As identity-based festivals, queer film festivals have a specific relationship to the audience to which they cater. More specifically, most of these festivals have had a strong connection to the political and social movement behind the lesbian and gay/queer agenda and try to maintain this relationship between cultural event and political framework (Jusick 2004; Stryker 1996; Ommert/Loist 2008). Because of this history, queer film festivals have a strong tradition of a nuanced critical inquiry into the interconnections of cultural event management, community politics, nation state politics, funding and marketing strategies, and organizational structures (cf. Rhyne 2007; Zielinski 2008).
Resulting from this is a cluster of pieces that deal with the relationship between film festivals and communities, focusing on the mutual formative processes between the two actors (festival and community/audience) (Gamson 1996; Rich 1993, 1999), and constantly updating the question of necessity (Schulman 1994). A strongly connected issue is the one of representation of the group/subculture in the films of the so-called (New) Queer Cinema and at the LGBT/queer film festivals (Rich 1993, 1999; Hohenberger/Jurschik 1994; Stryker 1996; Siegel 1998; Woitschig 2001; Loist 2008).
As a field that has been under more scrutiny than most other specialized festivals there has also been the attempt to show the dialog between the numerous actors at play in a festival. The three-part installment of a GLQ forum on Queer Film and Video Festivals approached the current queer festival landscape from the side of curators, critics/scholars, and filmmakers (Straayer/Waugh 2005, 2006, 2008).
A neglected field in the general film festival discussion (except for the attempt by Stringer 2008), the concept of the (counter) public sphere has been discussed in much detail in relation to LGBT film festivals (Rich 1993; KIM S. 1998; dossier ed. by Patricia White 1999; KIM S. 2003; Perspex 2006; Gorfinkel 2006; KIM J. 2007; Ommert/Loist 2008). As an extension of this discussion, special aspects such as the spatial elements of queer film festivals have been scrutinized (Brooke 1998, Zielinski 2008).
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(Last updated: 29 July 2021)