By LAUREN KOSKE
(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG.com) — The perils of illegal immigration, the decimation of the wolf population and the horror of climate change are just some of the topics covered during UCM’s social justice themed film festival next week.
The University of Central Missouri’s department of communication will host the seventh annual Show Me Justice Film Festival on campus April 5, 6 and 7 — aiming to deliver films and workshops to the Warrensburg community that focus on various injustices in the current social climate.
Shannon Johnson, an instructor in the department of communication and director for the Show Me Justice Film Festival, has been working on the festival since the closing of last year’s festival in April 2016.
Johnson said the festival can appeal to and benefit a wide variety of audiences, whether it be high school students, college students, faculty, staff or those in the surrounding community.
“The mission of the Show Me Justice Film Festival is twofold: one is to bring to light various social injustices in our current climate, second is to showcase the art that is filmmaking,” Johnson said.
Also assisting in the planning and promotion of the festival is Kaitlin Becker, a graduate assistant in the department of communication.
“As a filmmaker myself, if I can find something that showcases good filmmaking as well as social justice issues, maybe the next documentaries that will be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival, it really works out well — as well as showcasing new talent with our student films and projects from the do-it-yourselfers and ammateur filmmakers,” Becker said.
Both Johnson and Becker, along with numerous others, were involved in the four-month long film selection process.
“We had over 165 films that me as well as a few others were supposed to watch and evaluate, and we cut it down to about 28 films that will be shown at the festival, so that was a huge task for us,” Becker said.
Johnson said filmmakers from around the world submit content via the web.
“And in December we sit down with our selection committee and we decide which films we would like to invite to the festival and send letters out,” Johnson said.
Becker said it’s great to have the community come to the festival.
“It is a rural community, so the wider we make our horizons, the broader perspective on the world we have,” Becker said.