Defining ‘Women’s Film Festival’: ‘See the World through Women’s Eyes?’, ‘Celebrating Women Filmmakers?’ or ‘Women Make Waves?’

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During the 1970s Second Waves Feminist Movements, feminists mainly from western Europe and America, started to become aware of the significance of developing feminist film theories, criticism and filmmaking including distribution and exhibitions. The term ‘women’s film festival’ was created in that period and then spread out other countries located in Asia. There are more than forty women’s film festivals worldwide so far. Nowadays, these festivals can become an essential exhibition of feminist/women’s films. In addition, they also play an important role in distributing feminist films when distributors of feminist films have declined since 1991. However, research related to ‘women’s film festival’ is still underestimated in feminist film studies/film festivals studies.

There are three methods in my research to collect data. Firstly, using secondary analysis is to collect missions and developments of the festivals around the world online. Secondly, conducting in-depth interviews with festival directors is to have an insight into the festivals. Thirdly, employing participation and observation in remarkable/historical women’s film festivals in Creteil (France), London (UK), Dortmund/Koln(German), Seoul (Korea), Taipei(Taiwan) and Osaka(Japan) to construct a comparative point of view between the “West” and the “East”.

Through analysing these data, the paper intends to define ‘women’s film festival’ and to map development of the festivals worldwide in terms of difference between time and space. I also examine critically that the activism and dilemmas of women’s film festivals in contemporary society, which is associated with feminist practice globally and locally. The paper will investigate them by the following points: politics of naming; argument of women’s film and female point of view; and a possibility of constructing a circuit of women-made films through global women’s film festivals.


Keywords: Women’s Film Festival, Film Festival, Women’s Film, Feminist Practice, Feminist Film, Film exhibition, Politics of Naming, Activism
Stream: Other
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Hsing-Hung Lin

DPhill Student, Department of Media and Film, University of Sussex
Hove, UK

I have been a festival director of film festivals, a curator of art exhibitions, a visual artist, and a performance artist in Taiwan since 2003. Through involving in non-profit organizations and teaching in high schools and universities, I intend to participate in social change. Also, I regard arts and cultural events as tactics/strategies of inspiration for people so as to cultivate their diverse perspectives of understanding the world they are living in. At the present, I am not only a PhD student in Media and Cultural Studies programme, but also a programmer in the Women Make Waves Film Festival (Taiwan). I am interested in cultural production and cultural meanings of thematic film festivals in contemporary society through a empirical research. In my present research, I also focus on cultural and power, activism, construction of communities, audiences, and discourse, which is related to the festivals of its kind in global and local contexts.

Ref: A09P0692