Women Over 50 Film Festival is an inclusive festival which celebrates older women in all their diversity. WOFFF showcases the work of older women on both sides of the camera. We look to them to drive our stories – as filmmakers and performers.
Each film we screen at WOFFF has to follow this one simple rule – it must have a woman over 50 at its centre or a woman over 50 in the core creative team (writer, producer or director).
We welcome submissions from filmmakers of all ages and genders.
Why have a film festival concentrating on older women in film? Polygraph looked at 2,000 films and found that women aged between 42 and 69 spoke only 20% of film dialogue; men of the same age spoke almost 39%. Directors UK reported that of over 2,500 films made from 2005 to 2014, only 13% were directed exclusively by women. In 2020, the Geena Davis Foundation report on movie roles of women of age, entitled "Frail, frumpy and Forgotten" examined the top grossing films in Germany, France, the UK and the US of 2019. It found that when an older female character is visible on screen, she is four times more likely to be shown as senile than a male character ages 50+ (16.1% compared with 3.5%); and she's more likely to be shown as homebound, mentally unstable and unable to take care of herself.
Women Over 50 Film Festival is doing something positive to address this imbalance in the representation of older women in front of and behind the camera, by screening work which celebrates older women in film.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, WOFFF20 moved from being a festival hosted in a cinema venue – Depot, Lewes, East Sussex - to being an online festival where we screened 58 short films and hosted filmmaker Q&As.
WOFFF21 saw the festival become a hybrid one - taking place in our usual cinema home, Depot in Lewes, East Sussex for one day, as well as online via Eventive for eight days.
WOFFF22 is going to be hybrid again - with one day in person in our cinema home, Depot, and two weeks online. WOFFF22 dates are:
Depot, Lewes Saturday 24 Sept
Online 10 – 25 Sept
We’ll be ready for to move online if COVID restrictions come into force again. We’ll keep you, our filmmakers, updated if the festival becomes a virtual-only one.
All short films selected for screening at WOFFF are eligible for our competition. Films are judged by professionals from each category field - animation, experimental, drama, and documentary. Our festival audience also votes for its favourite film too.
Here's what one filmmaker said about WOFFF21:
"We had a lovely time during WOFFF21 and were delighted that our short film was selected for such an important and truly inclusive festival! The festival team made us feel incredibly welcome from day one, both during the virtual part through online Q&As, and during the in-person festival day in Lewes."
Milena Bolouri - One for the Road
You can read more filmmaker comments below.
PRIZES FOR WOFFF22 FILMS
Prizes for Best Drama, Best Documentary, Best animation, Best experimental, Audience Choice award and Best Student Film include:
- £75 cash
- a winner's certificate
- a bottle of Mother's Ruin Gin (student filmmakers must be over 18 for this prize)
- winning films (films awarded 1st, 2nd, 3rd place or commended prizes) and shown as part of the WOFFF Best of the Fest UK 2022 Tour. The 2021 tour included an in person screening as part of Leytonstone Loves Film, as well as virtual screenings with:
East London Out Project, London, England
Switchboard – the LGBTQ+ Helpline
25 cinema partners with ModernFilms
Other prizes include:
Kit from RØDE Microphones
One year's free membership of Picturehouse Cinemas
RULES & TERMS FOR WOFFF21 FILM SUBMISSIONS
1) Your film has to have a woman over 50 at its centre or a woman over 50 in the core creative team (writer, producer or director).
2) The maximum length for films are:
animation – 12 minutes
experimental – 12 minutes
drama - 20 minutes
documentary – 25 minutes
3) Your film has to be in English or have English subtitles.
4) You must pay a fee to submit your film if you are a non-student filmmaker (Earlybird, Regular and Late submissions have different fees).
5) You may send more than one film, but a submission fee must be paid for each entry and a separate application must be made for each film.
6) Submission to WOFFF constitutes agreement to all rules, regulations and conditions here and your consent that your film be considered for any awards that may be given at WOFFF.
7) Submission also certifies that all film and music rights, licenses and clearances have been obtained in accordance with UK copyright laws. WOFFF will not be responsible for any copyright infringement.
8) By submitting, you agree not to withdraw your film from WOFFF after it has been accepted by the WOFFF selection team.
