ASUPS Campus Films Features Female Leads

This fall, ASUPS Campus Films is airing a series of films featuring female protagonists. The series, entitled “Girls, Women, and Females,” seeks to call attention to strong female characters, in part in response to Hollywood’s recent trend toward male-centric plots.

The series is hosted by junior Dana Donnelly and runs every other Tuesday night through November. Films are shown at 7 p.m. in Rausch Auditorium and are free of charge.

All Donnelly’s film selections star women. Though they are not necessarily focused on an underlying theme or message, Donnelly said viewers can expect to be empowered simply by seeing women in major roles on screen.

She is also trying to feature films that were directed by females.

“There are so many movies, especially recently, that have been male-oriented, and all of my favorite movies involve or star women,” Donnelly said. “I thought it would be cool to screen films that are female-centric that I want to share with other people.”

The series kicked off Sept. 22 with “Welcome to the Dollhouse,” a 1995 independent coming-of-age comedy starring Heather Matarazzo as awkward middle-schooler Dawn Wiener.

The latest film, “A Girl Who Walks Home Alone at Night,” was featured on the evening of Oct. 6. Marketed as first Iranian Vampire Western ever made, it is a black and white Persian-language film that combines elements of horror and romance to tell the story of a lonesome vampire in an Iranian ghost town.

“It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before,” Donnelly said. “It’s a foreign language film, but the main character is so strong and [the film] is really kind of funny. It’s pretty dramatic and it’s got a neo-noir kind of vibe. It’s a really fun movie.”

Though it didn’t receive a wide release in theaters, “A Girl Who Walks Home Alone at Night” was chosen to show in the 2014 Sundance NEXT FEST and was well-received by critics. It is now being adopted into a graphic novel by Radco and was recently made available on Netflix.

“It’s really cool to see women as main characters who drive the action of the movie and watch movies on the big screen as they were intended to be viewed,” Donnelly said.

The next two films in the series have not been officially announced, but Donnelly said she is thinking of presenting the 2011 comedy, “Damsels in Distress,” for the Oct. 20 showing. The Nov. 3 showing has yet to be determined.