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A Preview of the Birds Eye View

With its cheeky owning of the British term "bird" for "woman," the UK's apostrophe-less Birds Eye View Film Festival takes place March 4-12, 2010, during International Women's Week, at several venues around London including the ICA, BFI Southbank, Renoir Cinema, Lexi Cinema and Ritzy Picturehouse. This is the festival that celebrates, promotes and develops the work of outstanding creative women from around the world.

The Festival showcase features, documentaries and short films made by women around the world, along with a retrospective celebrating the pioneering women of cinema and a program exploring the creative possibilities opened up by new technology.

On Opening Night, actress Jane Horrocks officially opens the festivities, presenting a showcase of new shorts, including Juanita Wilson's Oscar-nominated "The Door." The Closing Night feature is Drew Baryrmore's directorial debut, Whip It!.

This year's Master Class speaker is Danish auteur Susanne Bier, who appears with screenings of three of her films: After the Wedding, Brothers, and Things We Lost in the Fire.

Features screened include:

Map of the Sounds of Tokyo, directed by Isabel Coixet. It stars Oscar-nominee Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) and Sergi López (Pan's Labyrinth).

Mall Girls, directed by Katarzyna Roslaniec. A major hit in its native Poland, this teen drama explores the condition of a generation exposed to too much too soon.

The Father of My Children, directed by Mia Hansen-Løve, tells of an independent film producer and loving father whose company is approaching financial collapse.

From A Whisper, directed by Wanuri Kahiu, is about a family torn apart by the terrorist bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi in 1998. This film won top awards at the African Movie Academy Awards 2009, including Best Picture and Best Director. 

Documentaries include:

Rough Aunties, directed by Kim Longinotto, celebrates the strength and compassion of the "Rough Aunties" who care, and fight, for South Africa’s abused children.

Junior, directed by Jenna Rosher, studies the ups and downs of cohabitation with a 75-year-old man who has moved back in with his 98-year-old mother.

She Is the Matador, directed by Celeste Carrasco & Gemma Cubero del Barrio, follows two female bullfighters, Mari Paz Vega and Eva Florencia, as they fight to realize their dream of working in the arena.

The "Sound and Silents" track features screenings of three silent stars as part of the festival's tributes to pioneering women in the medium:

The Patsy (1928), directed by King Vidor, starring Marion Davies and Marie Dressler.  Music is a specially commissioned live accompaniment from Gwyneth Herbert with an introduction by actress Patsy Kensit.

Chicago (1927), directed by Frank Urson and starring Phyllis Haver and Virginia Bradford. This is the original story of Roxie Hart, which later became the Bob Fosse musical. Live accompaniment is by Patti Plinko.

Her Sister From Paris (1925), directed by Sidney Franklin, starring Constance Talmadge and Ronald Colman. Live accompaniment is by pianist Jane Gardner.

Also screening is director Lotte Reiniger's silhouette-animatedThe Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926), the oldest known surviving animated feature. British Composer Award-winner Mira Calix premieres her new live musical accompaniment.

The program "Innovation" showcases new developments in media technology, including:

"Papermint: Game Development Live," a demonstration of an all-new animated world of social interaction.

"New Technologies: Who? What? & Why?" Can online technologies do more to change minds and mobilize people than traditional linear media? Do games have a key role to play in schools, hospitals and workplaces?

"She Says: A Cross Disciplinary Networking Event"

For more information, visit  

Birds Eye View Film Festival
March 4-12, 2010
London, England

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