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DATEBOOK

reel time l BY ANITA NEAL HARRISON

Celebrating Citizen Jane Great films mean a great time at this annual festival honoring female filmmakers.

really great crowds and places to connect with each other, it includes access to the filmmakers, and it includes parties. “We want to throw the funnest, warmest party of the year,” she says, “where people who love film and love community get to hang out with each other and have a great time, and honestly, I’m totally cool if people don’t get our mission — if they just come and have a great time and see these films. In the end, that’s what I want. I want people to see these films. They’re amazing, and they’re not getting seen, and that’s why we exist.”

CITIZEN JANE FILM FESTIVAL

Columbia, get ready for the best Citizen Jane Film Festival so far, says executive director Paula Elias. “Every year, we get better at this,” Elias says. “I’m really, really excited about the films.” Now in its seventh year, Citizen Jane is an intimate, three-day film festival showcasing the work of independent female filmmakers from around the world. The event addresses the issue of women’s underrepresentation in the film industry. According to The Celluloid Ceiling, a study conducted by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, women comprised just 6 percent of directors for the top 250 grossing films in 2013 — a 3 percent drop from 2012. Citizen Jane Film Festival gives women a chance to have good work recognized. “One of the things that excites me the most is the quality of our submissions,” Elias says. She explains that at most film festivals, submitted films comprise between just 2 and 5 percent of the programming, and curated films, or those festival planners find, comprise the rest. But at Citizen Jane, the split is closer to 50/50.

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INSIDE COLUMBIA NOVEMBER 2014

“It’s important that we program so many submitted films because these filmmakers may never be found otherwise; they may never get an audience for their films,” Elias says. Festival organizers plan to show 10 feature films, six documentaries and six shorts programs throughout the weekend. In 2013, Citizen Jane added a Citizen Jane Summit to its lineup, which will return in 2014. This daylong conference brings influencers in film together with participants from Stephens College, the University of Missouri and guests throughout the region to devise strategies to improve women’s standing in the film industry. The first summit focused on outlining the problem and understanding how it developed. “This year, we want to look at: ‘OK. The problem exists; we get it. How do we change it?’ ” Elias says. This push for change is just one important part of the Citizen Jane Film Festival. Another measure of its success is the filmgoer’s experience. Elias says what she wants most for the filmgoers — simple as it sounds — is for them to have fun. “What we want to do is craft a really good film festival,” she says, “and for us, that includes awesome films, it includes

Nov. 7–9 Downtown Columbia & Stephens College Individual tickets for opening night $10, other nights $8 with $2 off for students and seniors 573-819-JANE (5263) www.citizenjanefilmfestival.com

GET YOUR PASSES For $100, Insane Jane Pass holders get: • all films with film reservations before individual tickets go on sale • Saturday Night Party and Midnite Breakfast • Private VIP Reception 5:30 to 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at Columbia Art League • Private Filmmaker Brunch 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 9 at Historic Senior Hall on the Stephens College campus For $60, Plain Jane Pass holders get all films with film reservations before individual tickets go on sale.

Inside Columbia Magazine November Issue  
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