Summer might be blockbuster season, but this year, Dubai-based independent movie theatre Cinema Akil presents a (much-needed) alternative: Fierce! – an exploration of American cinema that’s dedicated to showcasing films with groundbreaking female protagonists, in collaboration with the Embassy of the United States.
In the wake of the Weinstein scandal, we’ve been inundated with horrific sexual assault stories that are revolved around influential men across varying creative fields. For a long time, silence was the rule in the male-dominated film industry, but it seems like things are finally shifting thanks to women-lead revolts like #MeToo and the “Time’s Up” initiative, which are being driven by 300 actresses in a bid to tackle harassment. In 2018, the red carpet has become the place of protest in the fight against gender inequality.
With its central position in Dubai’s prominent art hub Alserkal Avenue, Cinema Akil is dedicated to having a voice in the conversation by proposing a wide range of various independent films from sci-fi to action, all in a bid to celebrate strong women who take risks.
According to a report on gender representation in film, female leads equate to only 24 percent of the 100 highest-grossing films of 2017. And while this year has seen the success of Wonder Woman and Star Wars, independent films and more particularly documentaries, have always been more democratic with 65 percent of them led by women.
For its last month, Fierce! places a spotlight on four inspiring and cutting-edge films. The Big Flip, which is a documentary that explores the modern phenomenon of at-home fatherhood, by following four American families as they go through their daily challenges. Dream, Girl which retells the captivating stories of inspiring female entrepreneurs; Loretta Lyn: Still a Mountain Girl delves into the career of the iconic multi-awarded country artist and finally Custody is an intense drama in which four women confront each other as one of them looses the custody of her child.
Fierce: An American Film Showcase Program, until 2 September, Cinema Akil, Dubai