It was a day of intense emotions, crying, laughing and sharing of different experiences as different groups of people especially women came out to share their stories on body shaming, mental illness, the need for inclusion of all people, and human trafficking on the second day of the US Consulate Documentary Film Festival which held on the 20th of August 2019 at the Silverbird Cinemas in Lagos.
The women who were the major players in the discussions for the day had a lot of emotionally filled messages and insightful discussions to relay to the audiences. The stories ranged from loving your body no matter the size and shape in Jenny Macquire’s documentary film, ‘Straight/Curve’, to human trafficking and child abuse in Mary Mazzio’s documentary film, ‘I am Jane Doe’.
The first screening of the day was Jenny Macquire’s documentary film, ‘Straight/Curve’, immediately followed by a panel session featuring Dija, Kemi Lala Akindoju, Jane Michael Ekanem, Alice Kingsley, Matthew Gordon, hosted by Latasha Ngwube. The all women and one man panel discussed issues of mental health and how the stereotypes about body sizes affected each individual especially women. An awareness was created about the need for designers and Africans to love all shapes no matter what size and to create the appropriate clothing for all sizes so that whether you’re big or skinny, you can fit in to the fashionable world without fear or shame.
The second screening of the day was Mary Mazzio’s documentary film, ‘I am Jane Doe’, immediately followed by a panel session featuring Mary Mazzio, who joined in via Skype, Comfort Sanni, Tobore Ovuorie, Chioma Afe, Mary Joseph hosted by Kemi DaSilva-Ibru. The panel was very emotional as the women discussed issues of human trafficking, rape, murder and child abuse especially as it affects women in the society. Two women shared their stories of their experience in the hands of traffickers and how the trauma had affected them such that it had a lasting effect. The message passed was that the traffickers may come in disguise and promise all sorts of bogus claims to get people to leave the comfort of their homes to travel for a better life; however what is out there may be worse and can lead to severe suffering or even death. It was decided that there is a need to continue the conversation and the Nigerian government was called upon to intervene and help aid in preventing the prevalence.
The film festival runs from the 19th to the 22nd of August at the SIlverbird Cinemas in Victoria Island, Lagos. It is presented in partnership with Ascend studios and supported by MTV Base, WARIF, IMagneto Dance company and WildFlower PR.