Feature-Length Documentaries

Film :       Gurbet is a Home Now

Director:  Pinar Öğrenci

Country:  Turkey

Length:     63′


‘Gurbet Is a Home Now’* is a documentary by Pınar Öğrenci that puts under critical review the urban planning principles in 1980s Berlin that displaced migrants through occupancy quotas. Produced in collaboration with women architects Esra Akcan and Heide Moldenhauer, the film centers around the personal experiences and solidarity amongst the women migrants and guest workers living in Kreuzberg. Heide Moldenhauer, one of the few female architects of the IBA project and her photographic archive from Landesarchive Berlin plays a central role in the reappraisal of a slice of Kreuzberg history that has remained in the shadows. For the film Öğrenci made research at Landesarchive Berlin, Friedrichshain Kreuzberg Museum Archive, rbb media archive and has contacted the 2nd and 3rd generation migrants from Turkey who were on the photographs taken by H. Moldenhauer and conducted interviews with them.  *The term “Gurbet,” which does not have an exact English counterpart, comes from the Arabic root “ğrb” and means being away and apart from homeland. The name “Gurbet Is a Home Now” is inspired by poet and actor Aras Ören’s 1980 poetry book Gurbet Değil Artık (Not ‘Gurbet’ Anymore), the last part of his Berlin Trilogy (1980). “Gurbet is a home now” expresses the transformation of the “place” that, for the guest worker who came to Germany with plans to return to their homeland after a while, was at first a foreign land and gradually became a home.


Film :        Rio or Bust

Director:  Lisiak Pawel


Length:    01:17:36


Ranked 27th in the world, Emmanuelle Mörch has the Rio Paralympic Games in her sights. To win her ticket to Brazil, she trains tirelessly and takes part in wheelchair tennis competitions around the world. 

Film :        The Snow Calls

Director:  Marjan Khosravi

Country:  Iran

Length:    00:48:50


Mina has three daughters but she lives in a society where giving birth to a boy is considered as a superiority. Mina is blamed because of this.

Film :        Janani’s Juliet

Director:  Pankaj Rishi Kumar

Country:  India

Length:    53′


Kausalya lost her husband (Shankar), when they were attacked by her own family. They had married against their families wishes. Deeply disturbed by a spate of honor killings in India, Indianostrum, a Pondicherry based theatre group sets out to introspect the implications of caste, class and gender. They adapt Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’. What emerges in the process is a critical reflection and commentary of the contemporary Indian society where love struggles to survive.
Pankaj Rishi Kumar subtly keeps introducing the layers of complexity into the film by weaving-in the making of the play, “Chandala”. The dialogue between the theatre director and the actors to adapt the play into the Indian context works as a Greek chorus and keeps the viewer engaged. “You are Juliet’s messengers to me,” the director tells the women cast. As they dig deeper into their own psyche, we also question – why it was all about Romeo even in Shakespeare’s time. Why do we not know more about Juliet? … A poetic, political exploration of love (Kavita & Nandan–thehindu.com)


Film :      Heaven Beneath my Feet 

Director:  Sandra Madi

Country:  Iran

Length:    01:30:00


Heaven Beneath my Feet is the story of three Lebanese women each struggling on her own to defy the religious law and reunite with their children in a country where secular civil law is yet to exist.


Film :        Border

DirectorYağmur Yüksel

Country:  Turkey

Length:    00:40:00


Border is a documentary of a process where the binary gender roles have been questioned. The cast & the crew spent four days together in order to reproduce and to claim the arenas where they feel under pressure in terms of their gender identity.


International Short Documentaries

Film :        This is not. A Muse

Director:  Thaís DeMelo

Country:   Brazil

Length:     00:30:00


The documentary involving performing arts features 7 female artists occupying an art gallery still under maintenance. In 3 days, performances were developed by the director based in the artists chosen by the performers, and also dialogues involving contemporary art were built. The film is a portrait of the female art scene in Brazil and how the concept of muse is far from what we seek within the field of the arts in its plurality of forms. Women, creative processes and their greatest references reproduced by themselves on their own screens – dreamlike and floating.

