Correcting the balance: The Bechdel Test Fest is planning a year-long festival of women-centric films

In a world where reports show depressing stats such as that in mainstream movies there were 2.24 males to every one female and women made up just 30.9% of speaking rolesThe Bechdel Test Fest exists to explore how this came to be and what it means for actors, viewers, and the wider world. The fest team programme festivals and screenings that highlight the presentation of women in cinema and offer alternatives to the mainstream. The Bechdel Test itself is a quick 3 point test attributed to a comic written by author Alison Bechdel, which can be used to quickly judge the extent to which a film portrays women as independent and intelligent characters not defined and limited by males. It helps judge the landscape of cinema.

Having already programmed a "reclaim the romcom" themed fest at the Genesis cinema, the BTF Is back with Little Women, Big Stories in partnership with Picturehouse Cinemas, Cinemania and Hackney Wicked Women!

Little Women, Big Stories will screen several acclaimed films that feature women characters on voyage of self discovery. Each screening will be followed up with a Q&A with some special guest speakers. Included in the line-up are well-received older releases such as Fish Tank and Wadjda, but a new release has also been squeezed in in the shape of Appropriate Behaviour from director Desiree Akhavan.

Following that, the BFT have plans for Halloween, teaming with the London Fields Free Film Festival for the Horror Harem, which aims to highlight strong, inspiring and progressive women in the horror genre. As with the Little Women season, this event will include Q&As with expert panellists working in the genre. The full programme will be announced later.

Corrina Antrobus, Curator of the Bechdel Test Fest said: “The film festival aims to create conversation and to activate change through insight and inspiration, in a fun and thought-provoking environment. It is an opportunity to proudly showcase films that do pass the test, to credit and identify those on and off the camera that represent women equally and as empowering protagonists.”

“We have had an incredible amount of interest already, there is clearly an appetite and delighted to say our launch event sold out within days. I am really eager to hear from anyone that would like to contribute to this festival, those that would like to screen their film, host a panel or would simply like to partner with us, we are still planning our 2015 event schedule – so do get in touch. It’s going to be a truly exciting year.” 

For more information on the Bechdel Test Fest you can visit

Follow on Twitter: @BechdelTestFest and the Facebook page.


Owen Van Spall

Greetings. I am a Film History MA graduate from Birkbeck University of London and a trained NCTJ qualified journalist. Apart from a long history of film and news writing for this site and various other publications, I am also a trained photographer with my own camera kit. I write mostly every day. Along the way I have picked up work experience at Sight & Sound, The Guardian, The Independent, The FT, The New Statesman, and more. I have written hard news stories, features, arranged and conducted interviews with celebrities, film directors and other major cultural figures, arranged photo shoots, and covered film festivals, conferences and events in the UK and abroad. If you wish to commission me or enquire about full-time opportunities please find my CV and contact details below. A physical portfolio of print only cuttings can also be provided.