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The best from Birds Eye View

We select the top ten highlights from the festival showcasing female film talent

Jean-Luc Godard famously said: "All you need for a movie is a gun and a girl." Maybe he was wrong about the first part. Proving you don't need to wait around for instructions from a male auteur before getting a movie together anyway, the Birds Eye View Film Festival, which showcases female film talent, is on in London from 8 – 13 April in London. Here's what we're looking forward to.


Lena Dunham's Best Friends (Rachel Atonoff Fall 2013), Marie Schuller of SHOWstudio's exploration of Asian Couture and Mathair, and an Irish fantasia by Kathryn Ferguson, are among fashion films in this strand that explores how images of fashion reflect culture and identity. A panel discussion will follow.

IN BLOOM, 2013

Opening the festival is writer and co-director Nana Ekvtimishvili's acclaimed filmmaking debut, based on her own memories of life in the Georgian capital of Tblisi in the early '90s as the Soviet Union was breaking up. Macho posturing and violence looms around the two teen friends Eka and Natia, as Natia is fought over by two rival suitors.


A Native American reservation in South Dakota is the setting for this visually poetic documentary debut from Danish director Anna Eborn, which depicts moments from lives blighted by financial hardship and despair.

LUCKY, 2014

This documentary by Laura Checkoway has its UK premiere at the festival. It was shot over five years in inner-city New York, and chronicles the survival tale of Lucky Torres, a young lesbian and tattoo fanatic abandoned on the streets who dreams of stardom.


French-Algerian director Narimane Mari's playfully experimental, hallucinatory film won the main prize at Copenhagen's CPH:DOX festival recently. It turns on a group of kids tired of eating red beans who loot an army base, and casts a critical eye on colonial abuses and the absurdity of war.


Director Kelly Reichardt is drawn to stories about outsiders. Her latest is a dark, intense environmental thriller starring Dakota Fanning, Jesse Eisenberg and Peter Sarsgaard as a group of Oregon activists intent on blowing up a dam. Read our interview with the director here.

I AM YOURS, 2013

This raw and complex Norwegian drama, directed by Iram Haq, centres on Mina, an aspiring young actress and a single mother from Norway's Pakistani community who is on a downward spiral of failed auditions and the pressures of a self-absorbed lover.


This '80s classic from Belgian visionary legend Chantal Akerman, co-presented with screening collective A Nos Amours, follows dozens of characters over a long night in Brussels, weaving together their encounters in an atmospheric dance of attraction, repulsion and the rhythm of time.


Five great shorts from global talent make up this strand, including Boles - Slovenia-based animator Špela Čadež's take on a tale by Maxim Gorky about a struggling writer - and Sundance Award-winner The Cut by Geneviève Dulude-Decelles, about a haircut that doesn't go as planned.


Closing the festival is French-girl-in-New-York indie from directors and writers Ruben Amar and Lola Bessis (who also stars). With her visa nearly up, aspiring video artist Lilas splits from her boyfriend and takes to couch-surfing to avoid returning just yet to the orbit of her overbearing mother.