Davis Feminist Film Festival

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Location
203 East 14th Street at the Veterans Memorial Center Theatre
Dates & Times
Nineth Annual: April 10 & 11, 2014
Thursday doors at 7pm, films at 7:30pm; Friday doors at 6pm, films at 6:30PM
Cost
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!!
SUGGESTED DONATION AT THE DOOR: $5 Students/$10 General
Website
[WWW]http://femfilmfest.ucdavis.edu
Contact
<femfilmfest AT ucdavis DOT edu>

The Davis Feminist Film Festival, sponsored by the Consortium for Women and Research, is a grassroots event that uses alternative media as a springboard for linking art to social issues. The goal of the film festival is to showcase independent film spanning documentary, narrative, and experimental genres in order to explore perspectives often missing from mainstream media and culture. Now in its seventh year and increasingly international in scope, the festival provides an inclusive public space for under-represented artists—particularly women and people of color—to raise consciousness about gender, race, class, sexuality, and other dimensions of social inequality. It is a fun, inspiring, community-building event for artists and audiences alike!

The Thursday and Friday night receptions, have food for sale from Monticello and beer from Sierra Nevada and Berryessa Brewing; the films begin at 6:30 PM. The Solar Community Housing Association (SCHA) is making possible the sale of beer, the profits from which will be used to save the Baggins End Cooperative Community (aka the Domes).
One of the oldest student housing cooperatives in the United States, Baggins End is now in danger of being eliminated; the money raised at the festival will help with the necessary physical and structural repairs needed to save it.

Past events 2013 Film Descriptions

Thursday night, April 11

PLEASE BE ADVISED: The films are not rated. Some contain material that may not be appropriate for viewers of all ages.

Sólo sé que no sé nada / All I know is that I know nothing (14 min)
Olatz Arroyo, Spain
Sofia is in a rut, but her life changes radically when she discovers her son’s philosophy textbook. She finds Socrates and Sartre inspiring, but Rousseau is another matter. Luckily, she has ideas of her own. A well-crafted, humorous narrative about marriage, friendship, and revenge.

Mamuu / To weave, to work (22 min)
Denise Nicole Green, Canada
This collection of personal vignettes brings to light the subtle yet powerful contributions that weaving makes to individuals, families, and the broader political-economy of First Nations communities. An ongoing history of colonialism and inequality in the Pacific Northwest is the backdrop to a story of women’s creative perseverance and their everyday emphasis on intergenerational knowledge exchange.

Perfect Girl (4 min)
Pia Tjäder, Sweden
What does femininity look like? A baby girl explores the world around her, naïve to the media images that will shape her self-esteem as she grows up: smooth skin, flawless features, slender bodies. The baby doesn’t care, but the mother is more affected, examining her own body with apparent dissatisfaction. Images outside the commercial media reveal little girls who are strong, happy, shy, angry—all perfect just the way they are.

More Than a Face in the Crowd (25 min)
Samantha Chan, USA
More Than a Face in the Crowd tells the story of the filmmaker’s great aunt, Jane Chung, who began acting in Hollywood during the first wave of Asian-American actors. Enduring considerable racism and opposition, early pioneers like Chung established themselves in the entertainment business yet were rarely recognized for their work. Personal archives, interviews with family, and clips from Chung’s many film and television appearances paint an intimate portrait of the woman behind the career.

(A)typical Couple (6 min)
Maša Zia Lenárdič and Anja Wutej, Slovenia
Tired of negative stereotypes of lesbians as boring and humorless or psychotic and predatory? This charming, quirky film is just the antidote, offering us a slice of life we can all relate to. To quote one reviewer, “Yay! Lesbian couple! Super cute!”

The Rest of Us (2 min, 30 sec)
Maddi Davis, Alyssa Piraino, and Danny Tayara, USA
Labels. Categories. Boxes. Bathrooms. What if you don’t belong? Why should we have to choose? This clever film troubles the gender binary, offering a creative solution to the “bathroom problem.”

