The talented Gainesville chapter of FEM Films recently debuted their new short film “The Flamingo Dilemma,” which demonstrates the power of collective creativity.
CREDIT: Kristen Torres
Here in Gainesville, fortunately, there is a place for anyone. Whether you are a math aficionado or a tree hugger, the multitude of clubs and organizations will provide students with a home within an even larger one. FEM Films just does that. It is a non-profit multi-genre productions company based in Miami, Florida with a chapter in Gainesville. Both UF students and Gainesville residents can join this tight-knit community. Rowdy was lucky enough to talk with some of its members.
FEM Films stands for “Female Entertainment Machine,” and its primary objective is to level the playing field in the entertainment industry for women and other minority groups. It was founded in 2018 by Kristen D. Torres, who craved a network like this, but it had yet to be created. From learning the methodology of working with various aspects of equipment to understanding the key aspects of screenwriting, FEM Films encourages those with even no experience to join. Additionally, educational workshops are always offered, such as one in screenwriting that allows members to pitch their own ideas.
Claudia Rodriguez, a fourth-year business administration major who currently serves as treasurer, describes it as a “creative space where like-minded individuals can thrive.” She is one who always had a deep affinity for entertainment, but wasn’t able to fully explore it until her junior year.
She recalled, “This was placed on the back burner till I went to a meeting. I remember being so nervous and the previous co-president kind of took me in and she's [reaffirmed that] that I was meant to be in the space. That is what FEM stands for.”
Every time FEM Films creates a semester project, all steps are done in-house, from writing to post-production. Recently, the long-awaited crossover episode between Rowdy Magazine and FEM Films occurred at the How Bazaar for their screening of the new short film, “The Flamingo Dilemma.” With creative minds galore, attendees were able to buy our merch, listen to local musicians and watch “...where ‘Midsommar’ meets ‘Last Night in Soho,’” as Rodriguez likes to think of it.
Austin Hurt, a fourth-year theatre major, and Amia Davis, a Mass Communication graduate student at the College of Journalism and former Marketing Director for FEM films, were both the masterminds behind “The Flamingo Dilemma.” Davis entered the club as a freshman. She was originally on the pre-med track but changed her major to Telecommunications after FEM reignited her passion for filmmaking. Hurt’s desire and love for film led Davis to introduce him to the club, opening him up to the opportunity the organization offers. The two began working together after he pitched the idea to Davis for the annual FEM Horror Short. He recalled wanting to “witness a weird and reappearing object just bugging someone kind of like Chucky.” Having written multiple FEM Films originals, Davis thought the idea needed more work and joined Hurt to guide him in the scriptwriting process. The two collaborated for two years to create a script with authentic female characters, depth, and gripping suspense. This short film was Hurt’s directorial debut and he loved every second of it, giving immense credit to the support team who helped make it happen. He now wants to forever remain “...behind the scenes,” given it is a constant communal effort. Upon graduating, Hurt hopes to continue his pursuits as a director. This was just the beginning.
FEM Films is redefining the film scene in Gainesville and serves as the stepping stone for everyone and anyone who wants to work in the creative sectors.
Lauren Gregorio is an Online Editor for Rowdy Magazine. In her free time, you can find her either blasting a rotation of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Taylor Swift's discography into her ears thanks to her wired headphones, taking naps, or re-watching Modern Family.