Film Festival Inspires Student Activism
by Marie Truong


Isla Vista Theater was filled with concerned and politically aware students last Tuesday, as Campus Progress held its 16th Annual “Media that Matters” Film Festival.

There were nine films in the festival, all which dealt with a wide variety of social issues from Egyptian Recycling groups to September 11th. The festival’s goal was to not only educate its viewers, but also inspire them to do something and to take action against today’s social issues.

To kick off the festival, California Congresswoman Lois Capps came to answer questions and thank Santa Barbara students for all their hard work taking action and standing up for what they believe in. Capps discussed everything from lack of civil protection for Transgenders to the newly signed California Energy Bill.

Guiding the audience through the festival, UCSB Student Representative for the Campus Progress Student Advisory Board and President of Campus Democrats, Chrissy Elles spoke before the films and held and a question and answer session with representatives from student groups such as Queer Student Union, STAND (Students Taking Action Now: Darfur), the Campus Democrats, and CALPIRG (California Public Interest Research Group).

“This is about students taking action,” said Elles. “This is about getting off the couth and doing something.”

Some films that were screened included Massacre at Murambi, a haunting re-telling of the largest mass killing during the Rwandan Genocide, By Standing: The Beginning of An American Lifetime, a spoken word desperately demanding an end to the war and havoc that it has wrought, and I’m Not a Boy, a realistic and rarely seen look into the life of a young, transgendered woman.

Each student group that was present made sure to mention their group activities and urged the audience to get involved.

Congresswoman Capps also noted that she is looking for interns at her Santa Barbara and Ventura Office. Capps’ spokesperson, Karen Quimby, is currently interviewing candidates for next quarter. For more information, call 202-225-3601.