‘Feminist Ticket Pricing’ and Assorted Entertainment at LES Film Festival’s ‘Ladies’ Night’
Who run the LES – girls.
Today more than ever, the world needs to uplift female identifying people. This is true in all professions and in every corner of the globe. Monday’s selection of the 2017 Lower East Side Film Festival was devoted to just that – progressing feminism in creative spaces, which, as illustrated by the Bowery Wall mural, we need more than ever.
Non-feminists were dismayed to find that tickets were adjusted to reflect the wage gap that harms women every day, charging $16 for anyone identifying as a feminist, and 8,632 big ones for anyone who did not identify as such. This was a biting and hilarious way to illustrate the horrifying entrenchment of such inequities as women making 82% of the income of men in the 21st century.
Filmmaker and Artistic Director of the Women’s March Paola Mendoza said of the price difference: “We all need stories and we all tell stories. Our stories need to be a true representation of the world we live in. That means having stories about and being told by women, women of color, trans folks undocumented immigrants, Muslims and every other group of people that isn’t just white straight men. I’m thrilled to be a part of a festival that is helping to shape the landscape of storytelling that is truly inclusive.”
The neighborhood’s filmmakers, film lovers, and film-adjacent humans came to see the women of the LES Film Festival. The mundane everyday tragedy of womanhood and its trappings was cast into the shadows for the night to celebrate the creative product of these women. Here, strong characters and role reversals of common stereotypes were at full volume, and we hope they could hear our raucous laughter all the way in Washington DC at some of the more dry notes of the feature film What Children Do. Women aren’t anything you tell them that they are, and when you see their performances whether wretched with sadness or bowling over with hilarity, you can see them as the autonomous beings that men are already signed up to be at birth.
Judged by comedienne and fabulously witty SNL alum Sasheer Zamata, among others, a night of films focused on women is the answer to the bitter sexism that governs bigger and more famous film festivals. Prepped by the Showtime-sponsored Stand Up Night, which happened at Subculture on Saturday, Ms. Zamata and an incredible and intersectional cast of comics slayed our abdomens with poignant and extremely therapeutic laughter. Covering ground from flyby bigots, Black Lives Matter, hard drugs and the … errr … orange GOP Elephant in the room, it was the set we all needed, and I suspect the comedians needed it too, as well as the perfect primer to the festival’s Ladies Night and Best of Newfest celebration of Queer Shorts.
This year’s festival closes out tonight.