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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Davis Feminist Film Festival to be held at Veterans Memorial Theatre

The Consortium for Women and Research and the Film Studies Department at UC Davis are presenting the fifth annual Feminist Film Festival, which will take place at 6 p.m. on Apr. 10 and 11 at the Veterans Memorial Theatre.

Tickets at the door are $10 for students and $15 for the general public, while pre-sale tickets can be purchased from Armadillo Music for $7. A reception with food and beverages provided by Taste Bud Catering will precede the film showings at 5 p.m.

Featuring documentary, narrative and experimental genres, the festival serves the audiences a fusion of art and social issues. Each film, ranging from six to 30 minutes long, brings aspects of social inequality to light, including the plights of women, people of color, sexual minorities and people with disabilities.

This year’s festival features 19 films over two nights, 40 percent of which are international and two of which were made by Davis residents.

“People can expect to see high-quality short films that represent issues and perspectives ignored by mainstream media,” said Laura Grindstaff, director of the Consortium for Women and Research, which funds, organizes and hosts the festival each year. “Many of them are quite funny and light-hearted – something people don’t always expect from a feminist event.”

Director of the Art of Regional Change program jesikah mariah ross, who prefers her name written in lower case, holds similar views on the festival’s merits.

“I attend every year,” ross said. “It’s one of the best film festivals in Davis and certainly the only one that focuses on people, places and issues that tend to be underrepresented or ignored in commercial media.”

Dory Mastrogany, an intern for the Davis Feminist Film Festival, said it is a grassroots event funded by different groups and centers on campus, as well as ticket sales and proceeds from the festival’s silent auction. Sponsors for the event include the Art Studio department, the ASUCD Gender and Sexuality Commission, UC Davis Comparative Literature and the UC Davis Cultural Studies, among several others.

Director of the 2010 Feminist Film Festival Michelle Yates said that the festival, which had started as a fundraiser for the Gender and Global Issues Program at UCD, has now expanded into a larger annual event organized by the Consortium for Women and Research with assistance from the film studies department. All proceeds go toward operating costs and providing internship experience for the student organizers.

The film festival staff considered a large number of submissions before selecting their final program of films. Submitted films had to be less than 36 minutes long and have a focus on gender or social justice issues. The rules also required that the film be created by people in the Davis or Sacramento area that are underrepresented in media – namely women, people of color, disabled people and transgender individuals. Deadlines were on Feb. 1, and applicants ran the gamut from professionals to students to community members.

“Anybody attending the Davis Feminist Film Festival will find themselves with people in the audience and on screen who have made a passionate commitment to feminist activism and independent media,” said Liz Constable, member of the advisory committee for this year’s festival. “They’ll leave the theater understanding much better the ways gender, race, sexuality and socio-economic class are intimately woven into both the visible and the insidious facets of power structures.”

For a complete program and list of the films, visit their website at femfilmfest.ucdavis.edu.

ELENI STEPHANIDES can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.

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