talents of female filmmakers and actors in an industry that often leaves minorities behind. We also want to extend this support to emerging female and non-binary filmmakers, which is why we took submissions for our local shorts program this year. GOFF, and other festivals like it, provide a safe space for feminists to watch films that we like, to celebrate them, and to party with each other!

What events are you most excited about at this year’s festival?
MIMO: I’m most excited for the Aussie Double Feature on Sunday.

We will be screening The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe, followed by a Q&A with one of the ladies from the film, Yordanos Haile-Michael. It is our only documentary in the program, and personally one of my favourite films, as it shares the stories of four inspirational African women who now live in Australia. Following this, we will be screening 52 Tuesdays, a fantastic coming-of-age drama about a daughter whose mother is transitioning gender, and their time together becomes limited to Tuesdays. The film itself is filmed only on Tuesdays, every week for a year, and we love supporting unique films and filmmaking here at GOFF!
NAT: I’m a huge fan of genre cinema, and in particular horror films, so I’m most looking forward to our Scream Queens Double Feature Saturday night. We’re screening 90s teen classic The Craft – a film which had a big influence on my younger years – followed by The Love Witch which is one of my
favourite films of the last year. I am also a big fan of dress ups so I’m very excited that we’re going to have a best costume competition for the evening. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone show up in their witchy-best.
MYF: As many of my friends know, I am a total 90s child. Therefore my fave picks for GOFF17 are pretty easy to pick – Clueless, The Craft and Spice World. I was quite unpopular in high school and film/tv became my escape from the harshness of high school. I think The Craft spoke to me in particular (plus I adore Neve Campbell) and I am so excited that we were able to program these gems. I’m also really excited for Inside Out – I think it’s a stunning and thoughtful movie that has a lot to say.


What can we look forward to at next year’s festival?
Next year GOFF will be even bigger and better! Of course, we will have Girl Germs back again, so you can count on more local bands, zines, food, and other riot grrrl inspired activities for feminists of all ages!
We will also be continuing our local shorts program, so we will be taking submissions for short films again next year. Female and non-binary filmmakers in Victoria, get your cameras out and make magic! We want to screen your films!
But we aren’t just an annual film festival… We also do pop-up screenings throughout the year. This year we had a sold out pop-up screening of 10 Things I Hate About You, and we plan to do more next year. Follow us on social media to keep up to date with us and our events.

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