Zonta Film Festival showing 12 documentaries from female directors

Princess Cinemas is showing 12 documentaries directed by women this weekend for the eighth annual Zonta Film Festival.

Organizers say goal is 'bringing these stories into people's worlds and helping them process it'

Afghan Cycles is one of the films playing at this year's Zonta Film Festival at The Princess Cinemas in uptown Waterloo. (Afghan Cycles/Twitter)

Princess Cinemas is showing 12 documentaries directed by women this weekend for the eighth annual Zonta Film Festival.

"We wanted to show incredible films around human rights [and] advocacy — stories told through a female lens," said Melissa Durrell, a City of Waterloo councillor and one of the people responsible for bringing the films to Waterloo region.  "I just think that's really important."

The films are being shown at Princess Cinemas in uptown Waterloo from Thursday, Nov. 8 to Sunday, Nov. 11. 

All of them are directed by women and are connected by a common theme: the discrimination women face in their day-to-day lives.

"It's bringing these stories into people's worlds and helping them process it," said Durrell. "Then, hopefully, inspiring them to do something in the greater world around us."

Durrell said the money raised through ticket sales will go to organizations that support women in the community. 

Interested in the festival, but not sure what film to see? Durrell recommends these: 

The Big Flip

The Big Flip is a documentary about a reversal of roles in the traditional family, as more and more women are becoming the breadwinners while their husbands are staying home to take care of the kids. 

Durrell said it's "awesome, especially for millennial women, in the sense that the way you were raised is not the way you're going to raise your children." 

Afghan Cycles

Afghan Cycles is a documentary about a group of women in Afghanistan who — against cultural and social norms — form a cycling club and train for an upcoming race.

Durrell said she can't get this one out of her mind: "It's hope. It's inspiring, and I love this film."

The Woman Who Loves Giraffes

This one has a local connection: a film about Anne Innis Dagg, a Waterloo resident who was only recently recognized for her pioneering research on giraffes in 1956.

Durrell said it's a "fantastic story" and that Innis Dagg is an "amazing woman" who will be at the showing to answer questions after the film is over.

Unfortunately, the Zonta Film Festival showing of this film is already sold out, but The Princess Cinemas will be showing it again later in November.