It’s that time of the year again! The sixth annual Davis Feminist Film Festival is approaching. The event will be held tonight and Friday at 5 p.m. at the Veteran’s Memorial Theater at 203 East 14th St. The festival is a grassroots event put on by the Consortium for Women and Research.
The festival will showcase independent films that highlight issues of gender and its intersections with class, race and sexuality. It will also provide an inclusive public space for underrepresented artists to showcase issues that are not normally addressed in media and culture.
The festival also aims to foster campus and community partnerships and awareness through the different community organizations.
The DFFF was started in 2005, by the Gender and Global issues program in the Women and Gender studies department. All proceeds go toward operating costs and internship experience for student organizers.
In addition, to help generate more revenue, the festival will hold a silent auction this year. People can bid on items from businesses such as Armadillo Music, Davis Food Co-op, The Paint Chip, Urban Body and Woodstock’s Pizza.
“We do our best to design the festival to appeal not only to the UC Davis community, students and faculty but to the wider city of Davis,” said festival co-director Andrew Ventimiglia.
The festival will kick off with an hour-long opening reception, which will include food and drinks. The profits from beer sales will go to save the Baggins End Cooperative Community, more commonly known as the Domes.
Curation for the festival took place through a winter quarter undergraduate class called “Feminism, Film and Curation.” In the course students had the opportunity to have hands-on experience curating a film festival. The class was crucial in planning the festival and deciding which films were selected.
One of the interns for the festival, Rachel Aquino, was also in the curation class. She explained that the preliminary screening process included a committee composed of faculty, local artists and graduate students.
“We watched and screened films and evaluated them based on how they would contribute to the festival,” Aquino said.
They received over 100 submissions this year from various locations. Some films are local from the city of Davis or California, and many others are from foreign countries, including Argentina, China, Ghana, India, Ireland, the UK, Spain and Sweden. Filmmakers include film students and faculty, independent artists and activists.
The films fall into three genres: documentary, narrative and experimental.
“There are very different films so people will be able to relate to them,” Aquino said.
Ventimiglia added that the films address a wide range of issues, including social and political commentary.
“This is a range of issues that people don’t often get to see, so the festival is a chance for the community of Davis to see a range of interesting material,” Ventimiglia said.
One film is a documentary called The Witches of Gambaga, about women in Ghana who are accused of witchcraft. It will be followed by a question and answer session with the film’s co-producer, UC Davis professor of women and gender studies Amina Mama.
Another film is Long Haul, a documentary that takes an ethnographic look at three female truck drivers in the U.S.
“It contains some very charismatic and interesting characters and is one of the strongest documentaries I’ve seen submitted so far,” Ventimiglia said.
Festival director Michelle Yates said the films at this year’s festival are thought-provoking, hilarious and entertaining.
“I think this year’s program is the best yet,” Yates said.
Tickets are available at the Women’s Resources and Research Center for $5 to 15, on a sliding scale, at Armadillo Music for $7 (students) and $10 (general), and at the Veteran’s Memorial Theatre on the nights of the festival for $10 (students) and $15 (general). For more information, go to femfilmfest.ucdavis.edu.
PAAYAL ZAVERI can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.