9) By submitting, you give us permission to use publicity stills provided and up to 30 seconds of footage for use in WOFFF marketing and publicity.
10) WOFFF is committed to making screenings and events accessible to all, including people who are D/deaf and Hard of Hearing. If your film is selected, you give WOFFF permission to add inclusive features, like subtitles or captions to your film if it doesn’t already have them.
11) By submitting, you are agreeing, if your film is selected, to WOFFF screening your film at WOFFF22 an in-person festival (in a physical venue) or, if COVID restrictions are in place, as part of WOFFF22 a virtual, online festival.
12) If your film is selected, you give us permission to screen your film at the WOFFF Best of the Fest tour and other WOFFF events following WOFFF 2022 until December 2023.
13) A “Student Film” is one directed by a student currently in full or part-time adult education, or who has graduated in the last academic year (i.e. for WOFFF 2022 submissions, students who graduated in 2021) which complies with all the rules about film submissions. WOFFF will require proof of student status. Please see Custom Form for further information about student submissions and attachments you must send WOFFF.
14) If submitted to the student category, you must inform WOFFF of your official school, college or university email address and postal address, as well as informing WOFFF of the course and the qualification you are studying for. See the Custom Form for further details.
15) WOFFF is committed to screening a diversity of older women’s voices worldwide. A limited bursary fund is available to assist filmmakers with their submissions fees to enable them to submit work to WOFFF. Since 2017 WOFFF has offered bursaries to filmmakers with work from Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, the USA and the UK. To apply for a submission bursary, please request further information by sending an email to (info[@]wofff.co.uk).
RULES & TERMS FOR SHORT SCREENWRITING SUBMISSIONS 2022
16) This is a competition for completed short drama film scripts up to five minutes in length. Feature film scripts or the first five minutes or any section of a longer film script are not eligible.
17) This is a competition for scripts which have not yet been produced as films.
18) Your short drama film script has to have a woman over 50 at its centre or be written by a woman over 50.
19) The maximum length for your film script is 5 filming minutes (no more than 7 pages, including title page). Industry standard software is preferred but not essential. Industry format software such as Final Draft or Fade In can be purchased online, or programmes such as Celtx, Trelby or Writer Duet are free to download.
20) Your film script must be in the English language.
21) You must be over 18 years old.
22) You must pay a fee to submit your film script (Regular: $10, Late: $12).
23) You may submit more than one film script but a submission fee must be paid for each entry and a separate application must be made for each film script.
24) The deadline for this competition is 2 July 2022 OR the date when 50 scripts are received by WOFFF, whichever is sooner.
25) Submission to WOFFF constitutes agreement to all rules, regulations and conditions here and your consent that your script be considered for any awards that may be given at WOFFF.
26) Submission also certifies that all film and music rights, licenses and clearances have been obtained in accordance with UK copyright laws. WOFFF will not be responsible for any copyright infringement.
27) By submitting, you agree not to withdraw your film script from WOFFF after it has been accepted by the WOFFF selection team.
28) By submitting, you give us permission to use publicity stills provided and up to 1 page of your script for use in WOFFF marketing and publicity.
29) All scripts must be original, no adaptations. By entering you are confirming that this script is your own intellectual property. WOFFF will not be responsible for any copyright infringement.
30) WOFFF is committed to screening a diversity of older women’s voices worldwide. A limited bursary fund is available to assist script writers to submit work to WOFFF. To apply for a script competition submission bursary, please request further information by sending an email to (info[@]wofff.co.uk).
31) The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
32) The winning script consultation prize is sponsored by Shedunnit Productions and is called “The Shedunnit Productions Prize”. To take part in this script consultation with Helen Jacey, you must own the rights of the script you want to work on with Helen.
33) The WOFFF Shedunnit Productions Prize for the winning script consultation with Helen Jacey will take place via Skype within 12 months of you being notified as winner, at a time that is mutually convenient.
Response from festival:
Hi Jeanette, thanks for your comments.
We were honoured to screen your doc. 1000 DAYS is a moving and truthful film looking at suicide and the effects is has on those close to someone who has taken their own life.
Thanks for being such a great participant in WOFFF21.
Wishing you and Ron all the best in your future film endeavours.