Mississippi State University's Gender Studies Program will host its sixth annual Feminist Film Festival at 6 p.m. from Nov. 4-7 in the Turner A. Wingo Auditorium in Old Main.
Kimberly Kelly, a professor in the Gender Studies Program, said this event will show four commercial films, all thematically surrounding feminism.
"The idea is to help students become more critical consumers of media they've already consumed," Kelly said.
Kelly said some issues which are prominent in the films are related to themes of gender, sexuality and racial inequality.
Melanie Walsh, a Gender Studies Program graduate assistant, said there is a theme including these issues set aside for each night.
Every night through Nov. 4-7, the program will show one movie, with a panel and questions following it. These movies are specifically set to be thought-provoking in different ways.
This year's line up includes "Que Sea Ley", "Bessie", "Stonewall Uprising", and "Booksmart". Walsh states that "Que Sea Ley" was brought in to highlight international issues, "Bessie" highlights issues with people of color, the "Stonewall Uprising" sheds light on LGBTQ issues, and Thursday's blockbuster movie is "Booksmart".
"Our Thursday night film is usually a recent blockbuster or one that got a lot of awards and will draw a lot of students in," Walsh said.Walsh noted the way the movies were chosen was through the gender studies faculty members.
"We just threw them out on the table and started with a list of 15 and talked about the themes and what would be appropriate for what night," Walsh said.
Kelly noted an important role to make this film festival happen is to make sure panelists are booked.
"The real contribution is that after the film I have two gender studies faculty affiliates for a 3-5 minute commentary on the film based on their expertise," Kelly said.
After doing this, the panel opens the floor up to questions for the students at the event.
Walsh said the panelists consist of gender studies scholars, who play an important role in engaging the students.
Walsh agreed with Kelly regarding critical consumption as a goal of the event.
"One of the biggest goals of the film festival is to have students engage in these products more critically and think about the underlying messages behind them that they might not think about when they mindlessly watch a piece of media," said Walsh.
Margaret Hagerman, an assistant professor of sociology and a panelist for this year's festival, said she believes this festival can bring the MSU community together in an impactful way.
"I decided to participate because I think the Feminist Film Fest is a powerful way to bring the Mississippi State community together to collectively analyze films from a critical, feminist perspective and to think about the messages, taken-for-granted assumptions and ideas about inequality that films either reproduce or disrupt," said Hagerman.
The Gender Studies Program encourages anyone who is interested to come to watch the films and stay after the showings for the post-show panel discussion.