West Chester University students will present short films at the University’s first student produced feminist and queer film festival, titled LoOSenING Our Minds, this upcoming Saturday, April 27 from 1 to 6 p.m. at Sykes Student Union Theatre.
LoOSenING Our Minds is “an opportunity for students to express and use their voices to convey their queer experience.” Queer does not necessarily mean “gay,” but instead, a lifestyle away from the norm. Students have created short, 10-15 minute films about numerous topics that affect students. Films either send a message, tell a story,or portray what is happening to alienated students. Each film will be followed by a Q&A session with the student filmmakers to provide further dialogue on their topic. LoOSenING Our Minds is free and open to the public and refreshments will be provided.
Dr. Lisa Ruchti, an associate professor of Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies, and event organizer, said, “The film festival was open to any student film maker, no matter the level of experience,” and emphasized the opportunity for students to express themselves and their queer experience.
One of the films to be featured at LoOSenING Our Minds is titled “Through My Eyes: Perspectives on Domestic Violence.” A group of students from HON451: Documentary Video and Social Justice will present a series of interviews with West Chester-related individuals about their various experiences with domestic violence.
At 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, the feature film of LoOSenING Our Minds, “Criminal Queers” will be shown. “Criminal Queers,” directed by Eric A. Stanley and Chris Vargas, tells a fictional story with the reality of violence against the queer and transgender communities by different states and the prison industrial complex.
“‘Criminal Queers’ is a mixture of satire and political critique, wrapped up in a classic prison-break narrative. The presence of the most famous prison abolitionist of our time, Angela Davis, lends weight to the film’s rumination on the prison-industrial complex,” said Bitch Magazine. There will be a Q&A session to follow.
While all of the films in LoOSenING Our Minds focus on social justice issues, not all of the films are dark, or serious. Some of the films are comedies, including the main feature “Criminal Queers.”
LoOSenING Our Minds is sponsored by Association for Women’s Empowerment, the College of Arts and Sciences, Departments of English and Philosophy, the University’s Digital Media Center, the Growing Community Project, LGBTQA Club, LGBTQA Service, Sisters United, the Student Activities Council, the Women’s Center, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and the University Forum.
For more information on the event, please contact Dr. Lisa Ruchti at LRuchti@wcupa.edu or Dr. Simon Ruchti at ERuchti@wcupa.edu.
Victoria Holt is a second-year student majoring in communication studies. She can be reached at VH758202@wcupa.edu.