Among the abundance of entertainment and activities on offer for this year's La Fiesta festival is the opportunity to talk about cinema and women.

The Women in Film Coffee Circle on Wednesday is open to anyone interested in discussing the roles and representation of women in the film industry.

"Numbers will be limited so it doesn't get too unwieldy," says facilitator Helen Marie O'Connell.

"It won't be an academic discussion - it's more of an informal session for those interested in learning more about the topic and it will be great if there are some who can also share experience and insight."


Ms O'Connell is president of the Whanganui film society and she says the 2017 season promises a number of films made by women directors.

"There are still a proportionately low number of women directors and we will be showing a trio of films which we are calling The Debutantes."

The films are by pioneering American women directors across three generations from the 50s, 70s and 90s.

Ida Lupino's 1953 film The Hitch-hiker, Elaine May's A New Leaf made in 1971 and Kelly Reichardt's River of Grass made in 1994.

"Ida Lupino had a very successful acting career but she really wanted to get behind the camera and she showed that she could direct as well as her male contemporaries," says Ms O'Connell.

"Despite the fact that she did that back in the 1950s, it's still a male-dominated profession."

Film society screenings will begin next month and the 2017 season is now live on the society website

Women in Film Coffee Circle, Wednesday 22 February 1-2pm, admission is free but must RSVP to Venue confirmed upon booking.