The 16 DAYS 16 FILMS initiative is a short film competition that focuses on filmed content addressing violence against women – here, filmmaker Myriam Raja curates her top picks
Expensive Shit, Adura Onashile
In a Glasgow nightclub, Tolu, a Nigerian toilet attendant, desperate for survival manipulates the behaviour of unsuspecting women for the titillation of men watching behind the mirrors. Tonight a line has been crossed and she is forced to hand out a drugged bottle of water. Tolu struggles with the choice she has to make when Louise, a regular punter, and the only person that Tolu has a connection with becomes the target and is drugged. As the night spins out of control, Tolu, unable to live with what she has done, finds the strength to change everything. Watch the trailer for Adura Onashile’s Expensive Shithere.
Absent, Libby Burke Wilde
Whilst boarding the bus home, Josh’s eye is caught by a stain on the back of Chloe’s trousers. After a moment debating whether to tell her, Josh sits down next to Chloe, much to the amusement of the other boys at the back of the bus. Struggling to find the words to tell her, he offers her his jumper to tie around her waist to cover the stain. Suddenly the penny drops for Chloe. Mortified, she accepts the jumper. This starkly confronts the shame and taboo around menstruation, based on multiple true stories which gives a frank portrayal of the awkwardness, sensitivity and often humiliation that characterises many early experiences of menstruation. Watch Absent by Libby Burke Wilde here.
Halwa, Nirav Bhakta, Gayatri Bajpai
An Indian American mother decides to rekindle her relationship with her childhood sweetheart through facebook messages until her abusive husband finds out. Halwa is a captivating, authentic story about the modern Asian Pacific experience and multidimensional immigrant stories. Watch the trailer for Halwa, by Nirav Bhakta and Gayatri Bajpai, here.
Heart Eyes and a World, Rosie Morris
Heart eyes and a world brings the viewer into the bedrooms of four 15-year-old girls with a behind the scenes view of the selfie. Through powerful observational scenes and intimate conversations, the film raises questions about the normalisation of self-objectification. Watch a trailer for Rosie Morris’ film here.
Good Thanks, You, Molly Manning Walker
Molly Manning Walker’s Good Thanks, You stars Jasmine Jobson, Micheal Ward, T'Nia Miller, and Kate Maravan. In the aftermath of an attack, Amy is left voiceless, trapped in a whirlwind of incompetence. She must find a way to confront what has happened, in order to save what matters to her most. This is a stark reflection of the pain that comes from emotional supression, when authorities meant to protect you fail, and moving intimate, personal worlds to bring about much-needed confrontation. Watch the trailer here.