The Eau Queer Film Festival celebrates the diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual communities through the screening and discussion of riveting documentaries, awe-inspiring features, quirky comedies, and shorts.
We embrace difference, promote equality, encourage activism, and challenge and educate through the powerful medium of film.
Where to find us!
Davies Student Center | Woodland Theater
In 2010, the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire held its first LGBTQ film festival, bringing an array of quality, first-run queer cinema to the Eau Claire community.
Founded by professor of communication and journalism Ellen Mahaffy and associate professor of sociology Pam Forman, the Eau Queer Film Festival stands out in a dwindling group of university queer film festivals remaining in the United States. Within the University of Wisconsin system, Madison, Steven’s Point, and Milwaukee also have queer film festivals. Other festivals include the University of Oregon, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Syracuse University, and the University of Louisville.
While Forman and Mahaffy are its creators, the content of Eau Queer is student-driven; students produce the festival from the initial stages of screening films at Frameline in San Francisco to negotiating fees with distributors, and engineering a publicity campaign. Students learn valuable skills in film criticism, event planning and public relations, and use the power of cinema to build bridges between the UWEC campus and larger Eau Claire queer communities.
The Gender & Sexuality Resource Center is the new home of the film festival. After running through the Women’s Studies Program for six years, we added a third Executive Director, Christopher Jorgenson, who brings to us a wealth of experience in event planning and working with the Eau Claire campus and broader LGBTQIA+ communities.
We are entering a three-year grant cycle through the Blugold Commitment Differential Tuition awards, meaning we have exciting plans for the future! We look forward to screening queer cinema that pushes boundaries, addresses power and privilege, and unites our community!
OUR 9th ANNUAL FESTIVAL
We are pleased to present our 9th annual Eau Queer Film Festival (EQFF)! This year's theme, becoming, reflects an awareness of transformation and change that is constant in our lives. These films recognize how we are shaped by our experiences and surrounding communities, and the important role these spaces play in fostering our identities. We continue to bring films that challenge gender binaries, heteronormativity and the status quo.
The 2018 Eau Queer Film Festival will take place October 9-13 at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire. All films will screen in the Davies Student Center's Woodland Theater with the exception of Alone in the Game, screening in Schofield Auditorium.
All films and discussions are free for students, staff, faculty and community members.
WHAT IS A FILM FESTIVAL?
Screening first-run films is the heart of what we do. We are also committed to bringing filmmakers, subjects from films, and expert discussants to help us interpret these films. Eau Queer hosts discussions led by UWEC faculty members, local LGBTQ/allied organizations, and students. These conversations after films are significant, whether with a filmmaker, friend, or stranger. Executive Director Mahaffy notes that this gives us a chance to “think about what we just saw, and make sense of queer realities in a challenging world.”
From 2010–2013 and 2015, the festival worked in tandem with the Women's Studies immersion course, LGBTQA Studies: San Francisco Travel Seminar, taught by professors Forman and Mahaffy. Students attended San Francisco’s Frameline International LGBTQ Film Festival, the oldest and longest running queer film festival, to screen first-run queer shorts and feature length films, and attend Pride events. They worked in small groups to produce queer documentary shorts using interviews with activists and filmmakers while in San Francisco, which then premiered at EQFF.
Several UWEC student-made documentaries were selected to screen at Frameline. JR Smathers, Neil Robmann, and Nate Cooper's documentary Housing First screened as part of the Homegrown series in June 2014. Two films debuted as part of Frameline’s Generations series: Hear Me Now (Liz Albert, Katie Chaplin, Megan Chilman, and Brianna Mueller, 2012), and Out of the Convent (Thom Kishaba, Bridget Oliver and Andrea Van Haren, 2013).
The student films added a vital component of community activism and outreach to Eau Queer. In 2011, the student films brought the largest audience turnout of the year.
In 2013, we hosted our first visiting filmmaker, Anna Margarita Albelo, who wrote, directed, and produced the award-winning film, Who's Afraid of Vagina Wolf? Albelo’s film brought a standing-room-only crowd to the Woodland Theater for our opening night. Besides leading a question and answer session after her film, Albelo met with several classes of students to discuss film production. Albelo's wit and humor made her a very popular visitor during her stay.
In 2014, our visiting filmmaker, blair dorosh-walther, director, and one of the film’s subjects, Renata Hill, screened Out in the Night on opening night. dorosh-walther's film critiques the mass media and the criminal justice system for their treatment of the New Jersey Four, four queer women of color who defended themselves against an attacker and subsequently received prison sentences spanning from 3–11 years. Our ensuing conversations about racism and queer vilification made an indelible impression on this campus.
In 2015, we brought director, Sharon Shattuck, and subject of her documentary From This Day Forward, Trisha Shattuck, to present their poignant film on opening night. Their family’s experience with transgender identity reached multiple classes.
In 2016, our opening night film was the critically acclaimed Political Animals, a documentary whose content has become even more salient, given our current political climate. We were thrilled to host producer Anne Clements and former California State Senator Carole Migden, and their contributions to Queer film and the modern Queer movement (respectively) provided an engaging backdrop to the post-screening Q&A.
Accompanying his film, Freedom to Marry, director Eddie Rosenstein facilitated a robust discussion about the history of marriage equality in the United States, and the role filmmakers play in its telling. Attendees enjoyed a candid discussion and left the screening with a more nuanced understanding of this watershed moment in Queer cultural politics and history.
In 2017, celebrated transgender trailblazer Kate Bornstein followed their appearance in the opening night film Saturday Church with a presentation called "A Queer and Pleasant Danger: Coming Out with Heart." Along with being a stellar actor, Bornstein is a gender theorist. Their works include "My New Gender Workbook," "Gender Outlaw" and "A Queer and Pleasant Danger." After giving a poignant rendition of their mother's reaction to Bornstein's coming out, they offered the audience members a perspective on trans realities.
This presentation was also a part of the National Coming Out Day festivities sponsored by the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center.