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Bristol Zero Tolerance Film Fest - Exploring gender-based violence through film


Bristol Zero Tolerance (BZT), a new initiative from the Bristol Women’s Commission, and working in partnership with Bristol Women’s Voice, is thrilled to announce the date of its first ever creative media event, the Bristol Zero Tolerance Film Festival. The micro-format film festival, which will last the course of an evening, will take place on the 27th September 2016 at The Station in central Bristol, from 6.30pm to 9.30pm.

The Film Fest will host up to 180 delegates, and is opening its doors to all members of the public (18+ due to the content), in a bid to bring the conversation about gender-based violence to the forefront of public discussion in Bristol. The evening will feature a selection of short films, kept secret until the night, all of which exploring the common theme of gender-based violence. The series of shorts will then lead into a screening of US documentary Sin By Silence (2009, 49 minutes), which follows the experiences of convicted female survivors of domestic abuse who form a support group in prison.

BZT took on a new member of their team to aid in the programming of the festival lineup, who has found public media to be somewhat lacking in content that portrays gender-based violence in a constructive light. “I have selected quite a mixed range of shorts for the festival, and some of what we are showing is really hard-hitting stuff. I think you need to be brutally honest when it comes to the subject matter of gender-based violence, whilst also avoiding turning it into an object of pity. Although it is a very serious subject area, I think the selection is very empowering and successfully recovery from various forms of abuse.” - Amber McClatchey, Programmer for the BZT Film Fest. 

Bristol Zero Tolerance— named for it’s aims to make Bristol a city with a Zero Tolerance to all forms of gender-based violence, abuse, harassment and exploitation— is building a strong network of partner organisations in the city, many of which will be in attendance supporting the event. In addition to the selected films, the event will host a photography exhibition, produced by contributors from See It From Her’s (SIFH) Survivor Project. SIFH is an organisation that gives women and girls the tools and support they need to tell their own story through the medium of photography, and delegates at the film festival will be encouraged to think about how to support more projects like this in Bristol. 

Focusing the subject matter featured throughout the night in on Bristol, the event will culminate with a panel discussion from various experts in the subject from across the city, including Sue Mountstevens, Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon & Somerset. The discussion will be moderated by Charlotte Gage, Partnerships Project Officer at Bristol Zero Tolerance.

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “As a signatory of the Bristol Zero Tolerance Pledge I fully support their work in raising awareness of gender-based violence. Indeed, tackling these crimes is a priority for me as Police and Crime Commissioner. It is only by standing together to say that gender-based abuse, harassment and exploitation will not be tolerated in Bristol that we will bring an end to these crimes.

“If you’ve been a victim of gender-based violence, I want you to know that you are not alone and there are people that can help.  I would encourage you to speak out and report it to the police or a support agency; you will be listened to, believed and taken seriously.  Perpetrators of gender-based violence will be brought to justice. 

“These films highlight the emotional, physical and psychological damage that gender-based violence can have on a victim. I hope that if people recognise the signs, they will feel encouraged to take action.”

Posted on Tuesday 20th September 2016
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