51Fest, the film festival of our WYSKy dreams, kicks off in New York City next week and we’ve already got our tickets in hand. Presented by Women in the World and IFC Center, this inaugural multi-platform event “puts women where they belong: at the center of the story.” Over the course of four days (July 18-21), audiences will get to see the premieres of 10 feature films, series and documentaries all by or about women. Each screening will be followed by in-depth conversations with the creators and stars.
This first annual 51Fest includes a lineup of New York debuts, North American and World Premieres, as well as a Sneak Preview. Genres range from “intense documentaries” to “fun, uplifting narratives” with each promising to present “women’s stories from a variety of viewpoints and methods of storytelling.”
51Fest opens next Thursday, July 18 with Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story, a docucomedy focused on the fallout from the comedian’s infamous photo holding a mask of Donald Trump’s likeness and her battle to reclaim her life and career. After the screening, Griffin will sit down in conversation with Tina Brown, CEO and founder of Tina Brown Live Media/Women in the World.
Highlights of four festival films below. See the full 51Fest lineup here and the complete screening/special event schedule here.
A Girl From Mogadishu – North American Premiere. A true story, based on the testimony of multi-award-winning Irish-Somali Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) campaigner (played by Aja Naomi King/How To Get Away With Murder). 112 minutes. Directed by Mary McGuckian. Post-screening discussion with writer-director Mary McGuckian, actor Barkhad Abdi, and real-life subject Ifrah Ahmed, moderated by journalist Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani of Verizon Media. More info and tickets.
After The Wedding – New York Premiere. Academy Award-winner Julianne Moore and Academy Award-nominee Michelle Williams anchor this moving drama of secrets and connections. 110 minutes. Directed by Bart Freundlich. Post-screening conversation with producer and star Julianne Moore and Tina Brown. More info and tickets.
Official Secrets – New York Premiere. Based on actual events, Official Secrets tells the remarkable story of Katharine Gun (Keira Knightley) and her effort to stop an illegal war. The movie is part political thriller and part personal journey as Gun navigates and endures the consequences faced by an ordinary person committing an extraordinary act. 112 minutes. Directed by Gavin Hood. Post-screening conversation with real-life subject Katharine Gun and Democracy Now! Host Amy Goodman, moderated by Huffpost editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen. More Info and Tickets.
Untouchable – New York Premiere. The inside story of the meteoric rise and shocking fall of movie titan Harvey Weinstein, Untouchable reveals how Weinstein acquired and deployed his formidable power over decades, exploring both the method and the collateral damage of his alleged abuses. 98 minutes. Directed by Ursula Macfarlane. Post-screening conversation with director Ursula Macfarlane and subjects Hope D’Amore and Erika Rosenbaum. More Info and Tickets.