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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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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My Hometown Just Experienced A Mass Shooting, If We Don't Do Something, Yours Could Be Next

You never think it will happen to you until it does.

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I was on my way out the door to work when I got a panicked call from my mother.

"Can you look at the news online?" she said quickly. "There is a mass shooting somewhere nearby."

My heart stopped. For me, Aurora, Illinois is home. I was born there, I grew up around the area and I attended high school there. My siblings go to school close by and my boyfriend works for a neighboring fire department.

How could my beloved hometown become the victim of the latest tragedy?

After calling my boyfriend, who was at the fire station getting ready to deploy ambulances to the scene, I discovered that it had taken place at a factory nearby. My anxiety hit an all-time high as I watched the updates on all of the local city Facebook pages and groups. Officers down. Gunman at large. Mass casualties.

Hours later, all of the facts came out. A former employee of Henry Pratt's Company, a local industrial warehouse, had recently been let go and decided to get revenge. He entered the warehouse with a gun and began to shoot at random, killing five people and wounding many others, including five police officers. He was killed by local SWAT forces.

I am the kind of person who is pro-gun and pro-gun rights because of the second amendment and all of the freedoms I believe we deserve. But that doesn't make what happened okay and it never will.

While this situation doesn't change my mind, it does change my view of the world.

Why would somebody decide that shooting former coworkers was the way to go? Why would anyone want to hurt others? These are the questions that flooded my mind in the hours after the mass shooting. I don't necessarily think we have a gun issue in America, but issues with mental health and valuing life.

We pass bills to kill unborn children. We repeal bills that take away healthcare from million. We devalue life in its most basic form and respect those around us to still have enough respect for each other's lives. We stigmatize those who need psychiatric care and expect things to still be alright.

This is not alright.

Our country, our system, our values, and morals, they are all broken and backward. We have let mass shootings become normal and violence becomes accepted. It needs to be stopped. There needs to be a change.

One of the people killed was an intern from a local college during his first day on the job. Being a college student applying to internships myself, this hit far too close to home. Nobody deserves to die, least of all in their place of work while trying to further their career.

Five people lost their lives due to someone's disrespect of them. Yes, a gun was the weapon, but a mind was the actor. I pray that someday, our country will return to valuing life and respecting others enough to help them instead of pushing them away. This is not the first mass shooting, but it can be the last. If, and only if, we make sure of it.

If you want to help the victim's families in any way, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral expenses

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