WAMMFest celebrates 10 years of promoting inclusion in film

By Sedonia Martin on April 18, 2017

Featuring international films, panel discussions and Sonja Sohn, actress, director and producer

WAMMFest (Women and Minorities in Media Festival), Towson University’s international film festival that promotes diversity and inclusion in the world of film and media, opens Wednesday, April 19 and runs through Saturday, April 22 in Van Bokkelen Auditorium.

The festival opens with Sonja Sohn, who is best known for her starring role as Detective Kima Greggs on all five seasons of the renowned HBO drama The Wire. The four-day festival features short films from Baltimore and around the globe, panel discussions, virtual reality screenings, and a master class.

Weekday screenings begin at 7 p.m. and Saturday’s programming starts at 1 p.m.

The festival opens Wednesday, April 19 at 7 p.m. with an Evening with Sonja Sohn, who will speak about her experience in the industry. She will discuss her current project; directing and executive producing a full-length documentary for HBO titled, FOR THE LOVE OF BALTIMORE, which is set to air later this year. The film chronicles a uniquely transformative moment in Baltimore by following key residents, activists and events, in the aftermath of the Baltimore Uprising of 2015. 

On Friday, April 21 at 7 p.m., a “Five-Minute Pitch” panel will be held. This panel gives local artists and media makers the opportunity to share ideas for projects with WAMMFest filmmakers and receive feedback. 

The final day of the festival, Saturday, April 22, features a social justice documentary panel at 4 p.m. hosted by Film Fatales, a community of female filmmakers devoted to encouraging discussions about female representation in the industry, mentor filmmakers and support local film projects. 

The second panel of the day, at 6:30 p.m., is hosted by filmmakers whose projects are featured this year at WAMMFest. The filmmakers will be answering questions from the audience about their films, future projects, and inspirations as well as discussing relevant topics for women and minorities in film.

The festival will screen 60 films from over 20 different countries and include animations, comedies, documentaries, LGBT-themed films, narratives, and for the first time, virtual reality. The main topics represented are identity, race, overcoming adversity, and finding inner strength.

According to festival director and associate professor Elsa Lankford, WAMMFest’s mission is to, “inspire the next generation of storytellers by promoting diversity in the film industry. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll eat popcorn, and you’ll want to see what’s next!”

For tickets and full schedule of events

Follow WAMMFest on Twitter with the hashtag #WAMMfest17.

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel's priorities for Towson University: Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Campus.