PANEL 2: Queer Film Festivals in Practice

QA Summit 2016, Panel 2

Almost four decades ago, the first Gay Film Festival opened back in the day in San Francisco. Since then much has happened and those now called Queer or LGBTQI* Film Festivals have flourished and expanded in all cultural backgrounds all over the world, most recently new festivals have been founded in Africa and also in the Middle East. The growing number of festivals also fostered different and more diverse programs within the Queer Film Festival Circuit. From classical queer/LGBTQI*content to pornography and from the avant-garde to activism; six programmers from different cultural backgrounds will talk about their view on curating and activism on this panel.

The second conference panel will discuss the development and relevance of queer film festivals. The thematic focus of the festivals and their current interaction with geopolitical and socio-cultural environments will be examined and discussed in more detail. By using the obtained parameters, this will ensure an evaluation of contemporary practices of international festival networks.

PANEL 2: Queer Festivals in Practice


Dr. Skadi Loist, Dep. of Media Studies, University of Rostock; Lesbisch Schwule Filmtage, Hamburg
Skadi Loist is a lecturer and postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Media Research at the University of Rostock, Germany, and co-founder of the Film Festival “Research Network”. She has published on film, media industries and issues of gender and sexuality with a focus on film festivals and queer cinema. Since 2002, she has worked with the “Hamburg International Queer Film Festival”, served as board member, and organized the conference “Queer Film Culture: Queer Cinema and Film Festivals” for its 25th anniversary in 2014.


Desiree Buford
, Frameline – San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival
Des Buford leads the inner workings of “San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival”. As Director of Exhibition & Programming she provides curatorial oversight for the Festival, programs year-round screenings, and administers the “Frameline Completion Fund”. She is experienced on the queer film festival circuit, having worked over the past 15 years at “Frameline” and “Outfest”, as well as served as a juror at national and international festivals.

João Ferreira, Queer Lisboa – International Queer Film Festival
João is a Lisbon based Artistic Director and Programmer of “Queer Lisboa – International Queer Film Festival”. He was an actor in the Sensurround Theatre Troupe, directed by Lúcia Sigalho; and an actor, playwright, and director in “Projecto Solilóquio”. He is the award-winning author of two plays, as well as having published several articles and participated in lectures and debates, on Queer, Film, and Performance Studies, in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Brazil.

Alexandra Carastoian, FAQiff – Feminist and Queer International Film Festival, Bucharest
Alexandra Carastoian is a founding member of the first Romanian NGO, which supports trans* individuals, and has been a part of the two annual festivals: “LGBT History Month” and “Bucharest Pride”. Furthermore, Alexandra is the director of the first Feminist and Queer International Film Festival in Bucharest. Last year she won the “Young Talent GOPO Cinematography Award” for the film “It Takes Two to Fence”.

Xiaogang Wei, Beijing Queer Film Festival
Xiaogang Wei is the executive director of the NGO Beijing Gender Health Education Institute. It constitutes one of the first Chinese NGOs to focus on issues of gender, sexuality and sexual health. Together with the BGHEI, Xiaogang launched a series of groundbreaking events in China, including the “China AIDS Walk” and the “China Rainbow Awards”. Xiaogang is the Co-curator of the “Beijing Queer Film Festival” and a board member of the Beijing LGBT Centre.

Saadat Munir, AKS Film – Art – Dialogue Festival, Pakistan and Denmark
Saadat Munir was born into the dichotomy of European and Asian culture. Munir runs “Madari Films”, a production company that focuses on realistic cinema. He is an experienced film curator, programmer and critic. Presently, Munir curates as Creative Director the bi-national AKS-film, art and dialogue festival for minorities and marginalized communities that illuminates socio-political aspects of transgender, queer, people of color living in Pakistan and Denmark.

Jürgen Brüning, Porn Film Festival, Berlin
Jürgen Brüning has been involved in producing, directing and curating films. He is mostly known for his long collaboration with Bruce LaBruce as his producer. Jürgen was the co-founder of the “Lesbian & Gay Film Festival Berlin” in 1993 and the founder of the “Porn Filmfestival Berlin” in 2006. He has been working as a curator for “Interfilm Festival”, the Documentary Film Festivals in Leipzig and Neubrandenburg and currently selects films for the “Panorama” section of the Berlinale.

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