Panel 2: Roundtable Queer Film Festivals in Practice

Chair: Dagmar Brunow

Dagmar Brunow teaches Film Studies in Sweden, researches video collectives and is a member of the programming group of the Lesbisch Schwule Filmtage Hamburg | International Queer Film Festival.


From LGBT to Queer: Defying Categorizations at Lisbon’s International Queer Film Festival

João Ferreira

Since its beginning in 1997, Queer Lisboa has had a critical approach to so-called “gay cinema” or “queer cinema,” often programming films that are categorized as “non-queer themed” or “mainstream”. This had led the festival to question what queer cinema is, and what its narrative and aesthetic boundaries are, both from the creators’ and the spectators’ point of view. We believe that this ongoing quest has enriched our program, and raised relevant cultural, social, and political debates among our audience. In this presentation we aim to discuss how queer film and queer film festivals are mirrors of our society, and how a festival should handle ever-shifting identity, gender, and sexuality categorizations.

João Ferreira is the Artistic Director of Queer Lisboa – International Queer Film Festival and a professor at the Artistic Studies program of Coimbra University, focusing on queer film and Performance Studies.


LGBT Activism: Side by Side LGBT Film Festival

Manny de Guerre

The last 24 months have witnessed an unprecedented onslaught against the LGBT movement in Russia. The orchestrated campaign is headed by government, church leaders, state controlled media, organizations and groups. All of which have highly conservative and nationalist leanings, have actively coerced together in a rigorous attempt to curb the human rights and freedom (in particular the right to freedom of assembly, expression and association) of LGBT people. These are the realities in which Side by Side LGBT Film Festival presently finds itself operating within, being constantly challenged on all fronts in the endeavor to contribute to the creation of a society which is both respective and protective of all its citizens regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Manny de Guerre is the founder and organizer of the Side by Side LGBT Film Festival based in Saint Petersburg, Russia.


Work Bitch: Volunteers and Professionals in the Context of Queer Film Festival Organization

Aleš Rumpel

Many or most queer films festivals are driven by an ethos of activism: We want to change and cultivate this and that and because a film festival is a fun way to do it. Despite the fact they are expensive to run, so very often we do them without getting paid. In my talk, I will cover the developments in securing human resources for Mezipatra, which started, and for much of its history continued to be, a volunteer-run project. Along with specific examples of budgets I will focus on the ethics of volunteering and volunteer management.

Aleš Rumpel is the director of the Czech Republic’s Queer Film Festival: Mezipatra.


LGBT Programming and Grassroots Democracy

Joachim Post

The Hamburg International Queer Film Festival still proves in its 25th year that a film festival can be organized and programmed without an executive director or a director of programming. All films are selected and discussed by a group of about 10 LGBT/Q program committee members without a dedicated head or director. Throughout its history it has also been important that lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans* people have been selecting all films together as a team, instead of lesbians selecting lesbian films etc. In this presentation the pros and cons of this structure shall be discussed.

Joachim Post has been a film programmer for the Lesbisch Schwule Filmtage Hamburg | International Queer Film Festival since 1997 and is also a freelance journalist.


Queering Cannes? A-list Festivals and Queer Cinema – the Case of the Queer Palm

Antoine Damiens

Amsterdam, Sundance, Berlin, Festival du Nouveau Cinéma… As B. Ruby Rich made clear, mainstream festivals played a huge role in the development of queer cinema – a fact only accentuated by the creation of various queer awards at A-list festivals (Teddy in 1987, Queer Lion in 2007, Queer Palm in 2010). In my presentation, I re-situate my experience as a staff member at Cannes’ Queer Palm within an alternative historiography of queer film exhibition. Through Cannes’ Queer Palm and Berlin’s Teddy, analyze how A-list festivals’ strategic positioning on the circuit favors the development of both queer festivals and queer cinema.

Antoine Damiens is a festival curator for Ecrans Mixtes Lyon, France, staff member of Queer Palm – Cannes’ gay and lesbian award, and pursues a PhD in Film Studies at Concordia University, Montreal.


Back to the Future? Queer Film Festivals and the Spaces They Inhabit

Michael Stütz

With around 200 LGBT/Q film festivals operating worldwide at the moment it seems that festivals and their programs are more embraced than ever before. But why is it that there seems to be less enthusiasm in some urban communities to come together and share cinema as a space of social interaction and artistic inspiration? Do festivals need to inhabit smaller, more intimate spaces? Do they need to emphasize the social and artistic value of their events and program by championing more radical and historical works, in combination with contemporary festival “hits” that are automatically embraced by audiences?

Michael Stütz is co-director of the XPOSED International Film Festival Berlin and has been associated with the Panorama of the Berlin Film Festival since 2006.