EIU Feminist Fest starts March 23

From March 11, 2015:



CHARLESTON, IL (March 11, 2015) – The Central Illinois Feminist Film Festival (CIFFF) returns to the Eastern Illinois University campus in Charleston, IL, on March 23-25, 2015. Keeping with this year’s theme of “Coming of Age and Sexuality,” the schedule includes screenings of two compelling coming-of-age films and an afternoon devoted to films submitted by aspiring feminist directors and filmmakers.

All of the film screenings and festival events will be held in Coleman Hall Auditorium, Room 1255, and are free to attend and open to the public.

The festival kicks off Monday, March 23, 3 p.m., with the screening of FISH TANK directed by Andrea Arnold. The 2009 film centers on a British working-class family who live in a housing project in Essex, east of London. When her alcoholic mother brings home a new boyfriend, Connor (Michael Fassbender), life turns from bad to worse for the film’s 15-year-old protagonist, Mia (Kate Jarvis). Already failing at school and without many friends, sexual tensions soon grow between Connor and Mia.

FISH TANK won the Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and the 2010 British Academy Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award for “Best British Film.”

The festival continues Tuesday, March 24, 3:30 p.m., with screenings of short films submitted by aspiring feminist filmmakers and directors from around the world. This year’s call for submissions brought in more than 800 fictional and documentary films from 77 countries. The top three or four winning films from each category will be announced and screened for the audience. Award-winning films directed by students will also be screened.

“For this year’s festival screening, fiction submissions far outnumber documentaries, so viewers can look forward to films ranging from animated shorts to thrillers,” said Robin Murray, festival committee chair.

The final film screening will be held on Wednesday, March, 25, 3 p.m. Audience members will watch MOSQUITA Y MARI, a 2012 film directed by Aurora Guerrero. The film is a coming-of-age story about the tender friendship between two 15-year-old Chicanas, Yolanda (Fenessa Pineda) and Mari (Venecia Troncoso). Growing up in immigrant households in Huntington Park in Los Angeles, the girls have been taught to put family above all else. As the girls grow closer, they realize there is a deeper connection between them. Soon, pressures at home force them to choose between their family duties and their feelings for each other.

MOSQUITA Y MARI debuted at the 2012 Sundance film Festival in the “NEXT <=>” category and won the Audience Award for “Outstanding First U.S. Dramatic Feature Film” at Outfest in 2012.

CIFFF takes place each year in March during Women’s History Awareness Month (WHAM!). Other upcoming WHAM! events at EIU include: the Barbara King Humanities Lecture, “How Animals Grieve,” March 26, 5 p.m., in the Dounda Fine Arts Center Lecture Hall, “Amelia Earhart: A First Person Portrayal” featuring Leslie Goddard, March 31, 3:30 p.m., at the Coles County Memorial Airport, and the Women’s Studies Annual Awards Ceremony, March 31, 5:30 p.m., in the MLK University Union 7th Street Underground.

The festival is cosponsored by the College of Arts & Humanities, EIU, and the Coles County Arts Council.

To learn more about the CIFFF, visit the film studies minor page at EIU on-line or its dedicated Web site.


Robin Murray
Chair, Department of English, EIU
rlmurray [at] eiu [dot] edu

Sarah Miller
Department of English, EIU
smiller [at] eiu [dot] edu

(217) 581-2428


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