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Women in the spotlight at Cinema Rediscovered

Posted on Mon 21 May 2018
Woman on subway

Just Another Girl on the IRT

We are delighted that Cinema Rediscovered is returning for its third edition between Thu 26 - Sun 29 July - bringing the best in digital restorations, contemporary classics and film print rarities back where they belong on the big screen, with support from BFI awarding funds from National Lottery.

Cinema Rediscovered, partnering with Come the Revolution and BFI are thrilled to present the bold, brilliant voice of filmmaker Leslie Harris with two rare 35mm film print screenings of her debut feature Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. (1992) accompanied by Q&As at BFI Southbank in London (27 July) and here at Watershed (28 July).

Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. headlines the Women on the Periphery strand of feature film debuts, shorts and special events celebrates brave, bold, funny and warm storytelling from and about extraordinary women. It’s a rare chance to see great films back on big screen from  extraordinary filmmakers including Tracey Moffatt, Gurinder Chadha, Ester Martin Bergsmark, Margaret Tait, Ildikó Enyedi, Madeline Anderson alongside Leslie Harris.

Leslie wrote, directed, produced Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. as an independent feature through her production company which sold the feature to Miramax, a first for a theatrical film by an African-American woman. The film premiered at Sundance in 1993, where Harris became the first African-American woman writer, director, producer to be awarded the Sundance Special Jury Prize in the dramatic competition. Made on a micro budget of $130,000, Harris’ film follows Chantel, a smart, articulate black high school student, determined not to become ‘just another girl on the I.R.T.’ (the NYC subway train). In 1993, it was released in cinemas across the US and 20 countries worldwide, and became the first film by an African-American woman to gain British distribution.

25 years on, Leslie Harris reflects:

It’s still a challenge for black women as writers, directors and producers. Yes, today we have Ava DuVernay and Dee Rees and that’s progress, but it’s not enough. Audiences are still missing out on many wonderful stories by black women filmmakers.  Financing is still a challenge, me included trying to make my current feature ‘I Love Cinema’. 25 years ago when I picked up my Sundance Prize, I said “… it’s time to see the independent vision of African American women both in front of and behind the camera”. 25 years later, I say it again. The time is now."

Cinema Rediscovered highlights include:

Bazin 100 - another strand celebrates Influential French critic André Bazin, the prototype cinéphile and film activist. His film writings opened up understanding of this new artform and he was a huge influence on filmmakers like Truffaut, Godard and Chabrol. This strand of conversations and screenings celebrates his impactful life, addressing his question: “What is cinema?”

Bristol UNESCO City of Film - this third edition also celebrates Bristol's new status as UNESCO City of Film, a global recognition of the city's outstanding contribution to film culture. We'll put the spotlight on Bristol born screenwriter, film director, playwright and novelist Mike Hodges with screenings of two of his iconic films: Get Carter and the Pulp, which will be followed by a live Q&A with the filmmaker.

Slocome at Ealing - Cinema Rediscovered continues its celebration of one of the true legends of cinema - cinematographer Douglas Slocombe (1913 - 2016) - with a pair of films from his time at Ealing Studios.

Workers Unite! And, inspired by the 50th anniversary of the events of May ‘68 Cinema Rediscovered present also two rarely screened depictions of working class life and history in Workers Unite!

Want to be part of that immersive, communal environment and get stuck into everything on offer at the Festival? Buy a Cinema Rediscovered Pass for £90.00 full / £65.00 concessions and under 24s. Watch this space for the full line-up!

Cinema Rediscovered 2018 is followed by a UK wide tour of selected highlights to venues including Chapter (Cardiff), Exeter Phoenix, Broadway (Nottingham), Home (Manchester), QFT (Belfast), Filmhouse, (Edinburgh) Showroom (Sheffield), mac (Birmingham) and Exeter Phoenix. Our partnership with MUBI also complement this year’s festival and continues the Cinema Rediscovered experience for both cinema and online audiences across the UK.