Hollywood stars support Sussex film festival for women over fifty

Joely Richardson (Photograph: Annabel Clark)
Joely Richardson (Photograph: Annabel Clark)

Joely Richardson, Amanda Donohoe and Greta Scacchi, plus TV star Denise Welch, have all pledged their support for this year’s Women Over 50 Film Festival (WOFFF), taking place in Brighton and Lewes this weekend.

WOFFF, which runs from September 20 to 23, is an international film festival which aims to tackle the inequality older women face in the film industry.

Amanda Donohoe (Photograph: Steve Ullathorne)

Amanda Donohoe (Photograph: Steve Ullathorne)

Richardson, Donohoe, Scacchi and Welch have joined together to help WOFFF celebrate women over 50, in front of and behind the camera.

The festival showcases films made by, or starring, women over 50. It aims to start conversations between generations about ageing and to help end the isolation of older women.

Joely Richardson, part of the famous theatrical Redgrave dynasty and star of Hollywood movies including 101 Dalmatians and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, has spoken of her support for the festival.

She said “It’s so wonderful that the film industry has started to embrace women of all ages, and especially women in their vintage years.

Women Over Fifty Film Festival at the Depot

Women Over Fifty Film Festival at the Depot

“Ageism and sexism hopefully are relics of a bygone era. Actors are storytellers, and stories of older women are magnificent - for those extra years! How wonderful that this festival is putting this in the spotlight.”

Amanda Donohoe of Castaway and Liar Liar fame, cited the lack of older women’s stories in the media as the reason she is supporting the film festival.

“I’m delighted to see WOFFF is in its fourth year” Amanda said. “Our age group is seriously under-represented in almost all media, unless they’re sexualising us or telling us to buy something to make us look younger! Women over 50 have fascinating stories to tell. We always have.”

Actress Greta Scacchi, star of Versailles and War & Peace, has been a long-time supporter of WOFFF, particularly because it tackles the discrimination older women face in the media.

Denise Welch

Denise Welch

Speaking of her decision to support the festival for a second year, Greta said “I’m proud to have been an early supporter of the Women Over Fifty Film Festival before the subject of women in the film industry became such a huge public issue. WOFFF has always been ahead of the curve in its celebration of the unique voice of older women in film and I am delighted to continue supporting the work of such a great festival.”

British actor and star of ‘Loose Women’ Denise Welch has also added her voice in support of WOFFF.

Denise attended the festival in 2017 with her film Black Eyed Susan by Nick Rowntree.

She said: “This is such a great film festival - I love its energy and its ambition and how it’s determined to put older women at the heart of the film industry, where they belong. I had a wonderful time when I visited the Festival last year and I wish it all the best for this year and in the future.”

WOFFF Director Nuala (Photograph: Daniel D. Reimer)

WOFFF Director Nuala (Photograph: Daniel D. Reimer)

The Festival launch took place on Thursday (September 20) at Duke of York’s Picturehouse, Brighton, and moves to its new home at Depot, Lewes, on Saturday and Sunday (September 22 and 23).

Nuala O’Sullivan, WOFFF director, said “To be supported by such fine, fierce women of stage and screen is fantastic. To be encouraged by women like Amanda Donohoe, Greta Scacchi, Denise Welch, and Joely Richardson is a huge seal of approval for WOFFF. These stars, with many years of experience between them, are helping us amplify the WOFFF message – older women matter, we have stories, we have voices, and we will roar!”

For more information and to buy tickets for the Women Over 50 Film Festival 2018, visit: www.wofff.co.uk