In honor of International Women’s Day, the fifth annual Feminist Border Arts Film Festival will take place on Thursday & Friday, March 5 & 6, 2020 at newly constructed University Art Museum (UAM) located in Devasthali Hall on the campus of New Mexico State University. The two-day festival, which is free and open to the public, features short films by U.S. and international filmmakers who utilize cinema as a creative tool to grapple with urgent social issues and questions of identity and representation.
Films for this year’s festival are organized into two programs: Thursday’s program “Mothers/Others” features films that explore concepts of family and parenthood and the effects of larger social forces in individuals’ lives. This program will include the U.S. premiere of Mexican director Fernanda Besné’s documentary “Little L.A.” which traces deported Dreamers, who immigrated to the U.S. as children, processing the impact of “repatriation” on their lives and attempting to form a community in Mexico City.
Friday’s program, “Resurfacing: Five Years of FBAFF,” features five years of the festival’s most compelling film shorts selected by festival co-directors, NMSU gender and sexuality studies professors M. Catherine Jonet and Laura Anh Williams. “Resurfacing” includes the U.S. premiere of Joel Cartaxo Anjos’s documentary short “So Far from Kabul,” about exiled Afghan actress Marina Gulbahari, who initially rose to international fame as the child star of the 2003 film Osama, who now faces an uncertain future with her daughter in France.
This year’s Feminist Border Arts Film Festival is in collaboration with the NMSU Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and the inaugural exhibition to be mounted in the new University Art Museum: “Labor: Motherhood and Art in 2020,” co-curated by Marisa Sage (Director, UAM) and Laurel Nakadate (NY based photographer and filmmaker). “Mothers/Others” and “Resurfacing: Five Years of FBAFF,” will run throughout the day in between films featured in the “Labor” exhibition, “Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman: A Portrait of My Mother” by Mickalene Thomas and The Mother Project by Tierney Gearon on Thursday with KCET’s Emmy-nominated documentary “Artist and Mother” and “A Girl Like Her” by Ann Fessler on Friday. The entire schedule runs from 10:00am and 6:00pm each day with FBAFF programs running 11:00am and 5:00pm. Both “Mothers/Others” and “Resurfacing” lasts approximately two hours and thirty minutes and will run twice each day of the festival.
#FBAFF2020: Because inclusive filmmaking is revolutionary art
Held annually on the campus of New Mexico State University, the Feminist Border Arts Film Festival celebrates the power of cinema as a creative tool to reflect upon urgent social issues and thought-provoking representations of identity and difference. The festival emphasizes artistic vision in telling these stories through short film (15 min. and under), including live-action narrative, documentary, essay film, video art, and animation. The festival showcases student, independent, & professional filmmakers, domestic and international.
The festival seeks shorts that explore topics connected to gender, gender identity, sexuality, race, indigeneity, class, dis/ability, transnationality and diaspora, migration, refugees and displaced persons, activisms, the environment, food/water insecurity, and other social justice perspectives and experiences.
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 margins 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.
Some #FBAFF FAQs
- #FABFF: We are a growing festival. In the first year, with a few hundred entries, the festival began as a two hour program. In its second year, the festival expanded further to more than one event. It featured the work of films selected as finalists with the viewing public as the central event of the festival and screened other accepted films with students in Gender & Sexuality Studies. During the third year, the festival expanded in screen time to continue to feature finalists and also develop a day-long video art exhibition. In its fourth year, the festival organized public screenings of official selections, a finalists’ showcase for awards voting, the video art exhibition, and an invited filmmakers’ showcase. Now, in its fifth year, the festival will incorporate two days of public screenings of official selections as part of the first exhibition to be featured in the newly constructed University Art Museum: “Labor: Motherhood and Art in 2020.”
- #FBAFF is a festival dedicated to film viewing; to the students, community members, makers, activists, and scholars who believe in the power of art & the importance of cinema to transform lives and cultural landscapes. As Jeff Chang writes: “Political transformation must be accompanied not just by spontaneous and organized expressions of unrest and risk but by an explosion of mass creativity.” #FBAFF seeks to be an outlet for that explosion of mass creativity that accompanies social change.
- #FBAFF is as much an artistic production as it is a showcase of visionary and transformative work in film. Each year’s program is carefully curated. Selected films are organized according to a narrative structure that allows them to speak to each other/play off one another and develop overarching themes that directly speak to contemporary social issues and prompt audience reflection.
- #FBAFF occurs annually through outreach work, collaboration, and a passion for film. #FBAFF is organized by G&SS faculty members Dr. Jonet and Dr. Williams; we are artists, self-taught filmmakers, and scholars. Research, narrative structure, visual design work in promotional materials, and music created to frame screening events work together to render #FBAFF a specialized experience. For these reasons, #FBAFF is a peer reviewed film festival.
- #FBAFF integrates scholarship and art with a public purpose. There is no fee to enter and all events are free and open to the public.
- Many films at #FBAFF make their New Mexico, Southwestern, and even U.S. debut. Other films have been featured in prominent festivals like Sundance, TIFF, Outfest, Cannes, and more.
To view more information about the festival, including details about past festivals, click this link