Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival

by Dawn

The day the Austin Film Festival wrapped up, Alex and I headed to Colorado Springs, CO to attend the Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival.  The Festival, in its 26th year, features works by women or films that feature women subjects. We were thrilled to join the other filmmakers who attended the 3-day event and got to see some terrific films by some fantastic women filmmakers. The staff of the festival couldn’t have been more welcoming and gracious. Each event that we participated in was well attended and well organized. The volunteers were helpful, informative and willing to chauffeur us all around to wherever we needed to be.  We had heard how popular this festival was and how nice the organizers were, and everything we heard was so true!

The first event we attended was a breakfast on Friday morning at a wonderful (old) school building turned funky/hip restaurant.  We got to chat with the women who have supported the festival for years and then we were joined by about 90 students from local schools who had watched our films and arrived with questions and creations! These students are a part of the Festival’s Youth Outreach program.  They had watched the festival films (“Bringing It Home”, “Perfect Strangers”, “School’s Out”, “Uranium Drive In”, “No Evidence of Disease,” etc) and then created projects or wrote poems/songs about the films, shared their personal stories and even performed. The kids were amazing. It was a really powerful experience for all.

There were so many great films at this festival that it was difficult to pick and choose what we could see during our down time. I wanted to see all of the films of the filmmakers we were meeting and becoming friends with.  I managed to see 4 films on Saturday, but only saw ours and one other film on Sunday.  Sunday afternoon we attended a round table luncheon and hopped from one table to the next to answer questions posed by moderator Miriam Bale.

Our Saturday afternoon screening was in “The Screening Room,” a small, intimate venue and attendees pretty much filled the theater.  It’s interesting to observe the reactions to the audience when they see the film.  No two showings have had the same response to the same parts of the film.  It’s pretty interesting to see and notice who sees funny vs who sees shocking.  Sunday morning’s screening was in a much bigger venue and, yet, even at 9AM, we pretty much filled the seats.

Friday and Saturday nights had us attending the opening gala and their first Saturday night bash. At both events, we were provided great food, great drinks and great company.

The response to the film has been so positive and supportive.  We often hear comments about how our stories touched someone because they, too, had the same thoughts and concerns – and thought they were the only one who thought them.  We’ve heard stories of sisters, fathers or friends who have had good (or bad) results with their weight loss surgery.  While every story is different, we are all, somehow, connected and only those of us who have been there, can truly understand some of these feelings.  WLS patients have our own commonality and, regardless of which procedure we’ve had, we all seem to “get it” when we talk about our issues.  We may not have an exact match to our stories, but the chances are we come close!


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