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Feminist film fest kicks off at Columbia College
by Matt Simonette
2019-02-27

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A number of LGBT-themed films are featured within the Chicago Feminist Film Festival, running Wed., Feb. 27-Friday, March 1.

The films will screen at Columbia College's Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash Ave., and are free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come, first served basis. About 50 films, most of them shorts, will be shown.

The festival has been going on since 2015, said co-organizer Michelle Yates, assistant professor of cultural studies and humanities at Columbia College.

"We really felt a need to showcase films by people who were otherwise underrepresented in the mainstream film industry," explained Yates further. "Films from women and nonbinary folks are at the forefront of the festival, but we really think about feminism intersectionally—how gender is not a separate category from other structures of oppression such as race, sexuality, class, nation or ability. We also prioritize [in planning] how LGBTQ folks and people of color are often under-represented in media fields. But in doing that, we're able to showcase a really diverse array of films by women and non-binary folks."

Among LGBT-related films included this year are Femme Queen Chronicles, chronicling four Black trans women living in Detroit; Undone, which Yates called a "morning-after story," about two straight women who wake up in bed together; and Like Glass, which follows a gender-fluid young person named Zion as they explore New York City's nightclub scene.

Though there is still massive under-representation of women, LGBT persons and persons of color, among others, in mainstream media doesn't mean there aren't plenty of filmmakers trying to get their projects seen and voices heard, Yates added.

"We received hundreds of submissions," she said. "Our acceptance rate has become really competitive over the past few years. Our acceptance rate this year was only six percent. Films representing diversity are definitely out there."

For more information and schedules, see chicagofeministfilmfestival.com .


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