Panel 1: Queer Film Festivals in Research

Chair: Laura Coppens

Laura Coppens is a researcher and filmmaker. She just finished her PhD at the University of Zurich, teaches media/visual anthropology at the University of Berne, and is a former programmer for the queer section of Asian Hot Shots Berlin.


Performativity and LGBT/Q Film Festivals

Skadi Loist

Philosopher J.L. Austin adopted the term “performative” to account for the fact that certain utterances do not describe acts but actually accomplish them thus bringing about a specific reality. Within a “performative turn” in cultural studies the concept has since been developed further in several ways, e.g. in Gender/Queer Studies, Ethnography or Performance Studies. In this paper I want to address the versatility and productivity of the concept when applied to the study of LGBT/Q film festivals. I will argue, that the performative nature of these events can be felt in the formation of identities, queer cinema, and communities as well as in the organization itself.

Skadi Loist is a Research Assistant at the University of Rostock, teaches at the University of Hamburg, co-founded the Film Festival Research Network and serves on the board of the Lesbisch Schwule Filmtage Hamburg | International Queer Film Festival.


Queer Solidarity and Spaces of Festivality: Queer Film Festivals in Europe

Christian Klesse & Jon Binnie

The paper draws on a recent project that examined queer film festivals in Europe as spaces of queer affinity, connection, solidarity and visibility, and assessed their role in shaping public debates around LGBTQ politics and visibilities in each locality. The project involved semi-structured interviews with core organizers and volunteers at five European queer film festivals regarding the organization and funding of these festivals as well as their own aspirations and goals. The paper presents some initial findings from the project through a discussion of the Queer Sicilia Film Festival in Palermo and the GAZE International LGBT Film Festival in Dublin.

Jon Binnie is a Reader in Human Geography at Manchester Metropolitan University. His research examines the urban and transnational geographies of sexualities.

Christian Klesse is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University. His research interests include sexual politics, social movements, non-monogamies and body modification.


When Film Was Film, and Video Was Video: On Queer Film Festival Programming and the Limits of Community Taste

Ger Zielinski

In this paper I address the special ongoing negotiation of taste that has been at the heart of LGBT film festival programming from the earliest editions. These festivals aim to represent the LGBT community (or parts thereof) to itself in local sites along the network. From the beginning, festival programming has been challenged to find an acceptable balance of competing interests, from gender equity to balance of popular, art-house and documentary films, etc. To support my argument, I make use of Bourdieu’s theory of capital as an analytic tool in thinking through the competing categories of taste common to LGBT film festivals.

Ger Zielinski is an Assistant Professor of Film and Media in the Cultural Studies Department at Trent University, Canada.


Queer Lisboa’s Audience in Research: How Queer Is the Queer Audience?

Pedro Marum & Sandra Palma Saleiro

In 2011, Queer Lisboa engaged in a study with the aim of identifying and characterizing the festival’s audience. This study, conducted by questionnaire surveys was applied in all subsequent editions of the festival, and allows for an analysis of the audience by gender, age, sexual and gender identity, occupations, etc. It also allows us to understand the motivations behind attendance, regarding the organization dynamics and the assessment of the audience on several aspects related to the festival such as its design and the organization of the event. With this ongoing study we aim to get to know our audience better, to discuss how/or if it represents the LGBT/Q community and to understand its expectations and perspectives on the festival.

Pedro Marum is a film programmer at Queer Lisboa and the founder of the artistic platform Rabbit Hole.

Sandra Palma Saleiro is a researcher at the Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology at the University Institute of Lisbon.