Women Of The Lens film festival
The Team : About Us
Empowering through knowledge and celebration
Jennifer G. Robinson
Included in a career of 20 plus years, Jennifer has Journalism, Public Relations, Education and Film as part of her skill-set. Her first foray into festival production came with the Black Filmmaker International Film Festival created by filmmaker Menelik Shabazz (Burning An Illusion/The Story Of Lovers Rock). In addition to Women Of The Lens, Jennifer has a communications consultancy and other projects in development.
To say that Jennifer is ‘passionate’ about the industry is clichéd, but it is the best word to use, which describes her innate commitment and loyalty to create and deliver a Festival of integrity which grows to fulfil its and her vision.
Building on her own filmmaking career as a Producer and now Director, Laurelle has been the Festival’s Coordinator since 2017 to 2019. Laurelle graduated with a 2:1 BA in Media Arts, Film and TV. Her film credits include I Woke Up This Morning Wanting To Kiss You and most recently a webseries called Hidden Secrets.
Very special thanks goes to…
No Festival is complete without its supporting Team Members and Hospitality Hosts. Women Of The Lens was proud to have a delectable array of skills and talent as part of our team. Some were industry students and/or already working in the industry. They really helped to make our events hospitable and welcoming for all our guests. A very hearty thanks to all and we look forward to working with them and others in the future.
Ethos Aims and Objectives
- To create industry partnerships that nurture talent and build careers.
- To develop audience engagement.
- Highlight, celebrate and share achievement.
- Engage wider and local community.
- Contribute to the wider discourse around race, diversity, industry and education with a vision to form productive and reciprocal representations.
Women Of The Lens Film Festival
The Festival was created because the underrepresentation of black women in the creative industries remains stubbornly low. With a number of organisations stating through study after research, after data, after stats that there was a dearth of black women in the film and other creative industries, the will to do something about it remained as sparse as the representations of black women in front of and behind the camera.
Rather than continue with a frustrating wait for recognition, Jennifer G. Robinson created Women Of The Lens as her contribution to changing for the better, the complexity, diversity and multiplicities of black women’s stories that are ordinarily overlooked in the conventional media-sphere.
Since its first live event in November 2017, the Festival demonstrates that audiences are more than ready to engage with complex tales, which move beyond the common tropes reserved for black women.
Luminaries such as Sir Lenny Henry and Lennie James have spoken up about the need to ensure that the industry and government take diversity seriously. Thus far however, black women are still being left out of strategies to develop and sustain their potential. They are not represented in the corresponding number in initiatives. Black women endure a multiplicity of intersectional (incl. age, class) setbacks – not only is there gender-based inequality, but lack of opportunity via race further ingrains imbalances.
Additional reasons for set backs include marketing and PR strategies. The organisations which deliver these campaigns are themselves lacking in a diverse workforce that would see purposeful campaigns that reach target audiences.
Women Of The Lens was created to secure additional spaces towards addressing these and other related challenges and achieves this through building safe spaces, which celebrates achievement and shares knowledge.
Since inception, the Festival has screened narratives from around the world. It has provided opportunities for filmmakers to network and gain experience in selling their productions. Each year the Festival delivers industry panels where knowledge is exchanged. And as we move into a new era of festival production due to global changes in society, Women Of The Lens will continue to adapt to meet changing needs.
Women Of The Lens
Women Of The Lens was created to reveal the complexity, diversity and multiplicities of black women and women of colour. We'll work with productions to change perceptions and practice.