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This article is a cross-generational exchange of ideas and experiences that explores the intersections of film curating and activism. Its authors set forth accounts of their own experiences as scholars who have worked as film festival curators “on the side” from the 1990s to the present within the context of the new yet rapidly growing field of film festival studies, which provides a useful set of perspectives and methods for understanding how film festivals function and what significance and impact they can have on the multiple stakeholders involved, including but not limited to the filmmakers, festival organizers and staff, and audiences. Their experiences shed light on the ways that identity-based film festivals have evolved through engagement with economic and political forces of globalization and neoliberalism even as they function as important, fluid sites of community building where identities are negotiated, contested, and articulated.


Originally published in Feminist Media Histories, University of California Press, 2019.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.