At Women Over 50 Film Festival we showcase the work of older women on both sides of the camera. We look to them to drive our stories – as film-makers 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, director).
WOFFF is an inclusive festival which celebrates older women in all their diversity. If your short film has an older woman at is heart – on screen or behind the camera – it’s eligible for submission to WOFFF.All ages, all genders are welcome at WOFFF. In our first festival in 2015 we screened a documentary two young trans men made about an older trans woman and since then we have been a festival which is welcoming and inclusive to all.
Why have a film festival concentrating on older women in film? Recently Polygraph looked at 2000 films and found that women between 42 and 69 spoke only 20% of film dialogue; men of the same age spoke almost 39%. While Directors UK reported that of over 2,500 films made from 2005 to 2014, only 13% were directed exclusively by women. 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.
At our 2018 festival we screened 58 shorts, 2 feature films, hosted panel events, lectures and workshops. We awarded prizes for best animation, best experimental, best drama and best documentary, as well as an audience choice award. In 2018 we also introduced a best student film award.
All 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 audience also votes for its favourite film which is given an Audience Choice Award.
Here are some filmmakers on what they liked best about WOFFF:
"The variety, turn out and energy" - Hazel Chandler, Director
"Celebrating women, especially women over 50. Great variety of films" - Bonnie Rae Brickman, Film Editor
"The representation on film of older women" - Jackie Nunns & Angie West, Looking at You Productions
"A chance to meet a lot of interesting women" - Jennifer Granville, Actor and Filmmaker
"WOFFF is a brilliant and vital festival which celebrates stories and voices that are so often absent from mainstream cinema. I was honoured to have my short film screen there. As a filmmaker, being part of WOFFF has been brilliant. Not only was my film screened at the festival but I now feel part of a community of filmmakers continually being encouraged and supported by the festival team" - Rebecca Brand, Filmmaker
"We've shed our Cloaks of Invisibility! At last, a platform that recognises the incredible diversity and talent of Women Over Fifty in Film and is not afraid to shout about it. " Helen Selka, Filmmaker
Prizes for our six winning filmmakers (best drama, best documentary, best animation, best experimental, audience choice award and best student film) include:
- £50 cash
- a winner's certificate
- a bottle of Mother's Ruin Gin (student filmmakers must be over 18 for this prize)
- a mentoring session with industry professionals (2018 mentors included directors Jill Nichols, Oonagh Kearney and Tracey Rooney)
- winning films shown as part of the WOFFF Best of the Fest UK 2019 Tour. The 2018 tour included screenings at:
Mother’s Ruin Gin Palace, London, England
Duke of York’s Picturehouse, Brighton, England
Depot, Lewes, England
Alan Stevenson House, Isle of Tiree, Scotland
The Old Market, Hove, England
The Magic Lantern, Tywyn, Wales
East London Out Project, London, England
a) Your film has to have a woman over 50 at its centre or a woman over 50 in the core creative team (writer, producer, director).
b) The maximum length for films are:
animation – 15 minutes
experimental – 15 minutes
drama - 20 minutes
documentary – 25 minutes.
c) Your film has to be in English or have English subtitles.
d) You must pay a fee to submit your film if you are a non-student filmmaker (Earlybird, Regular and Late submissions have different fees).
e) 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.
f) 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.
g) 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.
h) By submitting, you agree not to withdraw your film from WOFFF after it has been accepted by the WOFFF selection team.
i) 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.
j) 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.
k) If your film is selected, you give us permission to screen your film at the WOFFF Best of the Fest tour and any subsequent WOFFF event over the 12 months following WOFFF 2019.
l) A “Student Film” is one directed by a student in full or part-time adult education, or who has graduated in the last academic year (i.e. for WOFFF 2019 submissions, students who graduated in 2018) 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.
m) 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.
n) WOFFF is committed to screening a diversity of older women’s voices worldwide. A limited bursary fund is available to assist filmmakers to submit work to WOFFF. Since 2017 WOFFF offered bursaries to filmmakers with work from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Korea, Egypt, Iran, USA and Singapore. To apply for a submission bursary, please request further information by sending an email to (info[@]wofff.co.uk).
Response from festival:
Thanks, Mikel. It was great to meet you at the festival! We loved watching your film - MAUSOLEUM - on the big screen at WOFFF18. Intergenerational conversations are key to what we do at WOFFF so it was fab to hear and see this story about an older woman stuck in her years-long marriage from a young male directing and producing team. Thank you.