Flying Broom Fest still standing firm

Flying Broom Fest still standing firm

Nisan Su Aras ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Flying Broom Fest still standing firm

Halime Güner says the festival is still paying of old debts. AA photo

The 16th edition of the Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival, which aims to shed light on the women’s struggle, kicked off with an opening ceremony at Ankara’s National Opera and Ballet House on May 9.

The ceremony was hosted by Laçin Ceylan and Yetkin Dikinciler, with a surprise musical performance by renowned actress and folk singer Melike Demirağ. Honorary awards were presented to Zeynep Aksu and Perihan Savaş, while the Bilge Olgaç Achievement Award went to Suzan Kardeş. The very first theme award in the history of the festival was given to renowned actress Yıldız Kenter in the category of “Solidarity, Resistance, Movement.”

This year was the epitome of support provided to the festival, since acquiring financial and moral support has been much easier after 15 years of hard work.

“Our aim was to create an environment where gender equality would be discussed through art. This year we made it,” Halime Güner, the chairperson of the Flying Broom Communication and Research Association, said in an interview with the Hürriyet Daily News. The past years, however, were not as easy, and the group has still been paying for bank credits from previous festivals, she said.

Now, the festival is stronger than ever. The festival’s theme for this year is “despite,” with films drawing attention to women who are aiming to change the world to prove that they will not be silenced and will stand firm despite all the odds.

“In whichever field we are struggling, as women we all have ‘despites.’ Some of us internalized feminism as a lifestyle despite our fathers. Some of us got promoted despite discrimination in the business world. Some of us turned our … despair into a remedy – we had to. The struggle of women has been at the cost of great labor and many years. We wanted to remember and remind people of that in the festival,” Güner said.

Women’s struggle

This year’s theme strives to engage with the women’s struggle at the exact moment that they catch their breath, in a world where they are suffocated on the streets and at home, and everywhere they are confronted with male dominance.

“Sociologist [Anthony] Giddens says that this century is the century of the women’s revolution. I think manhood [masculinity] is resisting against this change,” Güner said, but affirmed her conviction that the women’s struggle would bear fruit in the near future.

According to Güner, women are trying to survive in every aspect of life, including the cinema industry. “Despite everything, women in the film industry are continuing to produce. Surviving in a system as masculine as cinema and creating works that are permanent and pioneering is not easy at all.”

The festival strives to accompany women in their struggle. As Güner puts it: “When else will resistance be, if not now? Or movement? After every darkness, there comes light.”