It is well known that far fewer women than men direct feature films, but the general assumption is that this is a result of the macho sexual politics of the movie industry rather than any fundamental difference in aesthetic or ambition. Is this really true or are the differences more profound? Does a female aesthetic in film actually exist? If it does, is it more evident in independent films than mainstream studio movies? What cultural factors are at play, and do different countries' film industries treat their women (and their audiences) in different ways? This year's LFF showcases an unusually high number of women directors and producers with a diverse range of outstanding films including An Education, Blue Beard, Cold Souls, Father of my Children, She, a Chinese, Bright Star, White Material, Calimucho, Women Without Men and our Closing Night film Nowhere Boy to name but a few. An exciting panel of female filmmakers including Jan Chapman (producer of Bright Star), Xiaolu Guo (writer-director of She, a Chinese), Lindy Heymann (Director of Kicks), Finola Dwyer (Producer of An Education) and Lisa Cortes (Producer of Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire) will discuss their work with The Script Factory's Briony Hanson and explore the reality of how women operate in today's film world.