Cine25: Women in Film and Media Showcase, 8th February 2009
Cine25 was part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations for the Centre for Women’s Studies. Part conference, part film festival, the event was held at York’s City Screen and generously funded by The Feminist Review Trust. Cine25 was conceived by two PhD students: Corinna Tomrley from CWS, and Kaitlyn Kernek from the Department of Theatre, Film and Television, and organised by them with a group of CWS students. This inspiring and thought-provoking event attracted almost 70 academics, media artists and students.
The day’s events opened with a roundtable discussion on the subject of feminism and media theory today, with a diverse panel of media and gender theorists and practitioners. Speakers included Stacy Gillis from the University of Newcastle, documentary filmmaker Florence Ayisi from the University of Wales, York’s own Kristen Gorton and Kaitlyn Kernek and chair Corinna Tomrley. Cine25 then moved from academic conference to film festival with a series of short films exploring gender and sexuality and demonstrating a variety of different approaches, budgets and styles. After coffee and informal discussion between many of these film makers and the audience there was the UK premiere of queer film The Viva Voce Virus, a highly unusual, camp, experimental sci-fi film. One of the directors and the star of the film were present, and chatted before and after the screening with the audience. The concluding event was a filmmaking workshop. The discussion on fundraising and exhibiting was led by Alissa Juvan, who founded women’s art collective Girls on Film, Denise Fahmy from the Arts Council, and two of the day’s filmmakers Jason Elvis Barker and Abbe Robinson. It was a great way to tie up the day.
Cine25 was a huge success, and many people deserve thanks: Corinna and Kaitlyn for their original idea; Jo Maltby for her outstanding project management, and the team of efficient and hardworking helpers: Amy Burge, Julie Petrie, Geneva Murray, Heather Murphy, Pranati Mohanraj, Joan Baker, Jess Wicker, Liz Thomas and graphic design by Rosemary Hill. City Screen were both efficient and generous. Tony Clarke, manager of the venue, thanked us for promoting independent film and was glad City Screen could be a part of such an important project. The aim of Cine25 had been to celebrate gender and media as well as to inspire others to put on similar events, perhaps pick up a camera and make a film themselves or just reflect on the diversity and vitality of current UK media work on gender. Cine25 exceeded expectations: evaluation suggests the audience will indeed be picking up a camera to make films, and follow-up events are in the pipeline, including Cine25 for 2010.
Cine25 link: http://cine25.blogspot.com
CWS Anniversary Events website: http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/cws/gsp/25.html