Columbia College Chicago Hosts Second Annual Chicago Feminist Film Festival

Columbia College Chicago Hosts Second Annual Chicago Feminist Film Festival

Free festival to showcase 57 films from 22 countries highlighting under-represented individuals and communities in the film industry
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CHICAGO (Feb. 16, 2017)—Columbia College Chicago will host the Chicago Feminist Film Festival, now in its second year, featuring 55 short films produced, directed and/or created by individuals of diverse backgrounds from around the world, including seven films from Columbia alumni and students. The festival draws attention to the need for greater diversity and representation of under-represented individuals in the film and entertainment industry. The event will be held at Columbia’s Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash Ave., in Chicago, March 1 to 3. The festival is free and open to the public.

“The Chicago Feminist Film Festival celebrates the work of under-represented filmmakers—particularly women, people of color, queer, and transgender folks—but also seeks to broaden the spectrum of stories being told about different kinds of people, given their struggle for visibility in the mainstream film industry,” said Susan Kerns, assistant professor, Cinema Art and Science. “The festival gives us the opportunity to address this under-representation and provides a dedicated platform to showcase diverse filmmaking talent.”

The festival will kick off on March 1 with a screening of the critically-acclaimed all-female-directed horror anthology XX, which includes the directorial debut of musician St. Vincent as well as a directorial contribution by Karyn Kusama (The Invitation, Girlfight). XX Director Roxanne Benjamin (Southbound) will be in attendance and available for a post-screening Q&A. The event will conclude with the Chicago premiere of the documentary Woman on Fire, which focuses on New York City’s first openly transgender fire fighter.Woman on FireDirector Julie Sokolow and the documentary’s subjects Brooke Guinan and James Baker, will also be in attendance and available for a post-screening Q&A. The full schedule is available at www.chicagofeministfilmfestival.com.

A recent study by the University of Southern California-Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism analyzed the top 100 highest-grossing films each year from 2007 to 2016. The study shows that out of these 1,000 films, only four percent were directed by women and out of 1,114 directors, only 45 were female. Of these 45 female directors, only three were black and three were Asian American. The study further noted that for every female director there are approximately 23.8 male directors.

“Studies on diversity levels in the film industry illustrate the need to encourage more opportunities for those who have been typically marginalized in this field,” said Michelle Yates, assistant professor, Humanities, History and Social Sciences. “The festival allows us to provide under-represented filmmakers the recognition they have earned. We are pleased to have Columbia’s support in our efforts.”

The Chicago Feminist Film Festival showcases independent, international film, predominantly shorts, spanning documentary, fiction, and experimental genres. This year, festival organizers received 800 films for consideration, from which 57 short films from 22 countries were selected. Among the films selected, the festival will feature films by Columbia alumni Shayna Connelly (Director) Gardening at Night, Eve Studnicka (Producer) and Catherine Woods (Production Designer) Dollface, as well as the directorial work of Columbia students Adele Franck, Spin Cycle; Youngbin Song, Umami; Dana Jacobs, I.D.; Mikaela McParlan, Game Master, and Jasmine Hart, Just Another Day.

Cover Image Credit: Vimeo

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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5 Songs to Add to Your Playlist This Month

Spring into finals week (and the summer) by "cleaning up" your playlist

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Here are some fun, fresh new tracks to check out as you finish out the rest of the school year and help you get out of your "music comfort zone!"

“Patience” by Tame Impala 

Genre: Electronic/Alternative

Tame Impala FINALLY released new music (!!), and this track is absolutely stunning. With frontrunner Kevin Parker staying on brand with the band's psychedelic, seemingly ethereal style, it sounds like a combination of 70s soft rock and waves of modern-day electronica, with Parker's voice drifting in and out in a kind of otherworldly, mellowed-out manner.

“Harmony Hall” by Vampire Weekend 

Genre: Alternative/Indie Pop

Vampire Weekend is also releasing an album, entitled "Father of the Bride", on May 3rd. From the looks of it, this track relates to the theme of marriage/weddings present in the album's title, and it is a fun, upbeat song that I have been listening to a lot in the morning as I'm getting ready for class! Ezra Koenig's voice is so unique and can cover a broad range, and I highly recommend listening to some of the band's other work as well ("Step" from their 2013 release "Modern Vampires of the City" is one of my all-time favorite songs!).

“Ready to Let Go” by Cage the Elephant 

Genre: Alternative/Alternative Rock

So many great artists are (finally) releasing new albums this year, and Cage the Elephant falls into this category. This track is an absolute banger and doesn't stray much from the band's style in that it includes a lot of loud guitar and dynamic vocals. Like Vampire Weekend, Cage the Elephant has been around since the early 2000s, and I highly recommend checking out some of their earlier work as well (big fan of their most recent album, actually!)

“Apple Orchard” by Beach House 

Genre: Indie/Electronic

Beach House is one of my favorite bands of all time, as I find a kind of an ethereal, beautiful sadness in the dreamy style of instrumentalist Alex Scally and lucid vocals of singer Victoria Legrand. This track is from their 2006 self-titled debut and is probably one of my favorite songs they've ever released. The lyrics are poetic and perfect for the post-finals enjoyment of spring weather, in that they preach relaxation and restfulness, and the song's electronic rhythms echo the essence of spring as well. If you like this song, then I highly recommend checking out the band's other albums as well (Depression Cherry is one of my favorite albums of all time).

“April Come She Will” by Simon & Garfunkel 

Genre: 60s Pop

No spring playlist is complete without a little Simon & Garfunkel! This song is a classic, its timeless, poetic lyrics capturing the epitome of the coming of spring and all its glory. In fact, I consider the entire album (entitled Sound of Silence) to be perfect for the pleasantness and feelings of renewal/natural revitalization associated with the coming months, so be sure to give it a listen if you haven't heard it before!

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