18 September



Women Make Film: In Conversation with Zero Chou and Naoko Ogigami

60 min

This panel will explore how female filmmakers in East Asia have fought to promote equality both onscreen and behind the camera, advocating for the importance of diverse representation in the film industry. The panel includes Zero Chou, winner of the 2007 Berlinale Teddy Award and director of Secrets of 1979, and Naoko Ogigami, director of Close-Knit. Both the panellists will share their personal journeys, discussing how films can be designed to positively represent women of colour, how female desire is portrayed in East Asian cultures, and how existing power structures can be challenged in order to create a fairer environment in the industry.


Zero Chou, direcotr of Secrets of 1979

Zero Chou is a Taiwanese director whose films depict LGBTQ+ relationships. Her films include Splendid Float (2004), Spider Lilies (2007), Drifting Flowers (2008), and Ripples of Desire (2012). Her awards include the Teddy Award at the Berlinale. Together with her cinematographer partner, she launched a project called RainbowAround, which sought to produce six films about LGBT+ communities in different Asian cities. She is the first Taiwanese woman to have Oscars Academy membership. Chou wrote and directed Secrets of 1979, which is screening at Queer East this year.

Naoko Ogigami, director of Close-Knit

Naoko Ogigami is a Japanese director whose works have screened internationally. Her films include Yoshino’s Barber Shop (2004), Kamome Diner (2006), and Glasses (2007) which earned attention at film festivals including Sundance, Hong Kong, San Francisco, and Berlin, where it received the Manfred Salzgeber Award. Rent-a-Cat (2012) was featured in the Panorama section of the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival. Ogigama wrote and directed Close-Knit, which is screening at Queer East this year.


Jo Duncombe, Film Programme Manager, British Council Film

Jo is a freelance film curator and film programme manager at the British Council. She is passionate about championing underrepresented voices in world cinema.

At the British Council, Jo manages short film, new talent and film programmes for the Middle East and North Africa. She was recently the creative producer at Birds’ Eye View Films, championing women’s cinema, and helping to launch their Reclaim The Frame programme. She has previously worked in curatorial roles with the Independent Cinema Office and the London Short Film Festival.

Jo is also the UK programmer for the Victoria Film Festival in Canada and curates films for CASA festival of Latin American Arts. She has worked as an impact strategist and fundraiser on documentaries including A Syrian Love Story.

This event is supported by the Japan Foundation, London and Ministry of Culture (Taiwan).


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