Volume 93, Issue 90

Monday, March 21, 2000


Police search for stabbing suspects

Councillors select future Board

Student disappears without a trace

Accusations fly over film-fest

City bars target date rape drugs

Week of crime highlighted by theft



Caught on campus

Accusations fly over film-fest

By Joel Brown
Gazette Staff

After last week's Western Film Festival, one filmmaker who was left in the cold is accusing the selection committee of "unprofessional" behaviour.

Second-year political science and media, information and technoculture student Vicky Moufawad said the committee, comprised of Western students, described her rejected film as a "sucky chick flick."

"I worked hard on my film," Moufawad said. "The selection process was unprofessional."

After her initial disappointment in not being selected, Moufawad approached the committee to find out why her film was not chosen to be screened at the festival.

She was given the opportunity to look at the judges' evaluations, at which time she said she came across the derogatory remarks. "Once I read that comment, it set me off. The rest of the comments by the other judges were also made in that vein."

Moufawad said either the committee had a personal bias against her, or she fell victim to systematic discrimination based on her sex.

Colleen Quigley, a second-year English and women's studies student and selection committee member, confirmed the comments were made by someone on the committee, but refused to reveal the identify of the person responsible. "The notes were basically a way for the committee members to remember the films," she said.

Another selection board member, Max Armstrong, a fourth-year film and English student, opposed Moufawad's accusations that the selection process may have been gender-biased. "It doesn't matter who made the film, or what their sex or name was. We wanted the best films."

The committee was comprised of four males and a female, he said, adding he would have liked to have seen more females involved in the selection of the films, but no one came forward.

The event organizers and volunteers held a meeting last night to address the issue, he said.

Film professor Michael Zyrid, a faculty liaison with the festival, said he supported the committee and its selections. He said he was puzzled by the overall lack of female participation, as only five of the 26 films submitted were by females.

Festival winner Mary Fogarty, a third-year women's studies and film student, said she was not aware of any bias with the selection process. She attended the festival last year and said she was more impressed by the quality of work this year.

However, Moufawad suggested the committee either set standards as to who judges the films or welcome a professor on board, in addition to setting up a formal appeal process for those whose films were rejected.

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