Censored Women’s Film Festival

Censored Women’s Film Festival 2018-08-30T18:41:35-05:00

Upcoming Censored Women’s Film Festival! November 14-16, 2017

Outside the Box [Office], Honor Diaries, Women’s Voices Now,
and the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow,
in collaboration with the USC Levan Institute for Humanitites and Ethics (MISC),
USC Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services (RSVP),
USC Media Institute for Social Change, Late Night ‘SC,
and the USC Student Chapter of the Global Women’s Narratives Project,
invite you and guest to attend


Censored Women’s Film Festival

A Film Festival & Summit to Give Voice to the Voiceless

Tuesday, November 14th – Thursday, November 16th, 2017
Request Interviews Here
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The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
USC School of Cinematic Arts
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90089


The Censored Women’s Film Festival pushes the envelope in the cinematic portrayal of women’s rights and brings together dynamic speakers (experts, filmmakers and activists) from around the globe. The festival selects the most powerful films which uncover silenced women’s issues, using this event to give voice to the voiceless.  Featured speaker Egyptian Anti-FGM Lawyer and Women’s Rights Activist Reda Eldanbouki. Film selections include Honor Diaries, The Cruel Cut, Driving With Selvi, and video shorts from Women’s Voices Now, among others.

Available for Interviews: Paula Kweskin, Producer and Writer

Paula KweskinPaula Kweskin  is a filmmaker and attorney specializing in humanitarian and human rights law. She received her B.A. and J.D. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and an LL.M in International Law and Human Rights from Hebrew University.

She is producer of Honor Diaries, an award-winning documentary on women’s
rights and gender empowerment. Her recent film, Faithkeepers, tells personal stories of those affected by persecution in the Middle East.  
Paula’s articles have appeared in the The Wall Street Journal, The Hill, CNN.com, The Jerusalem Post, and The Daily Beast.

Learn More at: https://www.censoredwomen.com/

Schedule of Screenings and Events:

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 7:30-10:00 P.M.
Click here to RSVP

7:30 P.M. – Keynote Speech TBA
8:00 P.M. – Honor Diaries (60m), followed by a Q&A with Producer Paula Kweskin
9:15 P.M. – Screaming Silence (2m) & The Cruel Cut (52m)

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 7:00-10:00 P.M.
Click here to RSVP

7:00 P.M. – The Streets are Ours (16m), introduced by director Michelle Fiordaliso
7:30 P.M. – His Cucumber (3m)
7:40 P.M. – Egyptian Protest Short (3m), followed by a Q&A with Reda El Danbouki
8:00 P.M. – Forced Marriage Cops (32m), followed by a roundtable conversation on forced marriage with Raheel Raza and Neena Nejad
9:00 P.M. – Greeting from Heidi Basch-Harod, Women’s Voices Now
9:10 P.M. – Tackling Self-Censorship and Finding Male Allies: Shorts Presented by Women’s Voices Now

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 7:00-10:00 P.M.
Click here to RSVP

7:00 P.M. – You Asked For It (5m), introduced by filmmaker/SCA Alumna Ariel Sobel
7:10 P.M. – Butterflies (3m) & Broken Destiny of Poetry (15m), introduced by Raheel Raza
7:35 P.M. – Faithkeepers (40m) & Hawar (25m)
8:45 P.M. – Driving With Selvi (78m), introduced by Fatima Sabri

About the Films

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 7:30-10:00 P.M.

HONOR DIARIES (01:00:00)
Dir: Paula Kweskin/Micah Smith, 2014, Canada/United States        
Honor Diaries features nine courageous women’s rights advocates who are engaged in a dialogue about honor violence, forced marriage, and female genital mutilation. More than a movie, Honor Diaries is a movement meant to inspire viewers to learn more about issues facing women in honor-based societies, and to act for change.

Dir: Hassan Fazili & Fatima Hussaini, Tajikistan/Afghanistan
Every day she cleans her husband’s shoes, and what does he do?

THE CRUEL CUT (00:52:00)
Dir: Vicki Cooper, 2013, United Kingdom
This passionate and exuberant documentary explores the complex world of FGM, how it could be your neighbor, your colleague or the girl on the bus next to you who could be either at risk or suffering the consequences. The Cruel Cut examines the cultural and societal pressures, and how it manages to continue despite being illegal in the UK, and follows Leyla’s campaign as she and a group of survivors attempt to take their cause to the very top of the government.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 7:00-10:00 P.M.

HIS CUCUMBER (00:03:27)
Dir: Sharine Atif, 2015, Egypt/United States
An Egyptian woman shares her story about a man who sexually harasses her while at the market. Instead of ignoring him as most women would do, she confronts him with a shocking and unexpected tone.

