The Spirit of Liverpool is an ambitious new festival celebrating the hidden histories of women in Liverpool and how they have shaped the city. The event, which is supported by the BFI (British Film Institute), is set to launch this weekend with a nature inspired event at Toxteth TV.

Featuring 13 events, taking place across multiple venues in the city, the festival focuses on archive footage and film, but also includes live music, cultural walks and workshops, which will evoke the powerful voices of women, past present and future.

A glance in to the life of 90’s ‘riot grrrl’ pioneer Kathleen Hanna will take place at the Metal Liverpool on 12th May, with performances from Queer/Feminist group Venus Collective, a showing of archive film ‘Vote 100: Born a Rebel’, and a live performance from mega queen, Beija Flo.  

On 13th May, a brand new laundrette and social space inspired by Kitty Wilkinson – an Everton woman who was instrumental in establishing the first wash house in the country back in 1842, will be opening its doors for the first time to host an evening of archive films, words, images and socialising. Researcher Kerrie McGiveron will also be delving in to the history of local wash houses and their place in Liverpool.

Other festival highlights include; a Sunday stroll and screening of local archives at Granby Winter Garden, a screening of The German Sisters, an award winning film by Margarethe von Trotta depicting the story of two sisters with very different ways of fighting for women’s civil rights at the Black-E, and a rare screening of Britain’s first black female directed movie Welcome II The Terrordome at VideOdyssey, Toxteth TV.

Festival curator Monika Rodriguez said that during research for the events, she discovered that lots of the archive footage being shown is in danger of being lost and the festival is a call to action to protect these stories for future generations.

She said: “We’re celebrating the role women have played in transforming society by using archive, music, workshops and film.

“We want to pay tribute to all the women in this great city, because there are so many stories that have been buried in the sands of time and without them, Liverpool would not be the amazing place it is today.

“The Spirit Of Liverpool is a call to action, not only to recognise these histories, but for a real change in how gender is represented in cinema and how these stories are told. 

“We especially want to reach out to the younger generations, who will be the torch bearers of the future, when it comes to telling the story of today.

“We want to show that Liverpool is a special place, because these stories exist and they must stay alive in our collective memory.

“During our research for the festival, we discovered that many archives are not easily accessible and these histories are in danger of being buried away.

“Liverpool has a rich history of social activism and a great flare for community work. We owe women like Mary Seacole, Kitty Wilkinson or Dorothy Kuya a debt of gratitude and should remember them by telling their stories and commemorating how they paved the way for the voices that are shaping Liverpool’s present.

“The events are designed to leave audiences with a sense of discovery and a curiosity to find out more.”

The Spirit of Liverpool opens this Saturday with Orlando (starring Tilda Swinton) plus introduction and short film Ella at the Unity Theatre and The Seeds of Liverpool: a day of poetry from Amina Atiq and planting seeds in the garden at Toxteth TV, Windsor Street, L8 1XE

Festival Highlights include:

* Orlando (PG) plus introduction and short film Ella – Unity Theatre – May 11th, 7pm

* Granby Stories – Sunday stroll and screening of local archives – Granby Winter Garden, May 12th, 12pm

* Venus Collective presents The Punk Singer (15) with performance by Beija Flo – METAL Liverpool, May 12th, 6pm

* Liverpool Women United; a night of archive films, images and words – Kitty’s Laundrette, May 13th, 7pm

* The Watermelon Woman (15) plus discussion with ROOT-ed zine – VideOdyssey, Toxteth TV, May 16th, 7pm

* Light Night – home movie rituals – VideOdyssey video shop, Toxteth TV, May 17th, 7pm

Find the full schedule at

Festival trailer:


Please contact Andy Johnson with any PR or interview requests on 07946 657210 or

Notes to Editors:

The Spirit of Liverpool: reclaiming Women’s Histories Through Film is supported by BFI Film Audience Network as part of Changing Times: Women’s Histories.

Festival organisers Monika Rodriguez and Michael Pierce of Cinema Nation and the various personalities presenting the events are available for interview.

This is the inaugural year of The Spirit Of Liverpool, which aims to build a long term archive to protect the many stories being told for future generations.