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.” Film Festival Yearbook 1: The Festival Circuit. Eds. Dina Iordanova, and Ragan Rhyne. St. Andrews: St. Andrews Film Studies. pp. 82–98.

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

Brauerhoch, Annette (1987). “Jenseits der Metropolen: Frauenfilmfestivals in Créteil und Dortmund.” Frauen und Film no. 42 (1987): 94–100.

Hammer, Barbara (1998). “Turning 20: The Festival International de Films de Femmes de Créteil.” The Independent: Film and Video Monthly 21:7 (1998): 18–19.

Hiller, Eva, and Renate Holy (1976). “festival of women’s films new york 1976.” Frauen und Film no. 10 (1976): 49.

Hohenberger, Eva, and Karin Jurschick (1994). “Zehn Jahre Feminale: Zehn Jahre feministischer Film.” Blaue Wunder: Neue Filme und Videos von Frauen 1984 bis 1994. Ed. Eva Hohenberger. Hamburg: Argument-Verl. pp. 7–17.

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 Studies 4:1 (2003): 157–158.

Hüchtker, Ingrid (1992). “Die verfluchte, die geliebte Öffentlichkeit: Pressearbeit für ein Frauen-Film-Festival (Ein Fallbeispiel mit Conclusio).” Femina Publica: Frauen — Öffentlichkeit — Feminismus. Ed. Gruppe Feministische Öffentlichkeit. Köln: PapyRossa. pp. 203–218.

Loist, Skadi (2012). “Social Change?!  The Status of Women’s Film Festivals Today.”  Internationales FrauenFilmFestival Dortmund|Köln 2012.  Apr. 20, 2012.  <http://www.frauenfilmfestival.eu/fileadmin/Bilder/Downloaddateien/Women_s_Film_Festivals_in_Dialogue_keynote_Skadi_Loist.pdf> | <http://tinyurl.com/7abot9s>  (27 Jul. 2012)

Maule, Rosanna (2014). “Women’s Festival 2.0 between Grassroots Globalization and Neoliberal Feminism: The Birds Eye View Festival.” Comunicazioni Sociali  3 (2014): 368–374.

Silverstein, Melissa (2012). “The Status of Women’s Film Festivals.” IndieWire – Women and Hollywood  Apr. 30, 2012. <http://blogs.indiewire.com/womenandhollywood/the-status-of-womens-film-festivals>. (1 May 2012)

Quetting, Esther, ed. (2007). Kino Frauen Experimente. Marburg: Schüren.

Walter, Cornelia (2010). “Absolut nicht obsolet: Frauenfilmfestivals sind leider noch immer kein Anachronismus.” | “Absolutely Not Obsolete: Women’s Film Festivals Are Still Not an Anachronism – Sadly.” Short Report: KurzfilmMagazin (2010): 30–35. <http://www.ag-kurzfilm.de/shared/doc/upload/page/384/page_de_384_a3.pdf>. (01. Mar. 2011)


(Last updated: 6 September 2015)