Festival celebrating women in film to feature RIT student work

Oct 24, 2017

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A screenshot of "Sonny Jim," a film by Evamarie Choma that will be shown at the High Falls Film Festival.
Thumbnail for Festival celebrating women in film to feature RIT student work
A screenshot of "Sonny Jim," a film by Evamarie Choma that will be shown at the High Falls Film Festival.

by Aaron Garland

A long-running RIT School of Film and Animation (SOFA) tradition will continue next month when 17 student films with women in major production roles are screened at the High Falls Film Festival, an annual Rochester event that celebrates females in film.

Each year since the 2001 inception of the festival, RIT has presented the “Women of SOFA” exhibition, which highlights the work of female students in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences at RIT school.

"The Final Touch" by Alyssa Minko

The 2017 shorts program — curated by SOFA faculty Cat Ashworth (professor) and Mari Jaye Blanchard (assistant professor) — is set for noon on Nov. 4 at the Little Theatre, 240 East Ave. in downtown Rochester. The 96-minute block includes showings of live-action and animated films, as well as a question-and-answer session between the students and audience, which will cast votes to decide the SOFA film that is awarded Best in Show.

All festival screenings are slated to run from Nov. 2-6 at the Little Theatre.

Ashworth and Blanchard selected the 17 student works in the SOFA presentation. Submitted films that have women in creative roles (director, animator, cinematographer, composer, etc.) were considered.

“The ‘Women of SOFA’ show gives student filmmakers the opportunity to see their films played on a big screen, with an appreciative audience,” Ashworth said. “For students, this might be the first time they are brave enough to call themselves a ‘filmmaker’ and to realize the film they created can touch many people.”

"I Very Much Like to Live Alone" by Emma Firulli 

RIT is a sponsor of the High Falls Film Festival, which honors the “achievement of women in all aspects of filmmaking by showing the best independent films created by female cinematic artists,” according to a note from High Falls artistic director Nora Brown on the festival’s website. For a full festival schedule, visit here.

“The High Falls Film Festival is a film festival that really matters,” Ashworth said. “It is important to change the prevailing misconception that only men are filmmakers. Women are great storytellers and are active in all aspects of the creation of film.”

Below are the participating directors, and their films, in the “Women of SOFA” exhibit:

• “Dog Clog” — Maggie Miller

• “Blue” — Maryam Farahzadi

• “I Very Much Like to Live Alone” — Emma Firulli

• “The Nearness of You” — Tianyi Yin

• “Communist in the Summer House” — Camille Howard

• “Subject” — Angélica Agélviz

• “Bed” — Yiran Qiao

• “We Are Alive” — Maliheh Rahrovan

• “Sonny Jim” — Evamarie Choma

• “Tongue in Cheek” — Palwasha Azimi

• “Ornithology” — Emily Halderman

• “Experiments #1” — Mary Chang

• “It Didn’t Mean Anything” — Irena Weaver

• “Cleopatra” — Jenna Roscoe

• “Alan” — Isabella Iampieri

• “Rise” — Shana Dixon

• “The Final Touch” — Alyssa Minko

"We Are Alive" by Maliheh Rahrovan