Dir: Anna Hall, 2015, United Kingdom
With unprecedented access to the Manchester Police Force, this documentary investigates the biggest cases of forced marriage in the UK and follows the police as they desperately try to enforce a law that means children must turn on their parents to secure convictions.

Dir: Michelle Fiordaliso, 2017, USA  
This documentary short tells the inspiring story of two Pakistani women: Sabeen Mahmud, founder of Karachi performance space T2F, who paved the way for American actress/writer Fawzia Mirza to perform her one-woman show across Pakistan, one month before Mahmud’s tragic murder.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 7:00-10:00 P.M.

YOU ASKED FOR IT (00:05:15)
Dir: Ariel Sobel, 2016, United States
A campus cruiser driver goes on a rampage when she discovers the drunk boy in her back seat sexually assaulted her a few months earlier.

BUTTERFLIES (00:03:11)
Dir: Adnan Zandi, 2015, Iran
A mother needs to breastfeed her hungry child, but finds it very difficult in her public surroundings.

Dir: Rahmat Haidari, 2015, Afghanistan
Focusing on female poetry in Afghanistan, this documentary reveals how the few female poets often have to fight for their right to read and write their poems. The few female poets that do live in Afghanistan live in constant fear.

HAWAR (00:25:00)
Dir: Duzen Tekkal, 2015, Iraq/Germany
Hawar is the story of the Yazidi journalist Duzen Tekkal and her father Seyhmus, and their journey back to their roots. Duzen travels with her father to the birthplace of her religion, to the Yazidi homelands in northern Iraq, where ISIS terrorists are committing inconceivable atrocities.

Dir: Elisa Paloschi, 2015, India/Canada
Driving with Selvi tells the 10 year journey of a former child-bride who runs away from her violent marriage to become South India’s first female taxi driver.

Dir: Micah Smith/Paula Kweskin, 2017, USA
Faithkeepers gives face and voice to persecuted Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities in the Middle East.

New Location! University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, California

Keynote Speaker:

Reda Eldanbouki
Egyptian Anti-FGM Lawyer
Women’s Rights Activist
Women’s Center For Guidance & Legal Awareness


Featured speakers/activists/filmmakers

Heidi Basch-Harod – Executive director of Women’s Voices Now and author of articles and op-eds examining the Middle East and North Africa. Producer of award-winning documentary film Honor Diaries, and co-producer of the award-winning short film In Search of America, Inshallah.

Reda El Danbouki – Egyptian attorney and human rights activist. Founder of the Women’s Center for Guidance and Awareness. First attorney to bring a case against a doctor for performing female genital mutilation in Egypt.

Michelle Fiordaliso – Award-winning writer, film director, and executive coach whose work has been published in The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, and Self. Director of The Streets Are Ours: Two Lives Cross in Karachi.

Paula Kweskin – Human rights attorney and award-winning filmmaker, producer of Honor Diaries and Faithkeepers, and founder/director of the Censored Women’s Film Festival. Her articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Beast, and The Jerusalem Post among others.

Neena Nejad – Iranian-American filmmaker and photographer. Producer of the documentary The Price of Honor, a a documentary about the murders of Amina and Sarah Said, teenage sisters from Lewisville, Texas, who were killed in a premeditated “honor killing” in 2008.

Raheel Raza – Award-winning Paskistani-Canadian women’s rights and interfaith activist and journalist. Founder of the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow. First to lead mixed-gender Muslim prayers in Canada.

Fatima Sabri – Masters student of Sustainable Development in Policy Advocacy, Leadership and Social Change (School for International Training). Current intern at Women for Women International. Afghani women’s right activist and former policy analyst at Ministry of Counter Narcotics (Kabul).

Ariel Sobel – Graduated magna cum laude from USC School of Cinematic Arts. Co-wrote a feature to be executive produced by James Franco. Director, You Asked For It. Featured by The Advocate, Scholastic, The Huffington Post, film festivals, museums, and feminist ‘zines.

About the Censored Women’s Film Festival

The Censored Women’s Film Festival pushes the envelope in the cinematic portrayal of women’s rights and brings together dynamic speakers (experts, filmmakers and activists) from around the globe. Each year the festival selects the most powerful films which uncover silenced women’s issues, using this event to give voice to the voiceless.

Visit the CWFF Official Website: https://www.censoredwomen.com/

About Honor Diaries

More than a movie, Honor Diaries is a movement empowering viewers to break down the barrier of political correctness and speak the truth: culture is no excuse for abuse.

Visit the Honor Diaries Official Website: http://www.honordiaries.com

About Outside the Box [Office]

Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. Recognizing a need for greater diversity on campus, the series will draw from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain.

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