When a small group of faculty in 2008 embarked on an artistic collaboration that would become the Citizen Jane Film Festival, they had a dream and a vision that CJFF would provide women filmmakers a venue, a community and a celebration of the value and impact of stories presented through the female lens. Since that time, CJFF has nurtured extraordinary collaborations and creative expression, even as it has offered our students the opportunity to access a remarkable universe of women filmmakers from around the world.
Today, as we announce the closure of the festival, we remain committed to that vision and impact — and determined to grow it into a larger and more widely recognized brand. Toward that end, faculty, students and administrators have embarked on a “dream up” conversation of what Citizen Jane might become. It started with the question of whether a small, local film festival represents the best and most effective way to get the CJ message out into the world: Are there better ways to invest those significant resources and expand that conversation? What do our students need and want as they look to joining and contributing to the global community of women filmmakers? Are there ways to hold tightly to the most valuable elements of the Citizen Jane Film Festival, to find new avenues for partnering on the delivery of some of those experiences, and to expand the scope and scale of Citizen Jane to include increased opportunities for funded student film production, a focused film series, a visiting artists series, a filmmakers summit, internships?
The answer to those questions — we believe —is a resounding “yes.” And we are engaged actively in an exploration of how we might best leverage what our faculty and students have built over the past decade to move Citizen Jane into its next iteration and generation. The conversations continue, and the energy around them is exciting and illuminating.
We’ll be in touch as the plan develops and emerges. In the meantime, please know that Stephens College continues to embrace and support the mission and vision of Citizen Jane, and will continue to invest in its evolution.
Finally, we wish to thank all of the filmmakers, volunteers, community sponsors, film students and alumnae, and other friends of the festival who have supported the festival throughout the years.
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