Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Atlantic City Cinefest Holds Intense Film Block on Campus Sexual Assault

Atlantic City Cinefest Holds Intense Film Block on Campus Sexual Assault

2013 Downbeach Film Festival/AC Cinefest will show a block of short documentaries about sexual assault on college campuses. To shed light on this intolerable situation, five student documentary crews in five colleges (Rowan University, Framingham State University, Northern Illinois University, Western State Colorado University and California State University Northridge) and their documentary teachers, created a series of powerful films about this insidious subject.

The movies are a diverse and risk-taking collection. They don’t pull any punches. There are intense profiles of sexual assault victims who are healing and on activism crusades. There are docudramas about binge drinking and rape. There are explorations with psychologists, legal experts, and law enforcement officers. There are students speaking out and demanding to be heard.

Atlantic City Cinefest will present the documentary block from 1 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 12 at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey’s Carnegie Conference Center, 35 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. Admission is free.

"The films, made this past spring, are part of a national campaign to address the current epidemic of such assaults," said Ned Eckhardt, a festival board member, a professor at Rowan University and the person who put this series together.

Here is a breakdown of each film:

“Slutwalk. A Day in Her Heels” (16 min. Lauren Stroz and Eric Cheavers. Rowan) A look at the global phenomenon of Slutwalk. After a local police chief accused college women of dressing like sluts, the students created a demonstration movement called Slutwalk. It is growing and getting attention.

“Red Blooded Men” (15 min. Jacob Johnson. Northern Illinois University) This documentary covers multiple aspects of college life through a male's perspective. We hope to enlighten audiences about notions of masculinity and femininity and create awareness about sexual assault on campuses.

“Shatter the Silence” (20 min. Sarah Giansanti, Siobhan, and Hanna Harris. Framingham State University) The film focuses on the processes that occur after one has been raped or sexually assaulted. The film provides a concise look at the legal process.

“Leading A New Response” (15 min. Dan Aberghini and Kristin Devereaux. Framingham State University The documentary profiles one of the oldest not-for-profit legal resources in New England : The Victim Rights Law Center of Boston.

“Invisible Fight” (14 min. Shannon Lynoff, Christie Henson, and Abi Rike. Western State Colorado University) Part documentary and part fictional film, "Invisible Fight” highlights the stupidity and injustice of victim blaming.

“1000 Times No: Students Giving Voice To A Silent Epidemic” (10 min. Tony Incorvia and Brenda Salgado. California State University Northridge) Follow a group of college students taking action against the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses by educating and raising awareness.

“Katalyst” (21 min. Zak Vesely, Meredith Carroll, and Matt Wood. Rowan.) Katya, an amateur artist and survivor of sexual assault, goes on a journey of healing. She comes in contact with other survivors and takes steps with them to overcome the trauma caused by her assault years earlier.

“Perspectives” (13 min. Daniel Aberghini and William Oxtoby. Framingham State Universit)y The film begs the question: Given all that we know, why does sexual assault happen? Look at different levels of knowledge in the greater Boston area.

“In Motion” (14 min. Alexandra Forni. Northern Illinois University) After a sexual assault, a college aged woman is faced with difficult decisions regarding her health and her future. This short narrative film engages with the question of consent and the quick response of friends who blame the victim.

“$5 For Guys. Girls Free.” (15 min. Dee Lugo and John Breitling. Rowan) A re-enacted close-up of the college generation and how quickly a typical night out can go wrong. The national web site is pact5.org where all of the documentaries can be accessed, along with important awareness and prevention information.

Downbeach Film Festival presents the 6th Atlantic City Cinefest Oct. 11 to 13. The festival will be held at Dante Hall Theater, the Carnegie Conference Center, the Golden Nugget Showroom and the Atlantic City Free Public Library. For three days, we will screen features, shorts and documentaries from local and national filmmakers, including some premieres. Admission to screenings will be free. Please check www.downbeachfilmfestival.org for the schedule and times. To insure tickets, please register by sending your name, address, phone number and email address to bsaks47@comcast.net. Also include which films you want tickets for.

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