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GiRL FeST HAWAII
Woman power comes to full flower again as GiRL FeST's second annual multimedia art festival and conference kicks off Friday. It will be a full week of positive-minded, female-centric film, music, art, spoken word and dance, plus daily panels, lectures and outreach workshops.
This year's slate of guests includes returnee Jackson Katz, who will lead a men's program at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the University of Hawaii-Manoa's Campus Center Ballroom. Katz, an anti-sexism educator, will share the stage with Jamie Kalven, author of "Working with Available Light: A Family's World After Violence," written in the aftermath of an assault on his wife in their home city of Chicago. (He is also a recipient of this year's Rape Victim Advocates Visionary Award.)
Other guest speakers include Jessica Neuwirth, co-founder and president of the international human rights organization Equality Now; Derek Ellerman, co-founder and co-executive director of the Polaris Project, combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery; Elaine Brown, who headed the Black Panther Party as its first female leader in 1974; and Brown's daughter Ericka Abram, who will speak with her mother about growing up as a "Panther Princess" (at 4 p.m. Sept. 5 at the UH Center for Hawaiian Studies).
New guest performers will be Guerilla Girls on Tour, doing "Feminists are Funny" ("changing the world, one sexist city at a time"); spoken-word poets Bridget Gray, Rachel Kann and Andrea Gibson; and Los Angeles rock bands the Devil Cats and the Barbarellatones.
This year's GiRL FeST also marks an expanded film festival at Varsity Theatre.
Noted shorts and features include "Seoul Train," a documentary about the hundreds of thousands of rural North Korean refugees in China; "Sadaa E Zan," an intimate look at the contemporary challenges facing the women of Afghanistan; and "Hummingbird," about two grassroots organizations offering oases of care for children, teens and women in economically depressed Recife, Brazil.
Also screening is the debut short written and directed by cult actress Traci Lords. "Sweet Pea" is inspired by an early chapter in her autobiography "Underneath It All," titled "The Curse of the C Cups." (The experience of making the film will be included in an expanded paperback edition of the book.)
Another highlight is "Missionary Positions," the lively account of two pastors who use highly unorthodox methods to wean those addicted to Internet porn sites. Safe Zone Foundation "non-executive director" Kathryn Xian said the film was chosen even though it doesn't have a strong feminist message. "We found it refreshing that it took a role of men speaking out against pornography. It's not a gender-neutral topic because it objectifies both women and men. I personally found it innovative, and it definitely highlights the problem of sex addicts and how porn feeds into that."
A Multimedia Festival of ArtsSchedule through Sept. 8:
Film Festival at Varsity TheatrePreview Day Friday
» Noon: "Malaya Lolas" and "What's So Funny?"
» 2 p.m.: "Be Very Quiet," "Shanti" and "Binta and the Great Idea"
» 4 p.m.: "Hail Mary" and "The Mission Movie"
» 6 p.m.: "Shorts for the Whole Family" program
» 8 p.m.: "Savior" and "Seoul Train"
» 10 p.m.: "Harvest Moon" and "Death of a Shaman"
Opening Day Saturday» 3 p.m.: "Building a Beloved Community -- Spirit, Form & Place" panel at the University of Hawaii's Center for Hawaiian Studies on Dole Street. Free.
» 7 p.m.: "Guerilla Girls on Tour," second-floor theater, Kawaihao Building, Mid-Pacific Institute. Tickets $7 presale, $10 at door, $5 18 and under.
» 9 p.m.: Opening-night party featuring Mystic with DJ Bonds, at thirtyninehotel and Next Door, both on N. Hotel Street. Admission $10 presale, $15 at the door, 21 and over only, with access allowed to both venues.
Sunday» 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Various workshops
» 6 p.m.: Second performance of "Guerilla Girls on Tour" at Mid-Pacific Institute
» 8 p.m.: HBO Def poet Bridget Gray, Rachel Kann and Denver slam champ Andrea Gibson at thirtyninehotel and Next Door. Admission $7 presale, $10 at the door, 21 and over only, with access to both venues.
Other evening programs» Girl Slam at the ARTS at Marks Garage: Open to all ages and hosted by First Thursdays poet Selah Geissler; 7 p.m. Sept. 7. Suggested donation $5 to $10.
» The Devil Cats and the Barbarellatones: 10 p.m. Sept. 8, Wave Waikiki, 1877 Kalakaua Ave. Admission $8 presale, $10 at the door, 18 and over only.
» More workshops, lectures and panels: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. all week. Go to www.girlfesthawaii.org for details or refer to the free program guides available at Varsity Theatre and the ARTS at Marks Garage downtown.
» Three-day girls self-defense program: Sept. 6 to 8 at Gracie Jiu Jitsu Kailua.
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