It’s no secret that filmmakers possess the unique ability to provide lasting memories using vivid images and exciting mediums; films just seem to stay with you.
The fourth annual Davis Feminist Film Festival will showcase a spread of very diverse film styles, voices, viewpoints and talent. The festival kicks off tonight at 8 and will continue tomorrow. It takes place at the Veterans Memorial Center Theatre on 14th and E streets.
With topics like what it means to be a sexy athlete to the question of girls growing up too fast to issues of sexual desire, this year’s festival embodies exactly what it was created to do.
“The goal was to take feminist ethics outside of the classroom and into the community,” festival director Margareta Lelea said in an e-mail. “In the process, we grew to realize that short film and digital media is a powerful way to communicate and inspire. We also found that it is a very accessible form of media making it so that many diverse voices could be brought together.“
Lelea said that she started the festival in 2005 along with another graduate student, Danielle Fodor, to raise money for the international internship program through the Gender and Global Issues Program at UC Davis. The festival has and continues to thrive, now put together by the Consortium for Women and Research and Film Studies.
The festival’s mission statement expressed a devotion to “challenging sexism, racism, homophobia, ableism and classism through film and digital media.“
UC Davis students Denise Nicole Green, a graduate student in the textiles and clothing department, and Sarah Rebolloso McCullough, a graduate student in the cultural studies department, worked together to direct Fifty-Fifty.
The film follows the Sacramento City Rollers and uncovers the logistics of the sport and the real work behind roller derby. Green and Rebolloso described how the film looks at the tension between the fashion and athletic rigor of women’s roller derby, working to negate the notion that outrageous costumes are the only part of the job.
“These are athletes that go to practices everyday and work out, and through their appearance, [they] are really redefining what it means to be a woman athlete,” Green said.
With this film Green and McCullough show audiences 50 percent performance and 50 percent athleticism.
“These are two things that seem to be in tension, but they can actually be complimentary and explore a new definition of what it means to be an athlete and what it means to be feminine,” McCullough said.
Other films in the line-up are short and sweet dealing with universal topics. With images of a solitary red balloon in a field of green, senior English major Randall Wilson paints loneliness and alienation in a positive light in her film If.
“I want the message that you are not alone to be the main conveyance of this film,” Wilson said in an e-mail. “The girl with the red balloon believes there could be no one like her in this world, yet there is hope. There’s hope for all of us, and difference is what makes us beautiful in the end.“
For more information, visit femfilmfest.ucdavis.edu.
ELENA BUCKLEY can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.