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Word's getting out: the Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival may be on the verge 

Tipping point

This is a no-shit story: Last week, a friend was in New York City's Chinatown to enjoy some of the soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai. As she waited she was chatting with the guy sitting next to her. When he found that she's from the Springs, he said, "Colorado Springs? My wife and some of her friends are flying out there in a few days to go to the Women's Film Festival. They go every year!"

Coincidence? Of course it is, but it's the kind of coincidence that can only happen when something is creating some buzz, which the Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival is definitely doing. Though it may be the longest-running women's film fest in North America, with 26 years under its belt (and an average 1,000 guests annually), this year may finally signal it's making the big time.

The fest has attracted Miriam Bale, film critic for The New York Times and other publications.

"I don't have any connection to the RMWFF," says Bale. "It came highly recommended. Then I took a quick look at the stellar lineup and the beautiful views in Colorado Springs, and was quick to say yes."

The festival will showcase more than 30 new feature films and shorts, and welcome more than a half-dozen of the filmmakers, beginning Friday and running through the weekend. This year it's added a Saturday Night Bash to its list of happenings, which culminate in a screening of The Punk Singer, a biopic on Riot Grrrl icon Kathleen Hanna.

A veteran of planning festivals herself, Bale says "the biggest challenge is always getting audiences to see something they know nothing about, without any context except the brief description and the trust [in] the programmers." As an attendee, she looks for something different. "The most exciting [thing], and why I seek out the smaller regional film festivals," she writes, "is the context of the community that films are playing in."

Context can have a couple of meanings, like the physical location of a festival or how the event is promoted. She also takes note of the atmosphere of the event. "I mean, the festival-goers, the theaters, even the food and scenery. It's wonderful to see how these films play to different audiences. Women's festivals can be especially exciting then, because they form a — brief! — utopian moment, an all-women director community that will hopefully form a foundation of support."

Whether you call it coincidence, or some sort of divine intervention, the Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival's rep seems to be growing.

scene@csindy.com

Short takes: Three reviews of films coming to the festival

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