The first regional Reproductive Justice Film Festival was held on September 21 through 23, at Cinemapolis, 120 E. Green Street, Ithaca NY. In direct response to the end of the rights and security of Roe v. Wade, End Abortion Stigma, together with 10 co-sponsors, brought together a selection of films and two panel sessions that consider the circumstances needed to preserve a woman’s right to medically safe abortion.
End Abortion Stigma (EAS) began in 2015 with the mission of sharing individual stories of life before the Roe v. Wade U. S. Supreme Court ruling in 1973. Members have told their stories individually and to groups through films, plays, rallies, public statements, and by seeking legislation in support of safe abortion access.
The first zoom session, Exposing Anti-Abortion Centers and Disinformation, was held on Thursday, September 21, 7-8 p.m. Panelists included Joan Adler from EAS and members from Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights (GRR!). The second zoom event, was held on Friday, September 22, 1-2 p.m., focused on intergenerational feminist activism. Its panel included Sue Perlgut a member of EAS and CloseToHome Productions, RJ Thomsen of The Feminist Front, Jude Johnson of Faith Aloud at All-Options and is moderated by Professor Michelle Martin-Baron of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Links below to see the zoom programs
The film festival began on Friday, September 22, at 7 p.m., with two documentaries. The first, On the Divide, which tells the story of Whole Women’s Health, the last remaining abortion clinic on the Texas US-Mexico border. Ithaca College graduates, Maya Cueva and Leah Garant, produced and directed the film. Ithaca College students Cayenne Cave, Devon Jezek, Liam Shields, and Pablo Laboubee Arias made the second documentary, Without Shame, Without Stigma, Without Fear. Talkbacks with the filmmakers followed the films.
Two related documentaries screened on Saturday, at 4 p.m.: Connie Cook, A Documentary, by Sue Perlgut and Nils Hoover, and The Deciding Vote by Jeremy Workman. Talkbacks followed the films. Both films depict regional New York Assembly representatives, Connie Cook and George Michaels, as they decisively shape the New York legislation in 1968 that became the model law for the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.
The Festival ended at 7 p.m. with Lingui, the Sacred Bonds, called a “quietly radical drama.” Set in Chad, the movie is about a mother and her pregnant daughter as they fight cultural abortion restrictions . Lingui, the Sacred Bonds was selected for the 2021 Cannes, Toronto, London, and American Film Institute film festivals and nominated as an Academy Award best international film in 2022. Lori Leonard, chair of the Department of Global Studies at Cornell University, will provide commentary about Chad and its culture.
Sponsors: FLEFF, Cinemapolis, CloseToHome Productions, Carol Bushberg Real Estate, Center for Media and Society at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Central NY Now, Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights (GRR) Diane’s Downtown Automotive, Documentary Studies and Production Degree-Ithaca College, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York Action Fund (PPGNY AF)
Activism Across Decades: Voices from the Feminist Frontlines,
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