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The Festival International de Films de Femmes - hosted at the Maison des Arts de Créteil - is a one-of-the-kind annual film event, a major worldwide showcase for women filmmakers. Privileged platform for filmmakers, it has become over the years the most important professional event on major international women’s cinema de auteur long-time discriminated and still poorly distributed.
The Festival was created in 1979 at a time when women filmmakers began to make their voices heard. From this date on, the Festival serves these independent directors as they take their first steps and as they continue their journey into their own very special cinematographic commitment.
Jackie Buet is its founder and director. In 1976, she left teaching to devote herself to art projects. She began to discover other cultures, other societies and for this reason visited several countries mainly in Latin America (especially in Cuba where she stayed for 1 year).
Back in Paris in 1978 she enrolled at the University of Vincennes and then undertook a training course to become director of cultural projects within the Ministry of Culture. She and Elisabeth Trehard founded the Festival International de Films de Femmes: the first edition took place in March 1979 in Sceaux (South of Paris).
Product of the seventies feminist movement since its creation, the Festival has been the heir to two schools of thought.
On the one hand, the feminist movement, with the conviction that women exist as human beings, but also as members of society.
On the other hand, the cultural action milieu which in France has favored the coming together of art and the public since the innovations of André Malraux, and defends the importance of artists. Thus, to start, the festival was committed to women filmmaker as artists.
Already in 1978 something new was happening in films made by women. Two legacies co-existed in these new productions. The first, an indirect effect of the women’s movement in a profession that is both an industry and an art, introduced a militant influence. The second, more artistic, brought the directors to work the form, the writing, the photography...
Our Festival which each year brings together over 130 women filmmakers and 20 000 spectators celebrates women filmmakers contribution and apprehension of female representation throughout the 21st century. These women filmmakers make it their priority to explore the outreach of human qualities through both their female and male characters, questioning gender matters in rich, multiple portraits that respond to our needs of identification according to a range of essential liberating issues.
The Festival's annual program includes the sections which have sealed its identity for over 35 years: the International Competition including 40 unreleased films (10 narrative features, 10 documentary features, 20 short films), a special thematic or geographic section, the "Self-portrait" of an actress through a selection of her filmography, Film Previews etc.
In addition to this annual main event, the Festival staff is committed in numerous other significant activities throughout the year. Some of these are: special thematic screenings in France and abroad, educational training for high school teachers, screenplay workshops, screenings and meetings between filmmakers and prisoners in a local detention centre.
In order to discover the unique history of the Festival International de Films de Femmes some of the most relevant Festival collections have been made available through the ECLAP web portal: discover our story through our archive!
“Leçons de cinema”: Meet the some of the many filmmakers who attended Créteil Film Festival through more than 200 of their unique video interviews. You will be able to observe as Mira Nair, Margarethe Von Trotta, Agnès Varda and many others talk about their biography, works and artistic choices.
A Cinema Lesson by Mira Nair
A Cinema Lesson by Margarethe Von Trotta (in French)
Festival catalogues from 1979 to 2012: Every year the Festival publishes a 100 page catalogue including investigation texts on the proposed programming, index cards, movies information, movie and filmmaker’s index. The complete collection allows measuring the number, styles and geographical area development and outreach of the festival’s cinematographic line up.