Minds, bodies, and hearts [article]

Rosalind Galt, Karl Schoonover, Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin, Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin
2018
LGBTQ film festivals are engaged in a precarious dance. They cannot live without the identity categories that designate both their mission and their audience and yet they cannot live easily with these identities, which are continually expanded, revised, and contested. The growth of public discourse around previously marginalised identities (including but not limited to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, polyamorous, asexual, and genderqueer) has rapidly shifted the terrain for queer
more » ... tic representation and cultural politics. As much as film festivals need identity categories, in recent years they seem to be involved in a process of establishing their distance from identitarian models in an attempt to remain relevant to people no longer identifying simply as L, G, B, or even Q. This balancing act has played out visibly in the name of the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. After 27 years as one of the world's largest and most international venues for queer film the festival outlived its name and changed it in 2014 to Flare: London LGBT Film Festival. 1 The festival, organised under the auspices of the British Film Institute (BFI), is one of the oldest of its kind and in a sense the most institutionally grounded: it is tied to a wealthy nation's film institute, renowned not only for its exhibition schedule but for its research library, scholarly activity, and publications. As a result the festival has a history of linking its curatorial practice with educational aims. The film programming is avowedly international and diverse, including cinematic forms from popular features to experimental shorts and activist documentary. The festival regularly includes presentations by researchers and roundtable discussions, and its institutional structures enable outreach efforts such as touring a selection of films around the UK each year and working with LGBT, anti-racist, and feminist organisations to create community links. Despite this strong institutional setting the festival has not always been easy to sustain. As recently as 2011 it was forced to shrink from its normal two-week length to just one week as a result of the British Conservative coalition government's drastic cuts to arts funding. [2]
doi:10.25595/489 fatcat:2zyla2h4mne7zcij5i6vzr5co4