The Humanities Institute Conference: Global Women’s Cinema was held in the Humanities Building, room 1008. (BASIL JOHN / THE STATESMAN)

Feminism is an ongoing debate in our society. This word has become a political, economic and cultural related issue.

From Sept. 18-20, The Humanities Institute held a conference called “Humanities Institute Conference: Global Women’s Cinema.” The conferences were held in the Humanities building and the films were screened at the Wang Center. Many of the directors and professors who spoke during Friday’s conference exposed people to a broader view on the development of motion pictures and the feminists’ film industry.

E.K. Tan, an associate professor of Cultural Analysis and Theory at Stony Brook University, presented “Queer Localism in Zero Chou’s Splendid Float and Spider Lilies.” In addition to Tan’s presentation, he answered a few questions regarding the international film market in relation to women.

In general, Tan said, “‘feminist’ is a big part of the cinema, what is more important is how cinema develops.” He added, “In China, it is common that the directors are the male-oriented jobs.” Women try hard to find their  positions  in the  film industry  and it is not very easy for them to become a director  without networking with other famous filmmakers.


Xu Jinglei and Zhou Xun are two famous Chinese actresses. Xu is also a successful feminist film director. Both were examples in Tan’s interview.

Tan also mentioned that there are a lot of steps to become a director. The most important thing is that women have to first prove themselves before they make it in the film industry.

Actresses and feminist filmmakers have more opportunities to make cultural exchanges European film festivals

Jane Gaines, a professor at Columbia University School of the Arts and author of “Fire and Desire: Mixed Race Movies in the Silent Era” presented “What Can’t Feminism Imagine?” at the conference. The women film production companies have sprung up throughout the history since last century and both western and non-western women filmmakers emerge with their marvelous creations.


“Trap Street” is one of the Chinese feminist films and it was shown in Wang Center on Friday night. The movie was to engage the audiences by applying the soft emotion changes between Guan and Li, the two main characters in the movie. “Trap Street” was directed by a Chinese feminist director Vivian Qu and the film was nominated at the 2013 Venice International Film Festival.

Talented female filmmakers are always trying to learn how to spark audiences’ interest in their work, by employing special feminist literature.

Eliminating the gender bound also give women more chances and confidence to engage in the film industry worldwide.

While some of the outstanding female film producers achieve the same progress as men, female film producers still have a long way to go to keep up with the bombarded cultural information and fresh aesthetic trends in the new movie era.


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