As part of the project, a dataset of 290 auto/biographical film titles made by Muslim women filmmakers from Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Turkey from the 1980s to date was created.

The date of 1980 is significant of the advent and broad availability of video technologies, which facilitated independent filmmaking, new topics, wider audiences and exhibition, and the global emergence of a greater number of women filmmakers.

The data was drawn from scholarly studies, industrial reports, governmental and non-governmental bodies, film festivals, and filmmakers’ websites.

The resulting dataset includes comprehensive data for each film: author and title of the films, year and language of production, availability of subtitles translating the original language, country of production and of release, and duration.

The films are then categorised under a number of overarching headings, selected to highlight important features of the films and of their auto/biographical approach. These features may be co-present in a film and so a film may be categorised under a number of headings:

  • Animation: films that are animations entirely or partially
  • Auto-biographical: films that include or are entirely based on the biography of the filmmakers and their families
  • Auto-fiction: films which present fictionalised auto-biographical elements or in which the autobiography of the filmmaker is the basis for a fictional self-representation
  • Biographical/Portrait: films that include a portrait-like representation of existing people
  • Diary: films that capture elements of the daily life of the filmmaker / characters
  • Documentary: nonfictional films
  • Epistolary: films that include a letter-like exchange or are addressed as a letter
  • Essay Film: films that develop an argument on a problem or sets of problems and that take on essayistic features (first person address, essay-like argumentation)
  • Experimental: films that do not display conventional cinema features and that experiment with form
  • Feature/Fiction/Drama/Short: as in widely used film categorisation
  • First-person: films in which the filmmaker says “I” and speaks from an overtly subjective/personal position
  • Gender/Activist: films that address issues of gender from an activist, political stance
  • Testimonial: films in which the filmmaker takes on the role of the testimony (of historical or current events) and also documents testimonies from filmic subjects.

The dataset is open access and searchable and made available here for reuse and sharing. MS Excel Is required to open and read the file. The data is interoperable and can be reused.

The MUSLIMWOMENFILM dataset is permanently archived in Zenodo

DOI: https://zenodo.org/record/6659716

You can also download the dataset below (Excel file):

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 837154.