Downtown hosting Grand Rapids Feminist Film Festival


The 195-seat movie theater at UICA screens independent, foreign and documentary films. Courtesy UICA

The Grand Rapids Feminist Film Festival is coming back to town tomorrow.

The fourth-annual film festival, or GRFFF, will be held at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, or UICA, in downtown Grand Rapids on Oct. 21. 

It will be a free one-day "celebration" of under-represented groups voicing and showcasing their talents.

GRFFF said the event will serve as a platform where individuals can openly discuss feminist issues: Muslim women in the media; sexual assault; trans rights; mental health advocacy; Title IX; cultural appropriation; the 2016 election; body diversity; and more.

“What I love most about this festival is that we’ve been able to use our privilege to shine the spotlight on those who don't often get to have the stage,” said Lydia VanHoven, co-founder and director, Grand Rapids Feminist Film Festival. “We try to be better and better each year at being more intersectional and, especially in this political climate, making sure we provide a safe, inclusive and educational space for women and non-binary folks to be empowered.”

The festival will feature 32 films, including kid-friendly films. Nine of the films were made in Michigan, and 11 of the films were made outside of the U.S.

All films will be no longer than 20 minutes, and they will be screened in the main theatre at UICA, starting at 12:30 p.m. The last film is slated to end at 10 p.m.

There will be a variety of panels, workshops, comedy and musical performances, a drag show and art from local artists.

The festival's organizers are inviting the community to pose questions and topics to the panelists and presenters through social media. People can ask questions in real time by using the hashtag #GRFFF2017.

GRFFF was started in 2014 as a nonprofit to raise awareness of feminist topics. Its aim is to showcase diversity "in front of and behind the camera." 

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