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Center to host film festival

Kaitlyn Rabach | Monday, February 11, 2013

The Saint Mary’s Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) will host a film festival this week promoting female filmmakers and films about women’s issues.

The World Cinema Festival: Women Make Movies event will feature five award-winning films that cover a variety of international topics related to feminism.

Mana Derakhshani, associate director of CWIL, said the festival fits perfectly with the mission of the College and its recent push to include more intercultural education learning opportunities.

“President Mooney has led the way towards opening up the college to the world by stressing the importance of internationalizing the campus,” Derakhshani said. “This event is part of the efforts to bring the world to Saint Mary’s College and to increase opportunities for college students as well as the larger community to learn about their global community.”

Saint Mary’s has hosted the Women Make Movies week for the past seven years, Derakhshani said, but it has not always been the World Cinema Festival. The French division of the Department for Modern Languages previously sponsored the festival, but after the department exhausted its grant money in 2011, CWIL decided to continue the festival.

“CWIL took over and broadened the scope of the film festival to include foreign films from around the world,” Derakhshani said.

The week features five films that illustrate various issues that women in different countries frequently deal with. They range from the challenges of growing up as a biracial woman in Canada to historical and contemporary feminism in Islam.

As part of a women’s college, Derakhshani said CWIL is uniquely placed to feature women filmmakers and bring issues women face from around the world to the eyes of the Saint Mary’s community. The center worked with the Women Make Movies, an organization that promotes films by and about women, to put together the event.

“The World Cinema Festival gives everyone the opportunity to learn about and engage with the rich tapestry of the world,” Derakhshani said. “The filmmakers we are featuring tell stories of women leaders in various cultures around the world. …The women are telling their stories in their voices and that is a powerful example of leadership.”

The films are free and open to the public. They will be shown in Vander Vennet Theater in the Student Center each night at 7 p.m.