“Woman in Focus”, a three-day documentary film festival co-organized by Noosfera Foundation and UN Women, opened on 8 March 2017, International Women’s Day, in Tbilisi’s Rustaveli Cinema.
“Let me scream, because I am tired of being silent,” sings Sonita, a 15-year-old Afghan girl and main protagonist of the documentary feature directed by Rokhsareh Ghaem Magham, a critically acclaimed Iranian female director. The documentary tells the story of thousands of Afghan girls who are married off to get money for their families or brothers who wish to buy a bride. This, however, is not the case for Sonita, a determined teenager who, with the support of peers and mentors (among them the film director herself), materializes her dream to become the first female Afghan rapper.
Erika Kvapilova, UN Women Representative, remarked at the opening: „A powerful story with a happy ending. What no better way to celebrate International Women’s Day! But Sonita’s story reminds us that there are thousands and thousands of girls whose childhoods end prematurely and who are not allowed to pursue their dreams. There is still work to be done to make gender equality a reality everywhere.”
“Woman in Focus” has been organized for a second consecutive year. The festival is open to the public free of charge. Hundreds of viewers have the opportunity to see documentary films about women and girls and participate in the journey of their lives.
“These movies talk about the persisting challenges women and girls face globally, just because they are women and girls. Despite the seriousness of the problem, the film directors talk about these issues without drama, straightforward and sometimes even in a humorous way,” noted Archil Khetaguri, head of Noosfera Foundation and founder of an international documentary film festival CinèDoc Tbilisi.
The festival “Woman in Focus” is held within the framework of Gender Week, dedicated to International Women’s Day. This year, audiences have the opportunity to see films directed by Czech, Dutch, French, Georgian and Iranian female and male cinematographers.