"Summit" kicks off Citizen Jane Festival in Columbia

Oct 4, 2013

The "Citizen Jane Summit" on Thursday, October 3, 2013.
The "Citizen Jane Summit" on Thursday, October 3, 2013.
Credit Abigail Keel / KBIA

The 6th annual Citizen Jane film festival kicked off Friday at Stephen’s College.  The festival will celebrate women filmmakers and—this year—adds a participatory summit to kick start a conversation about getting more in filmmaking.

This year, the festival held the first ever “Citizen Jane Summit” on Thursday.

Programming Director, Kerri Yost, told Thursday’s crowd she was proud of this cadence of friendliness.

“I really feel that everybody here creates what it is for us,” Yost said.  “And it sounds really silly, but we’re trying to make a large change right now in the film industry and we truly believe that could come from the people.”

The summit is just one of the many events at the Citizen Jane festival that is not film.

Festival director, Paula Elias, said she’s excited for the “Dance Dance Evolution” party on Saturday night.

“It is something to behold,” Elias said. “I’m always really excited about it because it’s relaxed and fun.”

Many directors will attend the festival—including one of summit’s panelists, Yvonne Welbon, who directed this year’s closing film.

Elias said Welbon is a phenomenal guest.

“We’ve kind of had in our heart of hearts a dream to have her come every year,” Elias said.

Elias also said festival orchestrators are excited to bring films made by women, but difficult to find.

“This year, we have almost double the number of narrative or fiction films than we did any year before, and this is our sixth year,” Elias said.

The festival will go until Sunday.