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Women of Film Arts Host Fifth Annual Feminist Media Festival

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Established women in the music and entertainment industries provided advice and networked with attendees of the Feminist Media Festival. Vincent Leo | Daily Trojan Horse.

Transitioning into the Zoom era, USCs Women of Cinematic Arts, a student organization for gender non-conforming students, held its fifth and first virtual feminist media festival on Saturday. The club recognized the achievements of these gender minorities at USC and hosted various women from the entertainment industry to several panels, workshops and a private networking event.

The festival began with an opening ceremony featuring Ashley Strumwasser, vice president of film and television for Reese Witherspoons production company Hello Sunshine.

After an hour of questions and answers with the guests, Strumwasser, a USC alumnus, commented on the impressive new Feminist Media Festival.

It’s so awesome that you’re doing this, and you’re already further ahead than I ever was when I was at USC, she said. I love to see all the empowerment of women and the fact that you are all working together in this way to do something bigger than yourself so thank you.

A breakthrough in the entertainment industry panel followed, featuring USC alumni who quickly gained extensive experience in various areas of the entertainment industry. Then, workshops followed with several established guests offering hands-on assistance to students focused on either writing and producing comedy or writing short films.

Mia Young, a sophomore film and media studies student, attended the comedy writing workshop and met Shannon Hardy, executive assistant at Fuzzy Door Entertainment.

She has given us so much valuable information, and I am so fortunate to have been able to attend these kinds of events and to hear such talented and accomplished alumni, said Young.

The second AOC panel focused on women in under-represented fields, which led to a conversation about the number of women on set, women in facilitation, and the lack of representation at the set. ‘screen. Then, an exclusive networking event allowed students to bond with industry professionals in a relaxed environment. Then a third panel began and focused on the Writers ‘Room, with several USC alumni sharing their experiences as women in the Writers’ Room in particular.

Panelist Alex Ovadia, writer for Tosh.0, offered some advice to the editors in attendance.

It’s important to keep meeting people, taking initiatives as much as you can and just being cool, she said. A lot of people work really hard, but have a bad attitude and aren’t invited to be on the next show, and a lot of people are great, and don’t work very hard, and aren’t invited to the next show either.

Finally, all the guests virtually gathered for the screening of the film submissions to the Feminist Media Festival. Script and game submissions have been made available ahead of time, so guests can browse through them ahead of time.

After the screening and a brief introduction from the group of former women of the film arts, the closing ceremony began. There were over 35 submissions to the Feminist Media Festival, which led to 10 film finalists and 10 other media finalists, which included screenplays and games. Professor Anik Imre in Film and Media Studies, Professor of Animation and Media Arts and Practice Kathy Smith, Assistant Dean of Film Arts Affairs Bonnie Chi, and Director of USC’s Game Innovation Lab , Tracy Fullerton, acted as official judges.

The event recognized eight artists from under-represented genres in four categories: the Other Media Award for Intersectionality, the Short Film Award for Intersectionality, Best Other Media and Best Film.

The Other Media Award for Intersectionality was won by Madison Lin, a junior specializing in film and television production, for her screenplay Red.

The Short Film Intersectionality Award was won by Ji Lee, a junior with a major in film and television production, for her film On the Way To.

A Yemeni Alyssa Amer, graduate student in film and television production, took home the top prize for best other media, while Game Operator from Jasmine Persephone Jupiter, graduate student in game design and interactive media, took second place and La Madre Monte by Sara Boivin, a senior specialist in screen and television writing, took third place.

Be Full By Apocalypse from Kayla Cao, a junior with a major in film and television production, won the award for best film, while Cool Girl Music Video from Destinee McCaster, a sophomore specializing in film and television production, came second and TO FEEL A BODY by Justine Ellen Chen, a senior specializing in film and television production, came third.

Festival coordinator Carina Williamson, a sophomore major in film and media studies, has been preparing for the Feminist Media Festival since May 2020.

I didn’t really know what I was doing when I first started, she says. However, I have had the freedom and reign to seek out my own guests. I contacted so many amazing women, and the guests we came to our festival were really amazing.

Although virtual festivals were never an anticipated part of the college experience, Women of the Film Arts managed to put on an interesting day filled with important lessons for all gender minorities who venture into the film industry. entertainment.



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