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Women and Gender Studies

Varner Hall, Room 217
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
(248) 370-2154

Women and Gender Studies

Varner Hall, Room 217
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
(248) 370-2154

young woman seated on a wooden bench with others behind her

Film Festival

Each spring, the OU Women and Gender Studies program presents a film festival featuring compelling and thought-provoking documentaries, panel discussions, refreshments and stimulating conversation. Free and open to the public, all are welcome to lean a critical and insightful eye to current topics of importance to the women and gender studies community.

2019 WGS Film Festival

The 35th Annual Women and Gender Studies Film Festival: March 2019
"Challenging Femme Phobia: Breaking the Gender Binary in Queer Communities"

About the Films

Making Masculine (Nicholas Swatz, 2018) is a documentary about the constructs of masculinity and the pressure that society places on all of us to fit into a heteronormative culture. Director Nicholas Swatz turns the camera on himself to share his personal experiences with femmephobia within gay culture, and how he had to find a sense of peace with his feminine characteristics.

The Same Difference (Nneka Onuorah, 2015), also a documentary, takes an in-depth look at the internalized heteronormative gender roles that have become pervasive within the African American lesbian and bisexual communities. Director Nneka Onuorah demonstrates how these behaviors reproduce the homophobic oppression and masculine privilege of the heterosexual world while looking for solutions in compelling discussions with community members.

Our Distinguished Panelists

Nicholas Swatz is a filmmaker born and raised in southeast Michigan, and now working in Chicago. Nicholas graduated from Oakland University in 2016 with a B.A. in Cinema Studies. Subsequently, he launched Baby Pomegranate Productions, an independent production company rooted in creative fury that focuses on telling stories that matter. Making Masculine is his first feature-length documentary.

Amber Stankoff is an Associate Producer for The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, where she creates video content surrounding programming, exhibitions, and acquisitions of the historic destination. She collaborated with director Nicholas Swatz on his debut documentary, Making Masculine, in the role of Post-Production Supervisor. Amber is a 2016 alumna of Oakland University.

Kole Wyckhuys is a counselor & advocate at LGBTQ Detroit, a community educator at Wayne State University, and an independent educator in violence prevention. Kole has more than fifteen years experience in education, ten years in prevention education models, and seven years in violence prevention and advocacy. His career mission is to be a part of dismantling a dominant social structure that allows for the prevalence of partner abuse, sexual assault, and other hate-related violence.

How to Find Us

The Human Health Building is located in the northeast corner of OU’s campus at the intersection of Walton and Squirrel Roads. For interactive directions, visit


The Women and Gender Studies Program would like to thank the following departments and colleges on campus for their generous support of the 2019 WGS Film Festival: The College of Arts and Sciences; Modern Languages and Literatures; Cinema Studies; English; Communication and Journalism; History; Philosophy; Political Science; Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work & Criminal Justice; Kresge Library; The Oakland Post; and WXOU Radio.


The Women and Gender Studies Program would like to thank the following individuals for their assistance in planning the WGS Film Festival and creating promotional materials: Erin Meyers (chairperson), Theresa Anasti, Rebekah Farrugia, Adam Gould, and Holly Gilbert (design).

Previous Film Festivals

Current and Previous Film Festival Topics

  • 2018 - 2019 Making Masculine & The Same Difference
  • 2017 - 2018 She's Beautiful When She's Angry
  • 2016 - 2017 STYLE BEYOND THE BINARY: Transgender Visibility and Recognition
  • 2015 - 2016 GAME NOT OVER: Gender and Digital Culture
  • 2014 - 2015 American Revolution­ary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs
  • 2013 - 2014 Grrrls at the Mic: Power & Protest in Punk and Hip Hop
  • 2012 - 2013 Bully
  • 2011 - 2012 Miss Representation
  • 2010 - 2011 From Hysteria to Disorder: Manufacturing Disorder of Female Sexual Desire
  • 2009 - 2010 Women in War / Women on War
  • 2008 - 2009 On Our Way to the White House? Women and Electoral Politics
  • 2007 - 2008 Revolutionary Women in the Work Force
  • 2006 - 2007 Women and Globalization: Merchants or Merchandise?
  • 2005 - 2006 Why Can't I Look Like that Model?
  • 2004 - 2005 Muslim Women, in their own words
  • 2003 - 2004 Women and Sports
  • 2002 - 2003 Are you a Woman? Or a Man?
  • 2001 - 2002 Fast Talking Dames
  • 2000 - 2001 Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood
  • 1999 - 2000 All Dressed Up: Underpinnings of Feminism in Film and Fashion
  • 1998 - 1999 Breaking Silences: Representations of Women in the Non-Western World
  • 1997 - 1998 Journey to Community: Women, AIDS and Film
  • 1996 - 1997 The Ties That Bind: Families in Film
  • 1995 - 1996 Women and Work in Contemporary Film
  • 1994 - 1995 Telling Women's Lives