Smile Politely

Submissions now being accepted for the 2015 Central Illinois Feminist Film Festival

From a press release:

Filmmakers are invited to submit entries for the 2015 Central Illinois Feminist Film Festival (CIFFF) to be held on the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill. March 23-25, 2015. The theme for this year’s festival is Coming of Age Sexuality.

The CIFFF Committee and the Women’s Studies Program at EIU are looking for films of high artistic quality that satisfy at least two of the following criteria: films created with an emphasis on gender and/or social justice issues; films that link local and global issues; films created by people underrepresented in the media field (women, people of color, queer/transgendered people, and people with disabilities); and films made by people from the Central Illinois area.

While there is an emphasis on local filmmakers, honors have previously been awarded to directors in Illinois, Virginia, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Canada, Iran, Australia, Philippines, and India. Subjects have included art therapy and how it can heal victims of gender-based violence, an artist who found her calling when she returned to her childhood home in Cambodia, and the diverse history of women’s political activism around the world.

“The Central Illinois Feminist Film Festival welcomes submissions from students and aspiring filmmakers in both documentary and fictional film categories,” said CIFFF committee chair Robin Murray.

Submissions should be short films of no more than 30 minutes in length. There is no submission fee for the film festival. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2015. The films will be screened on March 24, 2015.

Filmmakers can submit to the film festival in one of three ways:
·       Online through Film Freeway at
·       Upload a video to Vimeo, Dropbox or Youtube and email Murray at with a link to the film.
·       Mail a DVD of the film to: Central Illinois Feminist Film Festival, Women’s Studies Program, Eastern Illinois University, 600 Lincoln Ave., Charleston, IL 61920, Attn: Robin Murray.

The DVD should be labeled with a name, address, email address and title of the film. After mailing the film, an acknowledgement should be emailed to Murray.

Submissions sent via email or standard mail should also include a cover letter that explains how the filmmaker or film fits the criteria listed above and a two to three sentence synopsis.
CIFFF takes place each year in March during Women’s History Awareness Month (WHAM). The WHAM schedule at EIU also includes the Women’s Studies Annual Awards Ceremony, a keynote presentation by author, activist, professor and recording artist Elaine Richardson, aka Dr. E, a living history performance, and a concert of women’s music, among others events. This year’s theme for WHAM is Gender and Sexuality.

Now in its seventh year, the film festival promotes the mission of the EIU Women’s Studies Program, which is to promote an understanding of how issues related to gender, age, race, economic status, sexual identity, and nationality affect women’s lives and the communities in which they live. In order to promote an equitable and sensitive environment for all persons, Women’s Studies also responds to issues affecting women on the EIU campus and in the local community.

Additionally, the CIFFF Committee invites local organizations or members of the community to host a film screening and/or discussion. Those interested in doing so may contact Murray for more information or to share ideas.

To learn more about the CIFFF, visit or, email Murray at or call 217-581-2428.

Related Articles