These Short Films Show Why We Need More Female Journalists

It feels like there's been a shift in the media world over the past few years — it's not yet seismic, but it's definitely noticeable. More and more women are demanding that their voices be heard and their stories be told. Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey won a Pulitzer prize for their coverage of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Frances McDormand encouraged Hollywood to embrace the inclusion rider in her Oscar acceptance speech. And last week, 82 women staged a powerful protest at Cannes, calling for better representation of female filmmakers at the illustrious film festival.
Mariane Pearl and the team at Chime For Change are also helping to lead this movement. Gucci founded the organisation in 2013 to help amplify the voices of women and girls around the world. And in the summer of 2017, Pearl and 14 female storytellers from around the world gathered in Paris for the second Women Bylines, a five-day intensive journalism workshop.
Pearl says the storytellers involved with Bylines recognise that this is a pivotal moment in history for women's rights. "For me, the highlight is to witness over and over — and in dramatically different settings — how much women, ordinary or not, are committed to justice," Pearl says. "They have a carnal understanding of what it really means and entails.
Refinery29 is thrilled to share five of the films created during last year's workshop. Pearl is already planning for the next Women Bylines and hopes for the workshop to become a regular program for Chime For Change. "The collection of these individual stories told by and about women from across all possible contexts, cultures, places, and regimes should provide a fascinating canvas of female potential to rescue the world from its own greedy and destructive tendencies."
1 of 5
Say Yes and Do No
By Hanane Guendil, documentary filmmaker and journalist

When Hanane, 27, raised in Algeria moves to France, she meets women who are able to make bold choices but who still pay a heavy price for their freedom.
2 of 5
Letter to Louise Michel
By Florine Constant and Louise Pluyaud, film director and freelance journalist

Louise was named after Louise Michel — feminist, anarchist, teacher from the 19th century — the only woman in France with a metro station named after her. Two-hundred years later, Louise writes her a letter about what feminism looks like today.
3 of 5
But I Never Said Yes
By Delphine Dhilly, documentary filmmaker and freelance journalist

An intimate film about young women who, like Delphine herself, experienced a sexual intercourse they didn’t desire. Not quite rape, definitely not love, Delphine looks at the fears that stop young women from speaking their minds.
4 of 5
The Fairest of Them All
By Olivia Gay, documentary photographer

When Olivia was 15, her mother, an aspiring model, left the family. Olivia started taking photographs of all the women her mother refused to identify with. Three decades of portraying prostitutes, nuns, lonely mothers and inmates later, Olivia finds a way to free herself.
5 of 5
Sleepless Nights
By Charlotte Pouch and Fabienne Octobre, director and camera operator

For six years, Charlotte tries to support her friend Fabienne, mother of three girls, one of the 220,000 yearly victims of domestic violence in France. After years of suffering, the two friends come together to make this intimate film, as Fabienne decides to break free from her perpetrator and husband.

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