Chicago Feminist Film Festival

Ky Dickens' "Zero Weeks"

Ky Dickens’ “Zero Weeks”

According to an ongoing study at San Diego State University, a mere 18% of 2017’s top 500 grossing films were directed by women.

In other words, audiences are missing out.

To see more of the good stuff and help spread it around, check out Columbia College’s third annual Chicago Feminist Film Festival

Dedicated to promoting and featuring under-represented film professionals, the March 7-9 schedule includes three feature films, 40 short films, and two web series. Screenings will take place at Cinema Row on 1104 S. Wabash Ave.

With a focus on women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community, the three-day event contains essential viewing for any serious film fan, regardless of gender, ethnicity, and orientation.

Plus, it’s free and open to the public.

“Women in Hollywood, as well as independent filmmaking worldwide, are wholly underrepresented as directors, cinematographers, editors, writers, animation creatives, and so on,” says Columbia Assistant Professors Michelle Yates, who is co-directing the festival with Columbia Assistant Professor Susan Kerns. “One of the goals of our festival is to highlight films made by these incredibly talented women from all over the world.”

Noting that 50% of college film students are women, Yates adds that the gender disparity is “not for a lack of incredibly talented women with these skills.”

The festival opens with a screening of Argentine director Constanza Novick’s The Future Ahead (El futuro que viene), which was recently picked up by Disney for distribution across Latin America. According to an event press release, “the film spans the decades of friendship between two women — including the subsequent friendship of their daughters — and the long-lasting complexities that come with it.”

El futuro que viene


Other screenings include:

March 7
Nova, by Columbia College’s Cinema and Television Arts Associate Chair Wenhwa Ts’ao’s will have its world premiere.

March 8
Women Who Run Hollywood (Et la femme créa Hollywood). Directed by sisters Clara and Julie Kuperberg, the documentary explores the historical and important role that women played in building Hollywood. It will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with the filmmaker and film historian Ally Acker.

“During the silent era, women were responsible for cinematic innovations in narrative, sound, cinematography, and special effects,” says Kerns. “These same women were written out of history, so we’re eager to show this documentary and … we’re especially excited that [Acker] will be on hand to talk more about how we can make sure women don’t get sidelined again.”

Et la femme créa Hollywood


The Scary Ham, a short film directed by Associate Professor Susan Mroz and produced by Assistant Professor Carolina Posse, will also screen March 8.

March 9
A sneak peek at Zero Weeks, by Chicago-based director Ky Dickens, will close the festival. The documentary examines how the lack of paid family leave in the United States impacts families and caretakers. Dickens will be present at the screening and will also partake in a Q&A session with the audience–filmed subjects.

Zero Weeks


For a detailed list of programming, click here.