The new year is fast approaching, and it brings with it a slew of fresh ideas among the arts. Here in Davis, one of the staples of the film scene is the Davis Feminist Film Festival, which will hold its next iteration April 11 to 12.
The Festival first began in 2005 and is now entering its seventh year. According to the Festival’s official website, it began as a fundraiser for international internships with organizations run through the Gender and Global Issues Program (GGI), many of which were of the grassroots feminist, nonprofit variety.
When the Festival’s funding with the GGI ended in 2007, the Consortium for Women and Research at UC Davis, in which the GGI had been housed, sought out other partners on campus. The Festival has continued to grow ever since.
Andrew Ventimiglia, co-director of four years, explained the relationship between the festival and campus.
“The primary organizing goes on at the Consortium,” Ventimiglia said. “We have primary sponsorship with Film Studies, and we also have informal relationships with organizations such as the Women’s Resources and Research Center. We also do a little bit of work with Davis Media Access.”
The website describes the Festival as “a grassroots event that uses alternative media as a springboard for linking art to social issues.”
The Feminist Film Festival aims to showcase various independent films that span many genres, including documentary, narrative and experimental. According to the website, it also attempts to “explore perspectives often missing from mainstream media and culture,” especially the viewpoints of women and people of color. Organizers of the festival also hope to raise consciousness about gender, race and class.
Far from being restrictive in scope, previous festivals have included submissions from Sweden, Spain and Australia, from both men and women alike. Ranging anywhere from two minutes to over an hour, films such as You Shall Not Leave the Way from the Czech Republic tackle the tough issues and encourage viewers to think.
“We’re just getting submissions in now. Hopefully we get 100 submissions or more,” Ventimiglia said. “We also have a class that helps us curate the Festival. We also try to have a spotlight on local Davis and Sacramento area filmmakers.”
Ventimiglia also commented on the spirit of the event.
“The films determine the direction of each Festival. We’re trying to really establish the festival as a Davis city event. We continue to work toward strengthening the bond between campus and the city.”
The Festival is now accepting applications for 2013. The deadline to apply is Dec. 15. To submit an application and read more about the Festival, visit the Festival website, femfilmfest.ucdavis.edu.
BRETT BUNGE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.