Bluestocking 2017 (R)Evolution
Statement from Bluestocking Film Series Founder, Kate Kaminski
Bluestocking began as an experiment that asked the question: if I brought female-centered, female-directed films to Maine, would the audience show up? Over the past six years, the audience has indeed grown and Bluestocking’s 2016 event was the biggest yet, engaging women in film activists and the larger film industry in new and exciting ways.
A range of special guests, bloggers, and talented filmmakers from across the country turned our 6th annual festival into a riotous celebration of film inclusion and strong, complex women on-screen, behind the camera, and in the room.
From the very first screening in October of 2011 at St. Lawrence Arts Center, we have celebrated and promoted talented filmmakers who take the creative risk of placing female protagonists front and center, serving as an exclusive international showcase to amplify diverse female voices and stories. I am immensely proud of the contribution Bluestocking has made to the chorus of voices across the country and around the world demanding film equality.
The statistics speak for themselves: in six years, we have screened 84 films, brought 43 guest artists to Maine and presented in 16 venues to an audience of thousands (in Maine, the U.S. and around the globe). Noteworthy, generous sponsors and grantors have shared our vision all along and to them we are grateful.
In 2017, Bluestocking will commence on a quest to expand its mission and build capacity by focusing on organizing presentations in areas where support for that mission is strong and vital.
What does this mean in real terms?
- I will embark on a curatorial expedition to find and invite wonderful, well-produced, female-driven narrative short films to take out on the road.
- Bluestocking will travel across the country and around the world. From Los Angeles to Minneapolis to Sweden and the U.K., the chances that Bluestocking’s program could screen in a city near you are better than ever.
- In lieu of a Portland-based festival in July 2017, we will seek unconventional venues around Maine where we can organize “pop up” screenings of selected films. These types of informal screenings will allow us to reach audiences that we haven’t yet.
As a filmmaker, I identify myself as a cinema anarchist. That means I don’t play by the rules that others set for what a film should look like (or what camera I should use, etc.), how the script should be written, or who should be the main character. As the founder of this festival, from the beginning, I have set Bluestocking’s course to prove only one thing: that audiences love a good story no matter what the protagonist’s gender is. That we are now taking a new direction in the way that we present Bluestocking’s program feels like (r)evolution. And that’s exciting.
In closing, I want to thank again our audiences and all the many wonderful people who’ve volunteered their time, energy, money, and support for Bluestocking over the years. To all of you, I say, our mission remains the same. Now, onward!