By Maria Palma
University of Nevada, Reno, alumna Lucia Starbuck’s 15-minute documentary “Biggest Little Street Companions” (2020) is the only production from Reno selected for the 7th Annual Nevada Women’s Film Festival. It was produced in collaboration with Our Town Reno.
Starbuck’s work can be viewed on demand on the Nevada Women’s Film Festival website until Sunday, June 27, along with other national and international productions.
In the short film, Starbuck looks into the relationships people who are homeless have with their cats and dogs and asks why more shelters don’t allow their presence. By showing the love the people in the film have for their pets, Starbuck believes we might understand them better and look for better ways to help them and to see them as an integral part of the community, and not an “other.”
She said she thinks that women filmmakers need more recognition, but, more importantly, women need access to opportunities.
“I would like to see more women filmmakers in leadership roles on film crews, especially as directors, and I also want to see more women in all aspects of production, including filming and editing,” Starbuck said. “I also think that people who have experience in filmmaking should make an effort to mentor aspiring women filmmakers. I was fortunate to have Nico Colombant as my mentor.”
Colombant, co-founder and content coordinator at Our Town Reno, believes that the festival is a great opportunity to reward the work of women in the film industry.
“So many industries have been male-dominated for far too long. There’re all these networks of people who favor certain people, and so it’s great to have a women’s film festival like this in our state,” Colombant said. “We’re very proud that they selected Lucia’s film.”
Colombant said that since the documentary was released, they have seen some changes regarding the homeless shelters’ regulations.
“We’re seeing progress locally right now, very slow progress,” he said. “But the new Nevada Cares Campus does allow for people to go with their own pets. So there are a few who are taking advantage of that so far.”
The Nevada Women’s Film Festival began June 21 and continues through June 27. It features 58 films from 20 countries. Due to the pandemic, the event moved to a hybrid experience, with films streaming on demand and both livestream and in-person events, which allow the audience to attend panels with the participation of nearly all the filmmakers.
The festivalt is a project of the Nevada Women’s Film Collective, which celebrates and supports the fair representation of women in film.
For festival program schedule and ticket information visit www.nwffest.com.
Editor’s Note: Lucia Starbuck was a reporter for This Is Reno in 2020.
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