The Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival is celebrating its 30th year of presenting regional films made by women, making it the longest, continuous-running women’s film festival in North America. The festival features documentaries, narrative shorts, and animated films that provoke thought and discussion on important issues.
A total of 60 films will be screened throughout the weekend in the Fine Arts Center, Kathryn Mohrman Theatre, Celeste Theatre, and the Cornerstone Screening Room.
Colorado College students have the unique opportunity of attending the festival for free by picking up a complimentary coupon at the Worner Desk to be exchanged for a ticket at the festival. The regular price for the full weekend is $140. The majority of attendees are from the Pikes Peak Region, but last year, the festival had representation from 17 states.
“In the past four years, our relationship with CC has truly strengthened our program,” said Linda Broker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Institute. “Dylan Nelson and students of the Film and Media Department are great resources to us. There has been an increased awareness of the event on campus—student attendance has grown drastically.”
The festival debuted at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center in 1988 by two Colorado Springs women who were inspired by films at the Telluride Film Festival. From there, it began to expand onto CC’s campus throughout the years. In 2016, CC became an official sponsor of the event.
“We definitely are doing some new things for our 30th anniversary,” said Broker. “We have doubled our number of filmmaker forums and will be showing more programming than ever throughout the weekend.”
Kaitlyn Hickmann ’19, a film and media studies major, is looking forward to the event, particularly the filmmaker forums, which she says “are a really cool opportunity to engage with the filmmakers and see what they were thinking about in making a film and what they had to overcome.” For Hickmann, “It’s always good to hear personal stories from independent filmmakers because it makes the next challenges and stumbling blocks that you go through as a filmmaker seem more doable.”
In addition to attending, many CC students help with the festival. Select student films are shown as student spotlight programming, and for the past five to six years, student interns have helped the festival with behind the scenes work like creating bumpers, short one-minute pieces that precede every film throughout the festival. Additionally, there are volunteer positions available at the film institute throughout the year.
Outside of the festival, The Rocky Mountain Women’s Film institute hosts other events, such as the Filmmakers’ Retreat and Wheel to Reel, a bike ride followed by an outdoor film screening.
“It’s really cool to support local and regional filmmakers, especially filmmakers who are women, or feature strong female characters, because neither of those things are what we see being churned out of Hollywood,” said Hickmann.
To view the full schedule, visit rmwfilminstitute.org/festival/schedule.