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April 18, 2005

Women of Color Film Festival offering 'diverse mix'

By Scott Rappaport

Over 25 local, national, and international filmmakers and performing artists will be spotlighted in the 12th annual Women of Color Film and Video Festival, April 22-24 at the Media Theater on campus.



A still from Pura Lengua--an official selection of the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, directed by Aurora Guerrero--that will be screened at the Women of Color Film and Video Festival.

Since 1991, the UCSC Research Cluster for Women of Color has screened more than 300 films, hosted workshops, and presented panel discussions with a wide variety of both established and up-and-coming filmmakers. Sponsored by UCSC’s Center for Cultural Studies, the research group is composed of graduate students and faculty engaged in the study of women of color.

The theme of this year’s festival is “Disrupting Borders: Seeing Silences and Imagining Trans-Formations.” The films range from Anita Wen-Shin Chang’s 52-minute film about discovering the political sensibility of her 100-year-old Taiwanese activist grandmother and Nicole Willis’s documentary exploring the impact of incarceration on mothers and children in Texas, to Boi Hair, Alma Lopez’s documentary short about queer women of color and their short hair, and La Tortilla, a seven-minute short by UCSC alumna Azucena Varela that shows how tortilla makers are sculptors that conjure up the past as they shape maize dough to feed present and future generations.

“They’re all very different films—it’s a diverse mix of dramas, documentaries, and some comedy,” noted Susy Zepeda, codirector of the festival. “We put out a call for films and people responded. There are three films from Mexico, one from Bangladesh, and other submissions from New York, Texas, and Washington State.”

“Our goal is to understand what is actually happening in the lives of women of color—to map the territory of where they are today,” Zepeda added. “The focus is not just on the negative aspects but also to explore the possibilities for change and transformation.”

Zepeda said that the 2005 festival will include panel discussions and four keynote speakers who will discuss why they created their films. Performances of African folk-fusion music, rap, and spoken word will also be presented.

“Most of the filmmakers will be attending the festival,” Zepeda noted.

“We’re very excited about this opportunity to foster communication and dialogue about women of color.”

All events at the Women of Color Film and Video Festival are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. For more information contact the festival’s codirectors: Susy Zepeda at szepeda@ucsc.edu or Roya Rastegar at rrastega@ucsc.edu. For a complete festival lineup, go to: queer.ucsc.edu/home/woc.shtml.

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