If watching the Oscars had you feeling a certain way, you won’t want to miss the third annual Chicago Feminist Film Festival, a three-day event created to authentically center the voices and experiences of women, people of color and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
“Women in Hollywood, as well as independent filmmaking world-wide, are wholly underrepresented as directors, cinematographers, editors, writers, animation creatives, and so on,” said festival co-director Michelle Yates in a release. “It’s not for a lack of incredibly talented women with these skills. Women make up 50 percent of students in college studying film. One of the goals of our festival is to highlight films made by these incredibly talented women from all over the world.”
The festival runs March 7-9 at Columbia College Chicago’s Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash Ave. All screenings are free and open to the public. The festival co-directors are Columbia Assistant Professors Susan Kerns and Yates.
This year has three feature films, 40 short films and two web series. Some highlights:
- The opening film, “The Future Ahead (El future que viene),” explores the decades-long friendships between two women and their daughters. It was recently picked up by Disney for distribution across Latin America.
- “Women Who Run Hollywood (Et la femme créa Hollywood)” is a historical look at the central role that women filmmakers played in Hollywood’s beginnings. The screening will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with filmmaker and film historian Ally Acker. “Women helped build Hollywood,” Kerns said. “During the silent era, women were responsible for cinematic innovations in narrative, sound, cinematography, and special effects. These same women were written out of history, so we’re eager to show this documentary and remind people how vital women are to filmmaking.”
- Closing the festival is an exclusive look at director Ky Dickens’ “Zero Weeks,” a documentary on the ways in which the lack of paid family leave in the United States impacts families and caretakers. The film features subjects with stories in and around Illinois, including Chicago. Dickens will be at the screening for a Q&A session with the audience.