9.1.2 Women’s Film Festivals

Considering the impact feminist activism and theory has had on film theory, it is surprising that women’s film festivals have not been analyzed as much as, say, queer film festivals. The pieces listed here focus on different issues related to women’s film festivals. As is true for festival journalism in general, several articles provide a review of the films shown at these festivals interspersed with descriptions and analyses of the structures, concepts and practices of the festivals (Brauerhoch 1987; Hammer 1998; Hiller/Holy 1976; Huang 2003).

Beyond these historical snapshots of the women’s film festival landscape, a few articles look at the historical contexts which informed and necessitated the establishing of women’s film festivals: Melinda Barlow (2003) sketches the history of the New York Women’s Video Festival established in the 1970s; and Eva Hohenberger and Karin Jurschick (1994) take stock of the first ten years of Cologne’s Women’s Film Festival Feminale and its concept of bringing feminist film theory and women’s films together in a festival in the 1980s. Soyoung Kim and Yu Shan Huang provide insight into the concept of (women’s) film festivals as alternative public spheres in the Asian context, South Korea and Taiwan respectively (Kim, S. 1998, 2003, section 9.1; Huang 2003). While the Asian context offers utopian visions of a political public sphere called film festival, a book reconstructs the history of the discontinued Swiss women’s cine-club project Frauenfilmtage Schweiz and discusses the reason of the decline of this women’s film festival and its possible link to the shift in the feminist movement (Quetting 2007).

Armatage, Kay. 2009. “Toronto Women & Film International 1973.” In Film Festival Yearbook 1: The Festival Circuit, edited by Dina Iordanova and Ragan Rhyne, 82–98. St. Andrews: St Andrews Film Studies.

Barlow, Melinda. 2003. “Feminism 101: The New York Women’s Video Festival, 1972-1980.” Camera Obscura 18 (3): 3–38.

Brauerhoch, Annette. 1987. “Jenseits der Metropolen: Frauenfilmfestivals in Créteil und Dortmund.” Frauen und Film (42): 94–100.

Breidenbach, Ann. 2020. “Festival Mamas Building the Women’s Club: A Case Study.” Journal of Film & Video 72 (1-2): 73–79. https://doi.org/10.5406/jfilmvideo.72.1-2.0073.

Carocci, Enrico. 2016. “A Counterpublic Sphere? Women’s Film Festivals and the Case of Films De Femmes.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 23 (4): 447–53. https://doi.org/10.1177/1350506816665726.

Dönmez-Colin, Gönül. 2014. “Women’s Film Festivals in the Middle East: Challenges and Rewards.” In Film Festival Yearbook 6: Film Festivals and the Middle East, edited by Dina Iordanova and Stefanie Van de Peer, 27–40. St Andrews: St Andrews Film Studies.

Hammer, Barbara. 1998. “Turning 20: The Festival International de Films de Femmes de Créteil.” Independent 21 (7 (Aug/Sep)): 18–19.

Haug, Kate. 1998. “Chick Flicks: The Second Annual New York Women’s Film Festival.” Independent 21 (6): 22–23.

Haydari, Nazan. 2020. “International Filmmor Women’s Film Festival on Wheels: ‘Women’s Cinema, Women’s Resistance, Cinema of Resistance’.” In Female Agencies and Subjectivities in Film and Television, edited by Digdem Sezen, Feride Çiçekoglu, Asli Tunç, and Ebru Thwaites Diken, 249–69. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Heath, Theresa. 2018. “Saving Space: Strategies of Space Reclamation at Early Women’s Film Festivals and Queer Film Festivals Today.” Studies in European Cinema 15 (1): 41–54. https://doi.org/10.1080/17411548.2018.1432924.

Hiller, Eva, and Renate Holy. 1976. “Festival of Women’s Films New York 1976.” Frauen und Film (10): 49.

Hohenberger, Eva, and Karin Jurschick. 1994. “Zehn Jahre ‘Feminale’: Zehn Jahre feministischer Film.” In Blaue Wunder: Neue Filme und Videos von Frauen 1984 bis 1994, edited by Eva Hohenberger, 7–17. Hamburg: Argument.

Huang, Yu Shan. 2003. “’Creating and Distributing Films Openly’: On the Relationship Between Women’s Film Festivals and the Women’s Rights Movement in Taiwan.” Inter-Asia Cultural Stud 4 (1): 157–58.

Jermyn, Deborah, and Nuala O’Sullivan. 2023. “’and I Just Thought, “I’m Not Having It. I’m Going to Set up My Own Festival”‘: Curating and Celebrating Older Women in the Women over Fifty Film Festival.” In Women, Ageing and the Screen Industries, edited by Susan Liddy, 221–37. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Kerns, Susan, and Michelle Yates. 2020. “Activist Praxis Meets Project-Based Learning: A Case Study of Student Involvement at the Chicago Feminist Film Festival.” Journal of Film & Video 72 (1-2): 67–72. https://doi.org/10.5406/jfilmvideo.72.1-2.0067.

Loist, Skadi. 2012. “Social Change?! The Status of Women’s Film Festivals Today.” Women’s Film Festivals in Dialogue, Köln, April 20. Accessed May 01, 2012. http://frauenfilmfestival.eu/fileadmin/Bilder/Downloaddateien/Women_s_Film_Festivals_in_Dialogue_keynote_Skadi_Loist.pdf.

Lopes Wanderley, Natália. 2016. “O Que Porra É Cinema De Mulher? A Mostra De Cinema De Mulher E O Desvelar Do Machismo No Audiovisual Pernambucano.” Dissertation, Centro de Artes e Comunicação, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco. Accessed November 20, 2022. https://repositorio.ufpe.br/bitstream/123456789/23077/1/Dissertacao_biblioteca%20central_reduzida.pdf.

Maule, Rosanna. 2014. “Women’s Festival 2.0 Between Grassroots Globalization and Neoliberal Feminism: The Birds Eye View Festival.” Comunicazioni Sociali (3): 368–74.

Maule, Rosanna. 2017. Digital Platforms and Feminist Film Discourse: Women’s Cinema 2.0. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Maule, Rosanna. 2017. “Engendering the Global Market: Women’s Cinema as a Creative Industry.” In Digital Platforms and Feminist Film Discourse: Women’s Cinema 2.0, 59–88. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Olibet, Ylenia, and Alanna Thain. 2023. “Vidéo De Femmes Dans Le Parc: Feminist Rhythms and Festival Times Under Covid.” In Rethinking Film Festivals in the Pandemic Era and After, edited by Marijke de Valck and Antoine Damiens, 155–75. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Quetting, Esther, ed. 2007. Kino Frauen Experimente. Marburg: Schüren. http://deposit.d-nb.de/cgi-bin/dokserv?id=2876988&prov=M&dok_var=1&dok_ext=htm.

Silverstein, Melissa. 2012. “The Status of Women’s Film Festivals.” Women and Hollywood, April 30, 2012. http://blogs.indiewire.com/womenandhollywood/the-status-of-womens-film-festivals.

Walter, Cornelia. 2010. “Absolut nicht obsolet: Frauenfilmfestivals sind leider noch immer kein Anachronismus.” Short Report, 30–35. http://www.ag-kurzfilm.de/shared/doc/upload/page/384/page_de_384_a3.pdf. Accessed March 01, 2011.

(Last updated: 1. April 2024)