Festival to bring film screenings to campus

T'Nerra Butler, Multicultural Editor

During Women’s History Month, the women’s studies department has a film screening where hundreds of submissions across the world are sent to a committee and eight are chosen to be shown.

This screening is called the Central Illinois Feminist Film Festival and the last day to submit an application is Feb.1. Robin Murray, film studies minor coordinator and one of the judges for the film screening, said so far they have received 864 entries and they have a couple of months to review submissions and pick eight to screen.

The entries have to be short films that are no longer than 30 minutes. These can either be fictional or documentary films, and student films are in separate categories.

These films can come from students or independent filmmakers.

To apply, a person has to meet two of the four pieces of criteria.

The criteria includes a film created with an emphasis on gender or social justice, a film linking social and global issues, films created by people underrepresented by people in the media, or films made by people in the central Illinois area.

Monetary awards are given to the winners and they are funded by a grant the department receives, Murray said.

She said the amount given depends on how much they get from the grant.

Murray said the department used to have a March 1 deadline, but because of the many submissions they had to cut back on the time allowed.

This festival has been held since 2008 and because of their new method for submissions, their application numbers have grown substantially.

Murray said they have received films from all over the world including Iran, the United Kingdom, Canada and Latin American countries.

“Being able to be exposed to films from all around the world by underrepresented film makers is useful for students,” Murray said. “This gives students the opportunity to submit their own work and even pairs up students with independent film makers which makes for a better experience.”

This is the only feminist film festival in the state.

The deadline for submissions ends at 4 p.m. Feb. 1st.

Donna Binns, an English professor who is a part of the committee that picks the films, said the screening shows the students there are wonderful female and minority filmmakers making “outstanding” independent films.

“Many of the themes may relate to feminism, but films by women filmmakers, as well as their male counterparts, cover a wide variety of topics and viewpoints,” Binns said. “The submissions often address both gender and social justice issues.”

The film screening is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday March 22 and the location is still being considered. Murray said the screening will be in either Coleman Hall auditorium or Doudna Fine Art Center’s Lecture Hall.


T’Nerra Butler can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]