SDL Layered Gaze Film Festival

Now more than ever we, as daughters of Diaspora, must turn the male gaze theory on its ear and exemplify the possibilities of us telling our own stories. This Feminist Film Festival provides a platform for the necessary conversations around the intersections of oppression and the ways it manifest in how we show and tell our Herstories… an evening of celebration and love as we look to shift the narrative away from the standard notion of what is gazable- from the exoticification of women of color to added layers of class, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc. –SDL

Sister Diaspora for liberation is a collective of women activist that unite to share their experiences and struggles. This was their first annual Feminist Film Festival, titled- Layered Gaze. The SDL members were able to get co-sponsored by Grand St. Settlement and endorsed by Bangladeshi American Women’s Development Initiative- BAWDI, FistUpTv, New Negress Film Society, Trust Your Struggle, Word Up: Community Bookshop – Liberia Comunitaria, and Yeah, That’s What She Said. 

It was such a great turn out, and such a spectacular experience for not just for me as a woman, but as a WoC, and a mom. Volunteering at the festival, and having my son watch all my sisters and I work hard to make the film festival a success really brightened my heart. It was such a great success, and a beautiful day filled with positivity and unity. So many uplifting films depicting the struggles and similarities women of color suffer and strive through. 

Here is what some of the members had to say:

It was a day filled with images that honored our own stories. – Christina, SDL Founding Member

It was SDL’s very first community offering. We’re extremely happy of its success! Engaged audience members walked away with a deeper understanding of the layered lives of women of color live. And that’s a win. – Leilani, SDL Founding Member

One of my favorite films was “Seventh Grade,” because it was an actual experience that was shared that I had similar a similar struggle with in school. My friend was being bullied because of the same circumstances, and like the filmmaker said during the talking prompt, “I kinda filmed what I wished I would’ve done.” I really resonated with her words, because it’s exactly how I felt when I was younger. So, this film festival really solidified that us women of color have similarities in our struggles, and we must join together to always uplift and love each other.

I am so proud to be part of such a diverse uplifting sisterhood.

Hope you enjoy!