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October 15, 2009 | 12:00 a.m. CST
For every Oscar-nominated Sofia Coppola or Jane Campion, there are thousands of women who go unrecognized in the film industry. This weekend, however, Columbia’s Citizen Jane Film Festival brings the women working the cameras into focus.
WHERE: Stephen’s College, Ragtag and Uprise Bakery
WHEN: Fri., Oct. 16 through Sun., Oct. 18
COST: Individual passes $6.50 – 10 and Festival passes $60 - 100
CALL : 876-2312
The festival began as part of the Stephen’s College film program. It developed from a 2004 “Women in Film” lecture series into a full festival in 2008, and from the start it showcased female media creators. This year,
Citizen Jane hopes to expand its audience with more diverse representations of women in the industry, from animators and performance artists to an increased selection of international creators.
Sara Fernández Cendón, media relations manager, sees parallels between the film industry and the focus of the film she’s anticipating the most. Friday’s opening night screening at Windsor Auditorium of Say My
Name, Nirit Peled’s international documentary about women in hip hop, is one of her mustsees.
“Say My Name is the film that I really want to see, not only because it’s directed by a woman but also because of the subject — women in a tough, male-dominated industry,” she says. “The theme of the film really resonates with our mission.” The documentary will be immediately followed by an after-party featuring hip hop artist MC Lyte at Tonic Night Club.
This isn’t your mother’s film festival. Kerri Yost, founder and executive director of Citizen Jane, emphasizes that the term “film” will be used loosely this year. “We tried to book (acts) to appeal to a variety of people,”
she says. Yost describes the unifying theme in selection as “anything that’s projected.” From classic narratives and documentaries to experimental and animated pieces, the festival wants to be an outlet for all different kinds of female creators who don’t have access to a wide audience. According to the Citizen Jane Web site, women make up only seven percent of filmmakers, a disparity the festival seeks to counter.
Whatever your definition of film, Citizen Jane will find a way to expand your concept of what can happen when women are behind the camera. “When I go to a film festival, I like to see something I can’t see
anywhere else,” Yost says, citing the short films and youth media projects as her most anticipated festival events. With panels, workshops, musical performances, art installations and screenings of handmade
films, it’s a wonder everything will fit into one weekend. Tickets can be purchased online or in person at Ragtag. The cost is $100 for an all-events access pass, $60 for all films or $8 to $10 general admission for individual features.