DFA Dialogue: What gender are film festivals?


Inspired by Not Yet Yes program and its thought-provoking viewpoint on queer, Artistic Director Orwa Nyrabia sits across Simon(e) van Saarloos in an open contemplative debate about unarticulated power dynamics in the documentary cinema and film festival movement.

While striving to express authentic queer perspectives in cinema, we can overlook the line between accomplishing representation and labeling. The very concept of queerness questions the way we are used to look at things. But how much has the documentary art form, which operates by pointing a camera, progressed in this exercise of truly embracing different as equal? And what really stands in its way? 

Following the thread started by Simon(e) van Saarloos in her essay Not Yet Yes, and the insights from this year’s Focus Program: Around Masculinity, the two speakers decided to apply queer glossary to the film process and to shift the critical spotlight to highlight film festival culture itself. The public audience is encouraged to join in this critical examination alongside film professionals and festival guests.