The film is based on Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s controversial gothic feminist horror story about patriarchy and hysteria. Jane, a writer and young mother, is prescribed a rest treatment by her physician husband John, who takes her to a remote country estate for the summer. She becomes obsessed with the peculiar yellow wallpaper in the bedroom he has chosen for her. In her isolation, she secretly writes about a woman trapped in the wallpaper — that she must free.
The film has been picked up by Mutiny Films and will likely be distributed via Red Box, Galante said.
Following the screening, a panel discussion will be moderated by UW-Stout applied social science Professor Tina Lee with six women film directors, producers, writers and cast members. They will reflect on their experiences in the industry and discuss what new perspectives on human issues arise when women lead the creative process and center women’s experiences. The discussion is free and open to all.
“We have never had a panel discussion, but we hope to have more in the future,” said Galante, who added that education and public discussion are important aspects of the event from the university’s perspective.
Oss also has three shorts in the festival including “Doom Scroll Flush,” based on the quote “tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are”; “Ax Chase,” described as never give away the entire plot of a short film in the title; and “Five Minutes for a Mask,” in which a disgruntled man learns that freedom isn’t free at his local computer repair shop.
Jonny Wheeler, a UW-Stout lecturer in video and photography, will have three shorts in the festival titled “The Arconaut, “Liminal” and “Cindy.”
“I’m hoping other filmmakers and audience members will take away the idea they can make movies, they can tell stories,” Wheeler said. “You don’t need to be in California. You don’t have to put your life on hold to make a movie. We all have different stories to share with people.”
A dozen student and UW-Stout short films will be shown on Sunday, Aug. 1, followed by festival awards. Six awards will be given: best narrative feature, narrative short, documentary short, Midwest roots, student short and animated short.
Student film ‘powerful’
One UW-Stout student film is “Inbox.” It is directed by Kyra Shepherd, an entertainment design major with a concentration in animation. Shepherd, of Elkhart Lake, graduates in August.
The film focuses on a young woman, performed by UW-Stout student Han Schoening, with Shepherd providing the voice-over, who copes with isolation following a breakup by leaving diary-style voice mails.
The idea came from a video production class that required sound to be important to the narrative, Shepherd said. “One thing I listen to a lot is voice mails, and I thought that could have a lot of potential.”
She shot the film in March using a Canon Rebel T30 DSLR camera and submitted it to the festival at the urging of Wheeler.
“It is both exciting and a little scary,” Shepherd said, noting she plans to attend part of the fest. “I’ve never done anything like this before. I’m excited to see the film on a bigger screen. I’m excited to see that whole section of films.”
“I found the film to be powerful work,” Wheeler said. “For me to feel emotion was a big deal. It has a lot of imagery.”
Shepherd chose UW-Stout for its comprehensive art program but also its smaller size. She is working as a summer intern at ID Tech, a summer camp for youth learning animation and other technology virtually.
“There is a lot to love about Stout,” Shepherd said. “Stout is so close-knit, and it has such a homey feel.”