Story by Mitchell Brown (For the Muleskinner)
Mark von Schlemmer, festival director and associate professor of communication, described social justice as the essence of democracy.
He said that social justice is a matter of providing a voice for those without greater representation.
“Social justice is about issues of human rights,” said Wendy Geiger, associate professor of communication.
This will be the third year of the Show Me Justice Film Festival, and the second year the festival will take place on the campus.
A variety of film genres will be shown, ranging from animated short films to feature-length documentaries.
Five hundred films were submitted for consideration. Of the feature-length films, making up the centerpiece of the festival, six are documentaries.
Lost Angels, directed by Thomas Napper, focuses on Los Angeles’ “Skid Row,” an area afflicted with high levels of drug addiction, homelessness and mental illness.
Von Schlemmer said that many of the people documented in the film were able to put their lives back together.
The documentary “Corporate FM” was directed by Kevin McKinney, a Kansas City-based filmmaker scheduled to appear at the festival.
Another director set to take part in a roundtable discussion at the festival is Michael Seller.
His feature documentary titled “The After Party,” centers on domestic surveillance and restrictions on free speech.
The issues of the documentaries of this year’s festival will also extend to international concerns.
“Dreaming Nicaragua” is a documentary about Nicaraguan children living in poverty.
“One Day After Peace” explores the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a first person story told from a mother’s perspective who travels throughout Israel, the Palestinian territories and South Africa, with an underlying examination of whether the means used to resolve conflict in South Africa could be adopted and implemented to bring a peaceful resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
Even though the Show Me Film Festival isn’t until October, promoters are already busy.
Jun Shakahira, a graduate assistant in the communication department, worked a booth promoting the festival at the recent Get The Red Out street fair.
Shakahira said most of the Warrensburg community isn’t aware of the festival, and he is also trying to extend promotion and awareness to potential audiences in Kansas City, Mo. and Columbia, Mo.
He said the primary means for promotion is social media.
Von Schlemmer said that an event like the Show Me Justice Film Festival serves to broaden the culture of Warrensburg.
All films will be shown in Hendricks Hall.
More information about the Show Me Justice Film Festival can be found at www.facebook.com/SMJFF and www.ucmo.edu/filmfest/.