Virtual Cinema | “Five” Short-Film Compilation Commemorates Women’s History Month March 12, 2021

Five is a collection of documentary short films highlighting five female entrepreneurs in five different countries and industries. There is a clear choice in each film to focus on the work, on the positive, on the impact, and on the joy each of these women experiences and shares.

  • “Harfa” (Croatia)
  • “Justice of the Pies” (USA)
  • “Onganic Foods” (India)
  • “Sarah’s Bag” (Lebanon)
  • “Talento incluir” (Brazil)

All of the shorts focus on women determined to create “purpose-driven” establishments in the male-dominated field of business—some in countries where women are not yet equal to men. All of them have experienced, or are responding to, disabilities or injustices in the world.

The Message: Moving
Because the films are shorts, they have limited time to explore and expose, but I was moved by the message that human connections and community are more important than financial gain, and that fostering those connections will drive financial success. As Sarah Beydoun (“Sarah’s Bag”) says, “Whoever is going to venture into a business, you better venture into a business that has a social impact at the same time. . . I think the world needs more people supporting missions.”

The Joy: Revolutionary
It was painfully apparent that these projects had begun before the pandemic, and each of these women’s businesses depend on the interaction of communities to both make the products and sell them to the world. What has COVID-19 done to these women? After some online sleuthing, I found that they seem to be hanging in there, and it is my greatest hope that Five helps their businesses sustain and grow. I didn’t want these women to simply smile and persevere, so after a year-plus of this pandemic, the women’s joy felt revolutionary, and Five reminded me that in this time of isolation, we still need each other.

• Five / WATCH HERE Your ticket ($4.99) supports the MFAH and provides a 3-day pass to the film. SEE THE TRAILER

About the Author
Jenny Waldo is a filmmaker and an instructor at Houston Community College. Her directorial debut, the feature film Acid Test, is scheduled for release soon.

Underwriting for the Film Department is provided by Tenaris and the Vaughn Foundation. Generous funding is provided by Nina and Michael Zilkha; The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea; Franci Neely; Carrin Patman and Jim Derrick; Lois Chiles Foundation; ILEX Foundation; L’Alliance Française de Houston; and The Foundation for Independent Media Arts.

Special thanks to promotional partner Women in Film and Television Houston.