NMSU’s Feminist Border Arts Film Festival to Showcase International Films


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LAS CRUCES – New Mexico State University will host the third annual Feminist Border Arts Film Festival from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, April 16 at the CMI Digital Media Theater in Milton Hall, Room 171.

“In the first year, we had 273 applications,” said Catherine Jonet, associate professor of gender and sexuality studies and director of the festival. “This year, we received over 2,000 short films. Each year, the quality of films improves more and more.

To be considered for the festival, submissions had to match the mission of the festival, be less than 15 minutes long and in any language, provided English subtitles are provided. The 2018 festival has 109 selected films. Some of the films include video artwork that was featured in the one-day “Border Zones, Liminal Bodies” exhibition at the University Art Gallery on March 12. The live screening on April 16 presents the 29 films selected as finalists for jury and audience awards.

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The festival is organized by the Gender and Sexuality Studies Department of Interdisciplinary Studies in collaboration with the Creative Media Institute of the NMSU College of Arts and Sciences. The film festival was created to highlight independent short films that deal with contemporary social issues and to present narratives by and about under-represented communities.

“Inclusive cinema is often assumed not to be visionary cinema as well. People might not think that a film with a message can also be full of beauty, artistic technique or creative innovation, ”said Jonet. “These movies do it all.”

The film festival has expanded this year to accommodate the high volume of accepted entries, in order to be as inclusive as possible. In addition to the live screening and video art exhibition, a group of films will be featured on the Gender and Sexuality Studies website. The online film showcase will be open for one month at genders.nmsu.edu/film-festival. Other selected films have been organized into shorter collections which will be screened by students enrolled in gender and sexuality studies courses.

“This year’s festival focuses on a variety of themes. These include films that reflect current social crises like refugee and migration stories, trans experiences and different ruminations on borders and walls, ”said Laura Anh Williams, assistant professor of gender studies and sexuality. “We have documentary, animated, live action films and although the majority of submissions are from the United States, we have received films from 103 countries this year.”

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Starting in the fall, Jonet begins viewing the films as soon as they are submitted so that she can review them and make selections. She then organizes the short films into feature film programs that combine and balance the variety of narrative genres with thematic concerns, film lengths and styles.

“I care about the themes, the rhythms of the films, the type of cinematography used and how all of that can be used to program the event,” Jonet said.

The Feminist Border Arts Film Festival is free and open to the public. The parking lot for the CMI Digital Media Theater at Milton Hall is located opposite the Corbett Center Student Union. For more information on the festival, visit genders.nmsu.edu/film-festival.

Minerva Baumann writes for New Mexico State University Communications and can be reached at 575-646-7566 or [email protected].

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Darcy J. Skinner

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