October 8, 2008

Guest Post: Citizen Jane Film Festival October 17-19 in Columbia Missouri

Women & Hollywood welcomes guest poster Polina Malikin, Assistant Curator, Citizen Jane Film Festival which takes place in Columbia, Missouri October 17-19th. If you are in the neighborhood, check out this festival and support these women!

As you probably know, only 7 percent of today's filmmakers are women... And though the numbers are a little less bleak for producers and editors, the picture is still disheartening. But, against these odds, there are many women who have established themselves as successful professionals in an industry where they are somewhat of an anomaly. What does that mean? Why does it matter? At the Citizen Jane Film Festival, we are going to be asking those very questions. And we want to hear answers from these pioneering women themselves!

This October, the Citizen Jane Film Festival will premiere in Columbia, Missouri – a growing university town located in the heart of the USA. The festival celebrates the work of women behind and in front of the camera through screenings, discussions, exhibitions, and other unique community events.

As a new and small festival, the Citizen Jane Film Festival is excited to create a truly intimate and meaningful experience, and to bring together an audience from the surrounding Midwestern cities (Kansas City, St. Louis, Iowa City, etc) in the heartland of the USA. The festival presents a really exciting opportunity to share work and ideas with an incredibly supportive and interested community. Last year, our brother film festival – the True/False Film Festival – brought over 18,000 people to packed theaters throughout the city. With the opening of the new Ragtag Cinema and a bevy of students and professors moving to town for its academic film and media studies programs, Columbia has become a really interesting place to meet and interact with a diverse, generous audience that is enthusiastic about film.

The Citizen Jane Film Festival promises to bring together a diversity of makers who are working with media in a variety of ways – from documentary shorts to handmade film to feature narratives. The festival will be an opportunity for filmmakers working in different genres and modes to have conversations and share resources. In addition, the festival boasts the local premieres of some stellar new films, an installation of a 100-foot film loop, an underground tea-house, and movies with live soundtracks!

The Citizen Jane Film Festival will open Friday, October 17th at the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts with Trouble the Water, winner of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize. Tia Lessin, director and producer of Trouble the Water, will present the film and answer questions after the screening. The opening night will also feature a reception and music.

The festival will bring together 20 acclaimed artists and professionals to present their work throughout the weekend. Among them will be Misty Upham, a critically acclaimed Native American actress who stars in Frozen River, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

Also at the festival will be Astra Taylor to introduce her new film, Examined Life. The film recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and features some of today's most provocative and influential thinkers including Cornell West, Slavoj Zizek, and Judith Butler.

Experimental filmmaker Stephanie Barber will also be on hand. Barber has had solo shows at the Museum of Modern Art New York, Anthology Film Archives, Chicago Filmmakers and many other museums, galleries and art spaces around the world.

Other filmmakers who will be present at the festival include: documentarian Sarah Price (Summercamp!, The Yes Men, American Movie); performer, dancer and visual artist Allison Halter (Dites Donc!); visual artist and experimental filmmaker Micaela O'Herlihy; performance and video artist Kimberly Miller; experimental filmmaker and curator Sarah Buccheri; documentarian and writer Andrea Maio; musician and performance artist Susan Ploetz (Pashly); animator and first-time feature filmmaker Emily Hubley (Toe Tactic, Hedwig and the Angry Inch); documentarian and cinematographer Jesse Epstein (Wet Dreams and False Images); experimental filmmaker, visual artist and community organizer Xander Marro; and narrative filmmaker Nanobah Becker (Flat, Conversion). The work of these artists has been critically acclaimed, and many of them have shown internationally. Several films will be premiering in Missouri at the Citizen Jane Film Festival; others are rare screenings.

In addition to film screenings, the festival will include opportunities for discussion and debate. The Order of Myths, Margaret Brown's latest film about the oldest Mardi Gras celebration in the U.S., will be followed by a community panel examining race and ethnic issues on the local and national levels. Similarly, another community panel will examine Latino issues, as well as labor and human rights following a screening of the recent Emmy winner Made in LA by Almudena Carracedo. The film follows the dramatic struggle of three Latina workers as they take on the garment industry and succeed. Both filmmakers will be present at the festival as well.

For a full schedule, biographies and synopses, as well as ticket/pass purchases, please visit: Citizen Jane Film Festival

Lastly, the Citizen Jane Film Festival is sponsored by Stephens College, which is a 175-year old women's college in Columbia, the nation's second oldest. Stephens is nationally recognized for its performing arts and its new digital filmmaking program. So, there is an impressive crew of women performers and filmmakers – students and teachers – who will be participating in the festival. Of course, there are also plenty of hard-hitting professionals and established artists who have made Columbia their home.

Mark your calendars: the dates of the festival are Friday, OCTOBER 17 – Sunday, OCTOBER 19, 2008.

See you in the theaters!

Citizen Jane Film Festival