QWOCMAP discusses social justice feminism in 7th film festival edition

By Moira Sullivan
Pratibha Parmar
The Queer Women of Color Film Festival, otherwise known as QWOCMAP, now in its 7th year continues to be an exceptional venue and one of the best festivals of women’s film I have attended. There are many reasons for this. For starters, it is free to the public with no admission charge. The organizers provide scrumptious food for the audience too in the cinema lounge. The entire festival is predicated on turning out a program of short films made by women, who have been trained to create a story and develop a script, shoot the film and edit it. These films are then presented at the festival for the public. The enthusiasm for the work is intoxicating and the support for these filmmakers is genuine.

Festival organizer T. Kebo Drew and Madeleine Lim report that this year’s festival was the same, even after many years of organizing it. Madeline Lim has held workshops since 2000 using film as an art form and tool for social change. About 120 films have been created for the QWOCMAP festival. Whereas other festivals charge admission and recruit corporate sponsors to pay for the event, this festival does not and remains a grassroots community forum for queer women of color.

This year there were 38 films presented with a Q& A with the filmmakers. Some of the films this year include La Petite Salon by Caroline Le (2010) on a Vietnamese mother’s expectations for her daughter, Making it Home on a woman who discovers that coming out to her mother helps her to be more of a part of the LGBT community and AIN'T I A WOMAN by Kebo Drew about black femmes and transgender women.

The festival included a panel discussion with writer/play write Jewelle Gomez, British South East Asian Filmmaker Pratibha Parmer, Dr Ericka Huggins, women’s studies professor, performance artist and writer Canyon Sam, Olga Talamante, the Executive Director of the Chicana/Latina Foundation. A roundtable discussion with queer women of color activists discussed social justice feminism. A selection of the films was presented at the Frameline Film Festival. 

Next year the organizers plan to take the festival to the YBCA Center in downtown San Francisco. The festival this year was full to the brim, and over 300 women waited to get in for one of the coveted seats. So, the 8th festival will be held in a spacious forum and is sure to be an exciting venue.

© 2011 - Moira Sullivan - Air Date: 06/29/12
Movie Magazine International