Winners of 16 DAYS 16 FILMS Film Festival Announced

Modern Films and the Kering Foundation today announced the Award Winners for the third annual 16 DAYS 16 FILMS Initiative which took place online from 25 November to 10 December.

Inspired by the UN Women campaign 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, the Initiative officially concluded today with a streamed online event and Awards Announcement, hosted in partnership with Girls On Film and moderated by British film critic and broadcaster Anna Smith.

First place went to Melissa Elizondo Moreno’s film The Road is a Red Thread (Mex) about femicide and the thousands of women who continue to ‘disappear’ each year in the state of Mexico. As part of her prize, Moreno will also receive the opportunity to create a new public service announcement for UK Says No More, a national campaign focused on raising awareness and preventing domestic abuse and sexual violence in the UK.

The second place prize went to B. Monét’s Ballet After Dark (USA), which highlights the power of dance therapy for sexual violence and domestic abuse survivors.

Third place was awarded to Adura Onashile’s Expensive Shit (UK), about a toilet attendant desperate for survival, who manipulates the behaviour of unsuspecting women for the titillation of men watching behind the mirrors.

All three award-recipients received a cash prize.

For the first year, and to great success, 16 DAYS 16 FILMS introduced a publicly voted for Audience Award, which was awarded to Charlotte Daniel’s Eyes Down. In the days leading up to the Awards Event, Audience members were able to vote for the film which they felt stood out as a result of its high quality, strength of storytelling and impactful resonance.

An independent jury selected the winners from 16 finalist films which were released each day between 25 November and 10 December on, and also shared by the Kering Foundation’s specialist non-profit organisation partners supporting this campaign: Chayn Italia in Italy, En avant toute(s) in France, Fondo Semillas in Mexico, NNEDV in the U.S, as well as the UK Says No More campaign in the UK.

The jury included an array of individuals from various creative and socio-political backgrounds, including film producer Barbara Broccoli (James Bond); actress, and social justice humanitarian Ashley Judd; social activist and psychotherapist Dr. Leyla Hussein; producer and writer Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor (Blue Story); actress Stacy Martin (Nymphomaniac); actress and producer Julie Gayet (Raw); actress Anna Friel (Marcella); stunt performer and intimacy coordinator Teniece Divya Johnson (Succession); Director Phyllida Lloyd (The Iron Lady); Journalist and author Terri White; Director Sarah Gavron (Rocks); actress Jasmine Trinca (La Dea Fortuna); Writer Abi Morgan (Suffragette); Director and Actress Tamara Yazbek Bernal (After Lucia); journalist Chiara Tronville; Promundo CEO Gary Barker; Kering Foundation Executive Director Céline Bonnaire; and UK Says No More Partnership Manager Sarah D’Angelis.

It’s been such a pleasure to be part of the jury for this important initiative and to have the opportunity to watch these poignant films that shine a light on the different forms which gender-based violence can take. All 16 finalist films were powerful and affecting in their own right, and I look forward to seeing more from this vibrant pool of female talent in the future.” – Anna Friel

For all the attention we have called to the horrendous levels of men’s violence against women everywhere in the world, we are far from ending it. These films tell us that we can’t look away. That we can’t pretend it doesn’t exist. These three films are thoughtful, urgent, and ultimately hopeful. They remind us that we all must speak out. That we all must act.” – Gary Barker

It was a tough call, all of the entries were so valuable and interesting and well made. But our consensus was strong that the first place should go to a powerful, urgent, emotional short film from Mexico, The Road Is a Red Thread. You must see this six-minute film.” – Ashley Judd

This year, 16 DAYS 16 FILMS received over 350 submissions across the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Mexico and the United States. All films were directed by a female-identifying filmmaker and spoke powerfully to the many forms which gender-based violence, inequality and discrimination can take.

16 DAYS 16 FILMS was launched in 2018 by female-led UK film production and distribution company, Modern Films, in association with UK Says No More.