Grand Rapids Feminist Film Festival coming to Wealthy Theatre

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Singer-songwriter Lizzo.
Singer-songwriter Lizzo.

A festival dedicated to elevating underrepresented voices is queuing up some indie picks and hot-button discussions for next week.

The sixth-annual Grand Rapids Feminist Film Festival (GRFF) will take place from noon to 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, showing a lineup of 40 short films on themes of feminism, racism and religion, LGBTQ rights and the #MeToo movement.

“What I love most about this festival is that we’ve been able to use our privilege to shine the spotlight on those who don’t often get to have the stage,” said Lydia VanHoven-Cook, festival co-founder and director.

“We try to be better and better each year at being more intersectional, and especially in this political climate, making sure we provide a safe, inclusive and educational space for women and nonbinary folks to be empowered.”

The free event will be held at Wealthy Theatre, 1130 Wealthy St. SE in Grand Rapids.

For the first time this year, the festival will feature a keynote speaker.

Joyce Pierpoline is producer of the comedy-horror film, “Teeth,” and will host a discussion — in tandem with Cáel Keegan, assistant professor of women, gender and sexuality studies at Grand Valley State University — about how the “vagina dentata-themed movie” overcame “a bungled studio release” to find cult status among young women.

Trigger warning: The discussion will focus on sexual assault, rape culture and other mature themes.

GRFFF also will show a lineup of 40 films that are 20 minutes or less in length and made by or featuring women and/or nonbinary people.

The films are spilt into four blocks, one of which will be kid friendly. Some films will feature a discussion with filmmakers following the film block.

The complete film schedule can be found at grfff.org/film-schedule.

In addition to films and this year’s keynote speaker, GRFFF will feature four panel discussions that will take place in the Koning Micro Cinema at Wealthy Theatre.

Topics will include women of color on singer/songwriter Lizzo; workplace harassment and racial justice with former Founders Brewing employee Tracy Evans; the intersection of religion and feminism with various religious leaders from West Michigan; and a roundtable on the controversial FX drama, “Pose.”

More information is at grfff.org.

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