UB Gender Institute's 16th Annual Film Festival Begins Feb. 16

Twelve films will air Thursday evenings at the Market Arcade through March 29

Release Date: February 13, 2012 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- "Pink Ribbons Inc., a film critiquing the corporate politics of breast cancer philanthropy, and the award-winning documentary "Granito: How to Nail a Dictator" are among the films to be featured as part of the 16th International Film Festival, presented by the University at Buffalo Institute for Research and Education on Women and Gender.

The festival will open Feb. 16 and will continue on Thursdays at 7 p.m. through March 29 at the Market Arcade Film & Arts Center, 639 Main St, Buffalo. There will be no films shown on March 15 when UB is on spring break

Tickets this year are $5 for everyone, and the festival will feature many films that have never been shown in the United States. Details are available at http://genderin.buffalo.edu/filmfest.shtml.

Two of this year's featured films are tied to current news stories, says Festival Director Ruth Goldman.

The first is "Pink Ribbons, Inc.," a 2011 revelatory and shocking documentary by Canadian filmmaker Lea Pool, to be screened on Feb. 23. It examines how breast cancer has been transformed from a stigmatized disease and individual tragedy to a commercially driven industry that profoundly effects how patients experience breast cancer, the research conducted and the political and medical institutions the breast cancer movement seeks to change. The film questions -- for the first time -- the effectiveness and legitimacy of privately funded efforts to stop the epidemic among American women. The film significantly informs the current controversy involving Planned Parenthood and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

The second is "Granito: How to Nail a Dictator," an award-winning 2011 film by Pamela Yates, which looks at five characters' complex and potentially dangerous roles in building a case against Guatemala's 85-year-old dictator General Efrain Rios Montt. Montt was arrested this January, 30 years after he ordered the annihilation of Guatemala' indigenous population.

A "granito" is a tiny grain of sand and also a Maya concept that means that each person can make a small contribution to positive social change, and together make great changes in favor of justice and human rights. It reflects the communal values found in the Maya communities Montt tried to obliterate.

Yates will be in attendance at the screening, and on March 30 will present a master class from 10 a.m. to noon in 112 Center for the Arts, UB North Campus. The class is free and open to the public. Her previous film, "When the Mountains Tremble," was the only filmed documentary record of the brutal Guatemalan civil war between peasant revolutionaries and a genocidal military junta backed by the United States that killed at least 200,000 people.

The rest of the program is as follows:

Feb. 16: "Within the Whirlwind" (95 min.) by Marlene Gorris, a 2009 German film in English based on the memoirs of Russian author and academic Evgenia Ginzburg, who went from being an influential professor to Gulag prisoner during the Stalinist purges; and "I Was the Child of Holocaust Survivors" (35 min.), an animated Canadian film by Ann Marie Fleming based on Jewish artist Berenise Eisenstein's memoir in graphic novel format.

Feb. 23: "Pink Ribbons Inc." (see above), followed by "Unchastened," a brief story of one woman's journey beyond breast cancer through dance. The films will be followed by a panel discussion with breast cancer researchers, survivors, patient advocates and public health professionals.

March 1: Four films will be screened. The first is "Apache 8," a 57-minute documentary by American filmmaker Sande Zeig about a group of women from the White Mountain Apache Tribe who, from1974 to 2005, fought the forest fires raging in Arizona and other states. This will be followed by "Long Haul," a 21-minute documentary by American Erin Hudson that follows three women long-haul truckers who drive 18-wheelers for a living. The 15-minute eccentric, animated short, "The Herstory of the Female Filmmaker" (15 min.) by American Kelly Gallagher looks at some of the greatest female contributors to motion pictures. The final film of the evening will be "Louise," a 10-minute Canadian animated short about filmmaker Anita Lebeau's fiercely independent 96-year-old grandmother. The screenings will be followed by a panel on women and work.

March 8: "Treeless Mountain," a beautiful, 2008 South Korean film by So Yong Kim about two young girls who must care for one another when their mother leaves them to search for their estranged father.

March 22: "Tomboy," Celine Schiamma's 2011 French coming-of-age story, which considers gender identity from the perspective of a conflicted 10-year-old child. It will be followed by the 2011 Dutch short, "I am a Girl," by Susan Keenan, which profiles a 13-year-old who was born a boy, but identifies and lives as a girl. A panel discussion on gender identity in youth will follow the screening.

Co-sponsors of the festival are the Alison L. Des Forges Memorial Fund Committee, the Buffalo Human Rights Center, the UB Canadian-American Studies Committee, the UB Department of Media Study, the Government of Canada, the UB Humanities Institute, the UB Institute of Jewish Thought & Heritage, Koren A/V Center of the Charles B. Sears Law Library (UB Libraries) and UB Wellness Education Services.

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