Dilara Senbilgin was born in Manisa, Turkey, and graduated from Istanbul Bilgi University with a double major in Media & Communication and Psychology. Her thesis project WINNING BACK SYRIA’S CHILDREN was a short documentary that focused on the education conditions of refugee Syrian children who live in Istanbul and their relationship with their teachers. After her graduation in Istanbul, she moved to Los Angeles and attended a two-year Directing program at UCLA. During this time, she wrote, directed, and edited numerous projects including her thesis project KEPT (2018), a narrative short film that explored the themes of feminism, rape, and abortion. KEPT has been shown in over 10 film festivals and won awards such as Best Screenplay, Women Filmmakers, and Best Supporting Actress. Most recently, Dilara worked as an Associate Producer on Bryan Fogel’s political documentary THE DISSIDENT, which tackles the subject of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The film had its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
The irony of this festival is that its goal is to not be around in 5 years time. To eventually not be relevant because there is zero need to have a festival geared for female talent and female stories because the stories presented in Hollywood and around the world are a balanced showcase of the human experience from both sexes.
Our goal is to achieve a lot of success and then fold into oblivion simply because there is no need for this festival.
This festival was created by the FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival as a simple reaction to a strong need to showcase female talent from around the world in a more profound way.
When putting together the weekly festival, the administration noticed a lack of a female presence in the stories being shown at the festival.
A classic example and analogy to the frustration is how the festival noticed that even the smaller roles in a screenplay were written for a man to play. There was zero reason for this in many stories. How a police officer, or a political campaign manager, for example with 3-4 lines in a screenplay was a "HE" character. Why? And these are the screenplays written by the winners! The talented one who have obtained agents and have began/beginning their careers as a writer.