Feminist Border Arts Film Festival

October 24th and 25th | Tix at 516arts.org

Find us this October 24th and 25th for “Retrospective in Feminisms,” a short film and video art exhibit featuring five years of Feminist Border Arts. This event is presented by 516 Arts, The Guild Cinema, FilmIndie, and NMSU Gender & Sexuality Studies & Interdisciplinary Studies Department. Films are not MPAA rated. Get your tix at 516arts.org


The Feminist Border Arts Film Festival celebrates the power of cinema as a creative platform for filmmakers and viewers to confront urgent social issues. The festival emphasizes artistic vision in telling stories in short film (under 15 min.), including live-action narrative, documentary, and animation. It showcases student and professional filmmakers, domestic and international who create thought-provoking depictions of identity and difference that explore gender and identity, race, sexuality, class, transnationality, migration, refugees and displaced persons, dis/ability, the environment, as well as other important categories.

Located in New Mexico—a state that includes nineteen sovereign Pueblo nations and is situated less than 50 miles from the U.S./Mexico border—the Feminist Border Arts Film Festival is committed to thinking about precarity and liminal experience. The festival defines “feminist border arts” as a practice that challenges the limits of conventional representation through telling stories from the edge; threshold visions from the margins that create new ways of seeing, that visualize underrepresented ways of knowing. Selected films revive the promise of cinema, the possibility of film to open minds, create new vistas, and challenge dehumanizing forms of representation.

While a common perception of short film and digital video art is that they are transitional forms en route to the production of full-length cinema. As both curators and filmmakers, Feminist Border Arts regards these creative media differently from this assessment. We contend that short film and digital video art are precisely the creative tools that most closely reflect our purpose. These forms do not have to adhere to the logics and constraints of longer and full-length cinema, which make them ideal channels to challenge limiting and overdetermined visual storytelling tropes and norms. It also does not hurt that short film and digital video art can be produced more cheaply and readily than longer forms. Moreover, their smaller file sizes allow for them to be more easily exchanged between filmmakers and programmers on a global scale. Their shorter lengths produce more inviting engagements for viewers to consider new and different approaches, especially those viewers who are hesitant about viewing art house or transnational cinemas. For Feminist Border Arts, shorter-form film and video offer more dynamic and audience enriching experiences to dream together new and different cinematic and video art languages. 

The festival is founded, produced, and directed by Dr. Catherine Jonet and Dr. Laura Anh Williams

Premiering at the virtual #FBAFF retrospective on Oct. 24 & 25, 2020 in partnership with 516 Arts and the Guild Cinema, “Speak Near” is a video art manifesto on queer & feminist world-making by Jonet & Williams. Go to 516arts.org for tix to access this film and the 16 other international and domestic shorts selected for this event.

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