Film :        Kiki’s Memoirs

Director:  Zanna Abasova

Country:  Turkey

Length:    00:15:27


Model, singer, writer and painter Alice Prin, known as Kiki, also took part in this artist group, which has bohemian lives and has radically changed the understanding of art. With her charismatic and strong character of the art environment of that period she became the muse of dozens of painters, writers, photographers and directors and supported their productions. Despite the difficulties of being a woman, Kiki has managed to stand upright on her own feet and become the face of avant-garde art.

This Stopmotion animation is inspired from Alice Prin’s memoir book “Kiki’s Memoirs”.


Film :        A Life in Chains

Director:  Manuel Marano

Country:  Italy

Length:    00:26:30



“A Life In Chains” is a video documentary on human trafficking and prostitution in Bangladesh. Directed by Manuel Marano and Federica Vairani, the movie focuses on victims’ stories, their struggle to survive and their relationship with Bangladesh society. The film draws attention to the difficult situations these women must deal on a daily basis and who have become trapped in a vicious cycle of prostitution. While they have been condemned throughout their lives and suffer quietly through the contradictions of society, this documentary hopes to reveal and share with the world the humanity that exists in each of these people.


Film :       It’s Still Autumn 


Country:  Iran

Length:    00:20:00


In recent years, a huge wave of shocking and unbelievable narratives of sexual harassment, assault and rape of women has taken over social media; An unprecedented move by Iranian women, reminiscent of the #MeToo global movement, which has exposed countless sexual assaults incidents around the world. 

These narratives are astonishing not only in terms of the appalling quality of the events, but also in terms of the scope, extent, and status of those accused of the assaults.

We also wanted to tell the story of one of the women.
In this way, we read many stories and tales. There was a lot in common with the stories.
Parts of the stories were deleted or censored for the personal reasons of the authors. Topics such as rape, humiliation, lust, and family events were eliminated by narrators and writers.
In fact, the nudity of the subjects was very low.
Until we got to this story. A story that belongs to all of us as much as it belongs to her.


Film :        I won’t Kneel

Director:  Hilda Awori

Country:   Uganda

Length:     00:12:00


The considerable difference in how the girl-child and the boy-child are raised in many African homes is largely attributed to patriarchy. This documentary film explores the logic behind Patriarchy through the lens of a cultural practice that is women and girls kneeling down while greeting other members of the society- a treasured custom among my people- the Japadhola of Eastern Uganda.

Film :       En Camino

Director: Isabella Cortese, Federico Fenucci, Giuditta Vettese

Country:  Mexico

Length:    00:30:00


En camino is a journey from Mexico City to Mérida. It collects the testimonies of many women and activists. Through their experiences and emotions we address a fundamental question: what does it mean to be a woman in Mexico? The answer is plural and takes us to the themes of economic exploitation; human trafficking; lack of institutional protection; inequality in economic, educational, sexual and reproductive rights; the cultural meaning of the word love; sexual and psychological violence. If these issues are exacerbated in number and intensity in Mexico – among the countries with the highest rate of feminicides and number one in the world for child sexual abuse – they resonate in the rest of the world because of the link that welds capitalism and patriarchy in history. Outside of colonial history, which complicates and aggravates the socio-political situation of Latin American women, the roots are common: the world is still macho, and women are, all too often, pawns of male power. In the texture of their faces, the colours of Mexico, its landscapes, its skies and clouds – because looking at the sky is the fundamental gesture to open new horizons – the women tell us the struggle for the right to be able to say “no”.

Film :        Hopeless Hopecase

Director:   Serkan Bozkurt

Country:  Turkey

Length:    00:03:00


Hopeless Hopecase is video art version of HOPE (dance theater, choreography) which won Fidelio Fine Art Competition Vienna.

Hopeless Hopecase talks about stories of women, lost on the migration. These stories of refugee women who hope to create a new life with their family or alone, come together by abstract movements between suitcase and performers.

They are looking for a new home while carrying a suitcase, searching themselves in a new country, searching a new home in their body by asking these questions; Where is my body? Where is my mind? Where am i? Where can I locate my suitcase?

Film :       Black &White

Director: Eluned Zoe Aiano, Anna Benner

Country:  Czech Republic

Length:    00:19:10


The small Czech town of Třeboň found itself at the centre of unexpected international attention when the world-wide press picked up on an obscure urban legend from World War Two, some 70 years after the event. The story in question involves nurses, Nazis, seduction and syphilis, but no-one can agree on what really happened.