* * * INTERMISSION * * *

Welcome and introductions

Plaza de Cocos (3 min)
Julio López Fernández, Mexico/El Salvador
Next to a Salvadoran road, two young girls hawk coconuts to drive-by customers indifferent to their sense of urgency. The girls can ill-afford to be turned down, as we learn. An oblique commentary on gender, poverty, and survival.

America’s Most Unwanted (23 min)
Shani Heckman, USA
One-half of all fosters are homeless, one-third are on welfare, and one-third enter prison within two years of leaving foster care. America’s Most Unwanted is a candid documentary about three queer youth and their experiences of homophobia, homelessness, and educational marginalization in the foster-care system. A former foster herself, filmmaker Shani Heckman paints a poignant yet unsentimental portrait of a largely invisible population.

Silent Voices (4 min, 30 sec)
Jeeyoon Na, USA
This animated short was inspired by the sexist commentary that followed a Korean news report in which two teenage girls were reported gang-raped. Instead of expressing sympathy, readers blamed the girls for provoking the attack. Silent Voices translates the feelings of shame and despair that victim-blaming generates, as the young girl in the film gradually loses her voice and her confidence amidst the judgments of others.

There’s No Hole in My Head (14 min)
Alison Segar, UK/USA
At age 54, Abby Hale was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. A mother, loving partner, and former medical practitioner, Abby shares with eloquence and grace what she has gained and lost as a result of this cruel disease. There’s No Hole in My Head affords us insight into a condition that, although increasingly common, is rarely discussed in such an honest and open way.

Anamnesis (4 min)
Cat Xia, Canada/USA
Memory is fragile and can make us question reality. Its loss generates fear and insecurity. Being seen as “crazy” is especially fraught for women of color, whose capacity may be suspect even under “normal” circumstances. Anamnesis is a stop-motion short about the filmmaker’s personal experience with memory loss and its potential effect on her life. Serious and playful at the same time, it asks us to reconsider what it’s like to forget.

Perfect Plastic (13 min)
Meredith Sward, USA
The female body is a canvas for comparison and modification, with the media playing a key role in shaping notions of beauty and attractiveness. Narrow images of female beauty increase dissatisfaction with “real” bodies and lead women to seek transformation through plastic surgery. Drawing on media footage, personal introspection, and interviews with surgeons, psychologists, and academics, Perfect Plastic casts a critical eye on current beauty ideals and the industries that profit from them.
WARNING: THIS FILM CONTAINS GRAPHIC FOOTAGE OF PLASTIC SURGERIES, INCLUDING BREAST AUGMENTATION AND LABIAPLASTY

Present Gender (8 min
Christine Yeakley and Lane Lewis, USA
Present Gender explores gender identity and gender expression through interviews and visual representation. Womyn and queer/trans* youth discuss their experiences and challenges with being “read” by others and asserting their own identities and desires in the face of negativity or incomprehension. Made by and about local Davisites!

Q & A with participating filmmakers immediately following.

Friday night, April 12

PLEASE BE ADVISED: The films are not rated. Some contain material that may not be appropriate for viewers of all ages.

And You Are …? (19 min)
Jeanette Rourke and Margaret Dane / Wayward Women Films, UK
When the mind is ravaged by disease, a repository of memories and snapshots becomes the touchstone for who we think we are. In this experimental short, “The Face” (played by Rourke) leads us on an emotional journey that traces the arc of one woman’s life. Sincere and beautifully acted, And You Are …? takes a personal approach to the universal themes of loss and degeneration.

Like a Dream (9 min)
Pia Tjäder, Sweden
Johnny and his sister Leia are playing in a seemingly nice, middle-class bedroom in a seemingly nice, middle-class home. But when Leia gets hungry and starts for the kitchen, Johnny distracts her by telling her a story about an enchanted forest. Gradually we understand that the two children use fairytales and fantasy to keep a tragic reality at bay. A lyrical, sensitive film with stellar performances from the children.

