First Annual Chicago Feminist Film Festival

First Annual Chicago Feminist Film Festival

Attend the debut event to change history.
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If you are a fan of films (and let's be honest, we know you are), then you need to make your way to Chicago on April 21 and 22 for the Chicago Feminist Film Festival! This is the festival's debut and it is going to be absolutely magnificent.

Free and open to the public, the festival will include a feature-length film, an opening-night ceremony, and six programs of short films. The festival features international and local filmmakers as well as filmmakers from Columbia College Chicago, who is hosting and sponsoring the event! The festival was even curated, in part, by students from the school.

The films are eclectic, inclusive, and all-around extraordinary, and it is something that you won't want to miss. As I am one of the students who is honored to have been a part of curating this festival, I can let you in on a few of my favorites that will be screened at this year's festival. For the full schedule, visit the Chicago Feminist Film Festival website here.

"The Fits."

This is the festival's only feature-length film and it opens the festival. The film premiered at Sundance in 2016 and is a psychological portrait of 11-year-old tomboy Toni as she tries to fit in with a tight-knit dance team in Cincinnati's West End. A Q&A session with director Anna Rose Holmer will follow the film. Watch the trailer here.

"The Substitute."

Filmmakers Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Nathan Hughes-Berry paint this chilling and ominous picture of a substitute teacher at an unusual private school where the boys seem to have a sinister power over the girls. One of my favorites in the festival, this film will leave you with goosebumps. Watch the teaser here.

"Coming Full Circle."

Kim Yaged created this animated short based on the play "Hypocrites & Strippers," a comedy about a feminist who keeps dating strippers. This short animation will keep you laughing throughout its entirety.

"Bionic Girl."

Definitely one of the festival's more interesting pieces, "Bionic Girl" is a sci-fi musical about a scientist who creates her own android clone to take on the outside world for her. Interesting but magnificent, Stéphanie Cabdevila does not disappoint.

"Across the Line."

This is probably the festival's most exciting event as it is a virtual reality piece where the viewer actually becomes a part of the film. This immersive experience puts the viewer on scene as "anti-abortion extremists intimidate patients who seek sexual and reproductive healthcare." The film uses documentary footage and a montage of real audio so that the viewers gain an intimate knowledge of the harassment outside of health centers across the country. Even cooler? Planned Parenthood is the executive producer. This experience will be available to guests during both days of the festival.

If you would like more information on the festival, want to keep up with events, or want to find out about submissions for next year's festival, visit the Chicago Feminist Film Festival Website or their Facebook page.

All screenings are FREE and OPEN to the public.

Cover Image Credit: Word Press

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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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Dear Nancy Pelosi, 16-Year-Olds Should Not Be Able To Vote

Because I'm sure every sixteen year old wants to be rushing to the voting booth on their birthday instead of the BMV, anyways.

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Recent politicians such as Nancy Pelosi have put the voting age on the political agenda in the past few weeks. In doing so, some are advocating for the voting age in the United States to be lowered from eighteen to sixteen- Here's why it is ludicrous.

According to a study done by "Circle" regarding voter turnout in the 2018 midterms, 31% of eligible people between the ages of 18 and 29 voted. Thus, nowhere near half of the eligible voters between 18 and 29 actually voted. To anyone who thinks the voting age should be lowered to sixteen, in relevance to the data, it is pointless. If the combination of people who can vote from the legal voting age of eighteen to eleven years later is solely 31%, it is doubtful that many sixteen-year-olds would exercise their right to vote. To go through such a tedious process of amending the Constitution to change the voting age by two years when the evidence doesn't support that many sixteen-year-olds would make use of the new change (assuming it would pass) to vote is idiotic.

The argument can be made that if someone can operate heavy machinery (I.e. drive a car) at sixteen, they should be able to vote. Just because a sixteen-year-old can (in most places) now drive a car and work at a job, does not mean that they should be able to vote. At the age of sixteen, many students have not had fundamental classes such as government or economics to fully understand the political world. Sadly, going into these classes there are students that had mere knowledge of simple political knowledge such as the number of branches of government. Well, there are people above the age of eighteen who are uneducated but they can still vote, so what does it matter if sixteen-year-olds don't know everything about politics and still vote? At least they're voting. Although this is true, it's highly doubtful that someone who is past the age of eighteen, is uninformed about politics, and has to work on election day will care that much to make it to the booths. In contrast, sixteen-year-olds may be excited since it's the first time they can vote, and likely don't have too much of a tight schedule on election day, so they still may vote. The United States does not need people to vote if their votes are going to be uneducated.

But there are some sixteen-year-olds who are educated on issues and want to vote, so that's unfair to them. Well, there are other ways to participate in government besides voting. If a sixteen-year-old feels passionate about something on the political agenda but can't vote, there are other ways of getting involved. They can canvas for politicians whom they agree with, or become active in the notorious "Get Out The Vote" campaign to increase registered voter participation or help register those who already aren't. Best yet, they can politically socialize their peers with political information so that when the time comes for all of them to be eighteen and vote, more eighteen-year-olds will be educated and likely to vote.

If you're a sixteen-year-old and feel hopeless, you're not. As the 2016 election cycle approached, I was seventeen and felt useless because I had no vote. Although voting is arguably one of the easiest ways to participate in politics, it's not the only one. Since the majority of the current young adult population don't exercise their right to vote, helping inform them of how to stay informed and why voting is important, in my eyes is as essential as voting.

Sorry, Speaker Pelosi and all the others who think the voting age should be lowered. I'd rather not have to pay a plethora of taxes in my later years because in 2020 sixteen-year-olds act like sheep and blindly vote for people like Bernie Sanders who support the free college.

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