Feminist Film Dialogues

Gravitational Lensing is a curated series dedicated to exploring the visions, voices, concerns and lineage of women, non-binary, genderqueer and trans filmmakers through public film screenings, workshops, conversations and presentations.

Inspired by and named after the scientific phenomenon in which the gravitational pull of celestial bodies clustered together causes a curvature of spacetime strong enough to magnify distant objects, Gravitational Lensing aims to highlight and amplify the work of women, non-binary, genderqueer and trans filmmakers by the sheer magnitude of their collective creative energy when gathered together in common dialogue.

This limited-run, monthly series, spear-headed by filmmaker and feminist film scholar Amy Reid and filmmaker and Director of Programming at Shapeshifters Cinema Kathleen Quillian, will pair films selected from open-call submissions, with known (and maybe not-as-well-known) films made by other women, non-binary, genderqueer and trans filmmakers from across the space-time continuum. These will be curated into programs focused on broader cultural, historical, political and personal topics of interest to women, non-binary, genderqueer and trans artists.

The series will be designed around the films we receive from this open call, so there are no parameters on subject matter, theme or style. We are interested in considering all types of films, including experimental, narrative, documentary and even home movies as long as they represent your vision and further ideas about subjects that are important to you. We are also interested in considering expanded or performance-based moving image work.

Submission Details

Time limitations: There are no time limitations as to when your film was made, but it must be under 90 minutes.

Submission fees: There are no fees to submit work, but artists are limited to 2 submissions each for consideration.

Media: We are able to project 16mm and S8mm film, digital video and 35mm slides in final exhibition format. However, due to our limited budget and capacity, we are only able to view submitted works via on-line viewing platforms (Vimeo, YouTube). Please do not send physical media submissions. If you do not have a digital copy of your work available for viewing online, please contact us directly to discuss alternatives.

Compensation: Every artist whose work is chosen to be included in this series will be compensated (the details of this will be decided based on the size of the budget we are able to secure over the next several months).

Submission deadline: January 7, 2024.

Notifications: will be sent by February 19, 2024.

Inquiries: should be directed to

SUBMIT YOUR WORK NOW using our online submission form.

About the Curators and the Venue

Gravitational Lensing is a limited-run series organized and curated by Amy Reid and Kathleen Quillian. Screenings and related events will take place in 2024 at Shapeshifters Cinema in Oakland, CA.

Amy Reid is a filmmaker whose work examines the intersections between gender, national identities, and labor. By exploring observational approaches and expanding upon formal cinematic notions of time, structure, and narrative, Reid’s work questions how labor is constructed in the filmic form as seen in their film Long Haulers, a 16mm and video experimental feature documentary on female truckers. They have participated in selected screenings nationally and internationally including Los Angeles Filmforum, I See Video Film Festival, Shanghai, and the Workers United Film Festival in New York. Reid received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Cooper Union before graduating with an MFA in Visual Arts from UC San Diego and is now a PhD Candidate at UC Santa Cruz in Film and Digital Media. Residencies include the Whitney Independent Study Program, Snug Harbor Artist Residency, and Seniors Partnering with the Arts Citywide Queens.

Kathleen Quillian is the Director of Programming at Shapeshifters Cinema, an experimental microcinema in Oakland she helped to co-found in 2012. Prior to that, she spent a decade working as a volunteer staff member and board member with Artists’ Television Access and San Francisco Cinematheque, respectively. She is also an artist who works primarily with found imagery, collage and stop-motion animation to explore collective and individual ways humans engage with the unknown. She has exhibited in venues and festivals internationally including International Film Festival Rotterdam, San Francisco International Film Festival, Antimatter Film Festival, Animasivo, REDCAT, the Exploratorium and Pacific Film Archive, among others.

Shapeshifters Cinema is an experimental microcinema located in Oakland, CA that offers exhibition opportunities and support for contemporary artists working with experimental and artist-made film, video, sound, music and other types of mediated performance. Shapeshifters hosts regular, live events, offers workshops on experimental moving image and sound production and operates a storefront shop specializing in print publications, DVDs, sound recordings and other artist-made media.

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Shapeshifters Cinema | 567 5th Street, Oakland, CA 94607