Out of Step (6 min)
Lynn Estomin, USA
Out of Step features the perspectives of four women veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Voice-over by the women themselves accompanies dance and musical interpretations of their emotional journey from idealistic recruits to veterans coping with PTSD. The film deals with global issues of war and peace, the effects of war and military service on women, and the connections felt by the veterans to the people deemed their “enemy.”

Hope (5 min)
Stelana Kliris, Cyprus
To this day, approximately 2000 people are still missing from the 1963 and 1974 conflicts in Cyprus. Hope is the story of the surviving relatives, who, decades later, remain frozen in time, awaiting their loved ones’ return. A true work of art that pays homage to the ravages of war on domestic life.

We Never Returned (27 min)
Astrid Asberger, Sweden
We Never Returned charts the efforts of a theatre project to stage the stories of four Kurdish refugees. Stories that the Migration Board hears everyday. For the Board, it takes “like five minutes” to make decisions about a person’s future. Can theatre make a difference? Can a play raise compassion and empathy? Can art be a healing force for those whose stories are told, or does it simply assuage the guilt of those who are safe and privileged, having never needed to flee their homes? This touching and honest film asks, but does not answer, these questions.

Libre Directo (13 min)
Bernabé Rico, Spain
Having turned 60, Adela is living a life she never wanted. She has a lazy, selfish husband, no children, and nothing to look forward to. Then one day she gets the chance to break free and leave her old life behind. Her challenge: a direct kick from mid-field into the open goal at halftime during a professional soccer match attended by thousands of cheering spectators. Undeterred, Adela starts training for the big day. A charming, inspiring film that will have you cheering, too. Superb acting and over-the-top production values.

* * * INTERMISSION * * *

Welcome and introductions

I Am (2 min, 30 sec)
Koe Sozuteki, Cody Young, Schuyler Markey, USA
No one thing defines who we are. Like all people, queer-identified youth are complex and multi-faceted. I Am asks us to hold this in mind and honor the diversity of human experience. A short, sweet film with a big message.

FEATURE FILM: Invisible (90 min)
Michal Aviad, Israel/Germany
More than 20 years after Lily and Nira are victimized by the same serial rapist, a chance encounter brings them together. Nira, a single-mother, works as a television editor; Lily is a progressive activist defending Palestinian rights. So affected is Nira by the encounter that she begins digging into the past, stirring up memories, trying to bridge the gap between the person she once was and the person she has become. She grows increasingly preoccupied with uncovering all she can about the rapist. Lily’s marriage is in crisis; she tries to prevent the trauma from resurfacing, but it penetrates every aspect of her life. She realizes she has no choice but to confront the past. What begins as a difficult journey turns into a subtle friendship that moves the two women toward healing and renewal. Leaving humiliation and guilt behind, they stop being invisible. An emotionally powerful and ultimately uplifting film, Invisible mixes fact and fiction, incorporating televised footage and recorded testimonies of real women who, like Lily and Nira, are survivors.

Media

2011 Posters

2011 DFFF Poster.pdf

Comments:

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2007-09-06 18:22:29   greta and danielle are awesome people. i'm sure everyone else is too. —JessicaRockwell


If I go, should I castrate myself first? Just asking...—JoshLawson


2011-04-07 08:13:23   To respond to Josh's comment: In the past twenty years or so, feminism is increasingly paying attention to the fact that men "have" gender as much as women do, just like white folks "have" race. This means that a gender analysis informed by feminism can focus on the ways in which masculinity gets constructed and reproduced in the world, not just femininity. To be feminist today means much more than being pro-woman, it signals a sensitivity to how both masculinity and femininity work. I think that if you were to attend the Davis Feminist Film Festival you will notice that the films represent this broader notion of what feminism means. —Artemis

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