Black&White pieces this legend together through a collage of interviews with a group of locals. The film explores how the story came about in the first place, and how it evolved after it ended up in the news. Their reflections are visualised through a combination of excerpts from the history of cinema, together with animation, problematising the types of tropes and conventions used to depict the roles of women.

Film :      Ava Kuña, Aty Kuña; mulher indígena, mulher política

Director: Julia Zulian, Fabiane Medina, Guilherme Sai

Country:  Brazil

Length:    00:25:00


Ava Kuña, Aty Kuña; indigenous woman, political woman is a poetic approach to indigenous Brazilian women’s political resilience. A portrait of the Kuñangue Aty Guasu, an assembly of Guarani Kaiowá women, the short documentary mixes the impressions of a white woman with an originary woman’s explanations about this meeting.

Local Documentaries

Film Since the Dust Settled

Director: Toğrul Abbasov

Country:  Azerbaijan

Length:    00:31:56


This is the story of three women whose homes in the center of Baku were demolished. Despite the public outcry at the time, eventually the fate of the people who lost their homes was forgotten. This film spotlights their lives after they lost their homes and is a reminder to the public about their fate.

Film :      Moments with My Mother

Director: Sanan Safarov

Country:  Azerbaijan

Length:    00:14:42


Ruhangiz, 70, has been active her entire life, from the time she started working in her early 20s until 2014, when she learned she had breast cancer. The disease forced her to suddenly stop working and stay at home. 

When Azerbaijan announced a countrywide lockdown, Ruhangiz faced a new wave of loneliness. Her sudden isolation reminded her of the traumas she suffered earlier in her life. Despite this, Ruhangiz remains hopeful and never forgets to water her flowers.

Film :        Shelter

Director: Maryam Mirzayeva

Country:  Azerbaijan

Length:    00:34:00


“Shelter” is a documentary about a shelter for women and children, located in Baku. It shows the way of life of this little entity, based in the private house-thus, namely its way of life as well as its inhabitants are the main focuses of this film. 

Through this documentary we find out about the kind of place this shelter is, how women and children landing there live their daily lives, what made them come there, and also listen to the stories of some of them. We learn about some of the typical reasons which force women to seek the help of this shelter through the stories of Aytadj and Elnaz. The majority of women staying at this shelter didn’t want to be filmed or even in some of the cases didn’t allow their children to be filmed as they feared heavy criticism from their family members or persecution from their husbands for complaining publicly.

This documentary was shot in the period of Eid al-Adha (Feast for Sacrifice) and for that reason it also depicts some details of the special charity event held for this occasion.

Film :      Forbidden Love in Azerbaijan

Director: Amina Mammadova

Country:  Azerbaijan

Length:    00:04:21


In Azerbaijan, both the state and society do not approve of same-sex marriage. This is evidenced by statistics: the country ranks last in the world in terms of tolerance for LGBT society. However, this does not prevent LGBT couples from living together in Baku.

The film presents the life of an LGBT couple in Baku.

Film :        My Family

Director: Afag Yusifli

Country:  Azerbaijan

Length:    00:07:00


The main character of the film, Ayten, despite all the difficulties and experiences, is moving towards achieving her goals. The childhood of the 40-year-old hero dates back to the times of the occupation of Fizuli. After the expulsion, all the difficulties of the protagonist continue. Ayten, who was forced to live with her family in a half-built dormitory, lost her father before our eyes. The war and the loss of one of the parents will not go unnoticed in his later life. Despite all this, she is a mother who can decide her fate today and work with her two children for their bright future.

Chaikhana Slot

Film :        From Darkness to the Light

Director: Gular Abbasova

Country:  Azerbaijan

Length:    00:09:06


Gunay completely lost her eyesight in 2015. In the beginning, the “constant darkness was terrible,” she recalls. A few years later she decided to become an actress in a theater for actors with disabilities and found herself in another world. Gunay recalls the transition as moving “from darkness into a bright world.” 

Film :       A letter to mother

Director: Gulnar Salimova

Country:  Azerbaijan

Length:    00:11:00


This is a letter to my mother – the feelings that I could not tell her in person, a recognition of my weakness, the failed talks and ineffable things, the miscommunication between a mother and daughter who live different lives, but still seek to understand each other in the best possible way.