Film screening, conversation will focus on women’s issues, empowerment

Mariah Hicks

“Art isn’t really art until it’s experienced,” said Halimah Muhammad, a senior fashion merchandise major and digital media productions minor. She and Bobbi Broome, a senior psychology major and Pan-African studies and digital media productions minor, recently submitted their short films into the Girls Impact the World Film Festival, an opportunity for high school and undergraduate students to create films addressing global women’s issues.

Muhammad and Broome will be facilitating a film screening for their projects, followed by a conversation about what issues the films bring up, on March 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. in room 240 Franklin Hall.

“We thought that with the things we brought up in the films, it would be really exciting and empowering to be able to bring together other women, other girls around campus, other creatives, other filmmakers in one place so we can experience it all together and have a sharing of energy in that regard,” Muhammad said.

About the films:

Bobbie Broome on her film “Make Me Divine: “I would describe it as my own personal narrative, going through the progressions of trying to see myself in media and trying to be comfortable with the way that I looked because it’s not like I saw myself on TV. I thought that I was the outcast, so it’s just really my journey of learning about my body and beauty standards and everything encompassing the beauty world.”

Halimah Muhammad on her film “Chosen”: “I would say ‘Chosen’ is really a young woman’s search to uncover the truth about love, womanhood and what it truly means to be beautiful. It encompasses her grappling with what she’s been told it means and her striving to uncover and create her own definition for herself.” 

The screening will feature women leading conversations about topics in the film like love, beauty standards and what it means to be a woman. There will be poetry and refreshments, too.

The women on the panel include Dana White, an assistant professor of film; Amoaba Gooden, a chairperson of the Department of Pan-African Studies; Tameka Ellington, the faculty director of diversity at the Fashion School; Alicia Robinson, the assistant director of the Women’s Center; Dana Lawless-Andric, the associate vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and AJ Leu, the CCI diversity director.

White said the screening will be effective and powerful.

“For me as a filmmaker and also a professor, I’m always interested in films that have something to say, that have a voice,” White said. “Through their manner and their work, they both have a very strong voice. I was really impressed with the soul that was in both of their films and the fact that they have such a heart and passion.”

Muhammad and Broome hope this screening will encourage other students to consider submitting their work to the film festival and spark conversation about issues women face on a day-to-day basis.

White said the filmmakers are both bringing attention to important themes that circle in young women’s lives.

“In their particular films, they’re talking about young African-American women and how they feel this kind of pressure in terms of beauty and what they need to look like,” White said. “That’s the thing about really wonderful art, it gives a dialogue, and I think it’s a dialogue that needs to be had on campus about young women and the pressures that are facing them in the world and how they maneuver through these kinds of pressures in order to really define womanhood.”

Mariah Hicks is a contributor. Contact her at [email protected].