Now Showing — Cinenova Film Screening + Discussion

A screening of two films from the Cinenova’s collection produced by W.I.T.C.H (Women’s IndependenT Cinema House) — a collective based in Liverpool in the 1980s that supported the scripting, editing and distribution of films by women — shown alongside L8 Rising, a film produced in 2020 by Niloo Sharifi with L8 residents.

This online screening holds space to form dialogues with the works in the Cinenova collection and contemporary filmmakers, a practice to materialise relationships between contemporary film and video work, and the feminist and organising legacies it present in the Cinenova collection.

Showing the films of W.I.T.C.H in this way, we will connect with new community organising work and questions of contemporary filmmaking practices now.

The films will be screened online followed by an in-conversation between a founding member of W.I.T.C.H, Judy Mazonowicz and filmmaker, Niloo Sharifi.

The films will be available to watch on the Rule Of Threes website for a 24 hour period from 3.00 PM Saturday 23 January.

Programme:

Women Making Connections

W.I.T.C.H

UK, 1985. 9mins.

Women Making Connections is about the Merseyside Women’s Technology Scheme, based at Merseyside trade union and unemployed resource centre, which retrains women in new technology. It contains interviews with staff and students on the course, and shots of women working on computers and electronics. The tape also explores the difficulties many women face returning to education after a long ago, and the ways of overcoming them.

L8 Rising: Arrival City Liverpool

Shot by Niloo Sharifi & Ryan Woods

Edited by Niloo Sharifi

UK, 2019. 12 mins

L8 Rising: Arrival City presents a portrait of Liverpool, and especially L8, as a city of immigration. Liverpool’s historic status as an important port city makes it one of the most unique ‘arrival cities’ in the UK, with many layers of history still making up the identities of people who have lived here for generations. This past has influenced the architectural character of the city – we walk through streets named after celebrated anti-abolitionists, and past grand buildings paid for by slave-traders. However, thriving areas such as L8 demonstrate the power and solidarity that exists within communities made up of many cultures.

L8’s relationship with immigration is multi-layered, made up of different pasts and presents. This abundance of perspectives can be heard in the poetry, spoken word, and music of the area’s artists. The personal stories and experiences in L8 Rising reveal a complex and multi-layered identity, contributing to what could be considered an unresolved, unacknowledged narrative. History remains part of L8’s story, with painful memories still shaping how people of colour are treated in the city; however, such narratives also contribute to L8’s futurist spirit as an ‘arrival city’. With this at the forefront of their collective memory, L8’s community has dedicated itself to regenerating the area again and again over centuries.

Ella

W.I.T.C.H / Catalyst Production

UK, 1986. 20 mins.

‘Ella’ is a black version of the fairy-tale story ‘Cinderella’, cleverly adapted and performed originally as a play, by Catalyst — a group of young black people based in Liverpool, who started their own drama/dance group and are involved in all aspects of production: choreography, scripting, directing, producing, songwriting, search for venues, costumes… the list is endless.

Biographies:

Judy Mazonowicz is a founding member of W.I.T.C.H (Women’s IndependenT Cinema House) — a collective based in Liverpool in the 1980s that supported the scripting, editing and distribution of films by women.

The Herstory of W.I.T.C.H.

Niloo Sharifi is a multidisciplinary artist from Liverpool. They are currently working mainly as a filmmaker, animator and poet. In their video work, as well as their roles as former Features Editor of Bido Lito! and curator of the Liverpool chapter of the Goethe Institut’s Arrival City at FACT Liverpool, their aim is to facilitate polyphony, in order to attend to reality as closely as possible. They are interested in exploring how this ethos might form the basis for new forms of art that are collaborative and emergent in nature.

Cinenova is a volunteer-run charity preserving and distributing the work of feminist film and video makers. Cinenova was founded in 1991 following the merger of two feminist film and video distributors, Circles and Cinema of Women, each formed in 1979. Cinenova currently distributes over 300 titles that include artists’ moving image, experimental film, narrative feature films, documentary and educational videos made from the 1910s to the early 2000s. The thematics in these titles include oppositional histories, post-colonial struggles, representation of gender, race, sexuality, and other questions of difference, and importantly the relations and alliances between these different struggles.

Cinenova’s website.