Welcome to SAGA: WIFF 2019
Updated: Jun 4, 2019
by Mona Khizam
If you, like me, were born into a family or culture where your voice was not as important as your brother’s, you will understand why I founded SAGA Adelaide: WIFF. While I do not speak for all Arab families or cultures, I do speak for mine and mine was one where the value of 6 daughters was not equal to that of one son. Now, these values are not exclusive to Arab families of course, nor do they make the parents who uphold them bad people but what they do do is shape women like me into equity warriors.
Equity warriors? Women who reject the understanding that the nature of your genitals qualifies you for better - better food, better schools, better support, more freedom and the inalienable right to be listened to respectfully - just because you are male. Equity warriors say ‘Go jump…’ to this nonsense and to the host society that lets them understand that they are also second-class citizens outside of the home - not necessarily for their gender but for their ethnicity, culture, colouring and dark eyes.
SAGA says bring your dark eyes, your glorious complexion, your coterie of languages, your cultural intelligence and your varied world perspectives and share them on the big screen because at the very heart of the SAGA philosophy is the notion that your stories - the stories of women and girls worldwide - matter.
SAGA says ‘You have something to say? You find yourself thinking a lot on something? Organise your thoughts, make your film and send it in.’
SAGA receives films from women behind the camera with gratitude because it helps us to do our bit to lift the voices of women from all around the world. And this is particularly important on this day, the 15th of March 2019, the day of the Christchurch massacres. On this saddest of days, we see what happens when an individual who has no understanding of others or of ‘the other’, who is mired in his own ignorance, fear, hate and sense of superiority ‘lets loose’.
SAGA Adelaide: WIFF is a small but growing women’s film festival passionate about giving voice to the work of women and girls. The more we think, the more we listen, the more we make and watch films, the more we will understand each other’s cultures, the more we will retreat from the horrific possibility of another Christchurch.
Openness, respect, art, meaningful contact across cultures, coming together and creating community around film, a chance to talk to each other - this is what we can do. Viva la SAGA!
Founder and Director of SAGA Adelaide: WIFF,