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NMSU to host fourth annual Feminist Border Arts Film Festival

Bringing people together to see sides of life from different perspectives is the goal of New Mexico State University’s Feminist Border Arts Film Festival. For the fourth year, NMSU gender and sexuality studies professors M. Catherine Jonet and Laura Anh Williams have worked tirelessly to pull together a range of independent films from documentaries and animation to live action narratives and experimental films for the two-day festival on March 8–9.

Young girl holding a basketball facing a man
Scene from the film "Gyrl," a short directed by Aniis Cisco, which will be shown at NMSU's Feminist Border Arts Film Festival March 8-9. (Courtesy photo)
Girl reading a book
Scene from "Fire in the Basement" ("Fuego en el Sótano"), a short film directed by Eva Vazquez de Reoyo, which will be shown at NMSU's Feminist Border Arts Film Festival March 8-9. (Courtesy photo)

“The first year we had 273 films submitted, the second year we had 3,000,” said Williams. “Now it’s the fourth year and it’s become very difficult to select the films. The quality of the films is excellent.”

Williams and Jonet are proud the festival will kick off this year March 8, International Women’s Day. The two-day festival, which is free and open to the public, begins with a video art exhibition from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, March 8 at Williams Annex, Room 107, followed by the Filmmakers Showcase at 6 p.m. in the CMI Digital Media Theatre in Milton Hall, Room 171.
The Filmmaker Showcase is a first this year. Four filmmakers will be on hand to discuss their films with the audience, thanks to travel funding to bring the filmmakers to Las Cruces. Among the award-winning filmmakers who will attend the showcase are Trina Robinson, Nicole Antebi, Maria Altamirano and Darine Hotait. A reception will follow the filmmaker talks at 9 p.m.

“These films have a vision and use filmmaking in a transformative way,” Jonet said. “These films can be guideposts for the world we live in. They help us to reflect and integrate what we know and experience with how we might make things better.”

Day two of the film festival Saturday, March 9 begins at 10 a.m. with four different screening programs of this year’s selected films that will play throughout the day “Ties that Bind- Family and Other Connections;” “Masculine/Feminine- GNDR at the Intersections;” “Queerly Cinema- LGBTQ+ Filmscapes;” and “Crossings- Of Borders and Film” in the CMI Digital Theatre in Milton Hall, Room 171. A reception from 6 to 6:30 p.m. will be held in the conference room in Milton Hall, Room 185J. The festival culminates in the finale program that begins at 6:30 p.m. in the CMI Digital Theatre in Milton Hall, Room 171. Audience and jury members will choose among the films selected as finalists for awards in four judging categories: best narrative, best animation, best documentary and best in festival.
This year’s Feminist Border Arts Film Festival is supported by NMSU’s gender and sexuality studies, interdisciplinary studies department, NMSU’s Creative Media Institute, the University Art Gallery at NMSU and the New Mexico Humanities Council, Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico, Devasthali Family Foundation Fund and Southwest & Border Cultures Institute.

For the festival schedule and more information, visit genders.nmsu.edu/film-festival.