UB's IREWG to Present Women's Film Festival

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: January 22, 2004

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Appearances by a prominent director and an emerging director -- each of whom will introduce her film -- will be among the highlights of the eighth annual University at Buffalo Women's Film Festival, which will run on Thursdays from Feb. 5 through March 11 in the Market Arcade Film & Arts Centre, 639 Main St.

The festival is presented by the Institute for Research and Education on Women and Gender at UB. All screenings will be held at 7 p.m. in the Market Arcade theater. Tickets are $7.50 for general admission, $5.50 for students and $5 for seniors and Hallwalls members. Free parking is available in the lot across Washington Street from the rear entrance of the theater. Parking tickets may be validated at the ticket office.

The Feb. 12 screening of the French film "Chaos" will be free of charge due to the support of the Melodia E. Jones Chair in French at UB.

For a complete listing of the films, go to http://www.womenandgender.buffalo.edu.

The festival will open on Feb. 5 with the Vietnamese film "The Fourth Dimension," which will be introduced by its director, Trinh T. Minh-ha. "The Fourth Dimension" is an incisive and insightful examination of Japan through its art, culture and social rituals. The film, Minh-ha's first digital feature, is a multi-layered work addressing issues surrounding its central theme: the experience of time, the impossibility of truly "seeing" and the impact of video on image making.

Minh-ha's 1995 film, "A Tale of Love," was screened as part of the second annual UB International Women's Film Festival in 1997, and the filmmaker also appeared at UB in 1989 for a screening of her film, "Surname Viet Given Name Nam."

The film series will continue on Feb. 12 with a screening of "Chaos," directed by Coline Serreau. The film, called "The French 'Thelma and Louise,'" teams up two women seeking revenge against the pimps and thugs who badly beat one of them.

Noted for her often-comical views of the war between the sexes, Serreau has worked in theater, television and feature films. As a filmmaker, she first gained recognition for her comedy, "Three Men and a Cradle" (1985), for which she won two Césars. The film was remade in America two years later as "Three Men and a Baby."

On Feb. 19, the festival will present "Marion Bridge," directed by German-born, Canadian transplant Wiebke von Carolsfeld. "Marion Bridge" is a moving tale of three sisters facing the death of their mother, and reconciling the past with the present.

The controversial French film "September 11" -- or "11'09"01" as the film is titled in Europe -- will be screened on Feb. 26. Viewed by many as anti-U.S., the film had difficulty getting a distributor in this country. It features 11 directors from 11 different countries, including two women, each offering an 11-minute film about how people from all walks of life were changed that day.

Included are stories from a World Trade Center tour guide going through relationship problems just before the attacks and a lonely old man who lived minutes from the Twin Towers. A group of schoolchildren from Afghanistan living in an Iranian refugee camp contemplate the deaths of people in the United States on Sept. 11. A boy in Burkina Faso thinks Osama Bin Laden is hiding in his village. Also among the film segments is one about another deadly Sept. 11 decades ago, and another featuring the viewpoint of a suicide bomber.

"May Lady," to be screened on March 4, is directed by Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, considered to be the leading female contemporary filmmaker in Iran. The film offers a real sense of being a woman in Iran. The main character -- a divorced, progressive, documentary filmmaker -- deals with the lack of progress she feels in her own life when considering her responsibilities to her almost-college-age son and her attraction to a man with whom she is thinking of starting a relationship.

The festival will conclude on March 11 with a screening of "Amy's Orgasm," featuring an introduction by director Julie Davis. "Amy's Orgasm," Davis' first feature film, is a wry tale of a feminist writer who is attracted to a macho shock jock. Davis, dubbed "the female Woody Allen" by The New York Times, wrote, directed and starred in this film.