International film festival VS Non-mainstream film festival

When we mention the international film festival which often appears to us the image as red carpet, celebrities and a cosmopolitan place to encourage professional, practitioners to participate in the cultural feast. At the same time, the international film festival brings various culture, economic, political and social forces together. International film festivals often showcase different kinds of films recommended by different countries or regions. This is the common impression international film festival leave to us. In this blog I would like to introduce Three non-mainstream film festivals.

The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), which not famous as Berlin, Cannes, Venice International Film Festivals. IFFR is a good channel to bring the Asian film to Europe. Compared with other international film festival, the IFFR define itself as a filmgoers’ film festival. This festival is dedicated to supporting new filmmakers, help them to find their own positions. All this thanks to Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals who established a film fund in 1988 to support filmmakers from developing countries. From 1988 the fund has supported 600 projects from independent filmmakers in developing countries and helped them to make the films complete the production, realize their movie dreams. This also gives some new filmmakers the opportunities to showcase their talents.

LGBT/Queer film festival can be traced from screen LGBT-themed work. The format of the festival was developed from early film conferences. In first stage, the festival was from 1930s to 1960s solidified the festival format and spread globally. In 1970s was in the second stage, during that period some civil rights movements prevailed and promoted the development of the LGBT film festival. From 1980s the LGBT film festival entered a stable development period. LGBT people are always marginalization, excluded or erased from some public activities. In the past LGBT cinephilia need to be hired to attend the film festival. With the legalization of same-sex marriage in some Western countries, the LGBT film festival become to be a positive sign for the human rights and respecting different sexual orientations. Especially more grass roots can accept this film festival and its social impact gradually emerges.

Women film festivals committed to enhancing the status of women in society and providing a cultural exchange platform for women from different countries and regions. Film industry is dominated by males, women film festivals focus on discovering rookie female filmmakers and enhance their status in the film industry. The birth of the Women’s Film Festival stems from the weak voice from female in the film industry. In fact, this phenomenon has not only occurred in the film industry. The birth of this film festival can make more people care about women’s groups.

There is no doubt that film festivals can function as both cultural celebrations and marketplace. Festival programmers are often faced with the difficult choice in culture, commerce and politics. The birth of the non-mainstream film festivals can give people more opportunities to pay attention to some relatively weak groups and their human rights. This also enhances the social civilisation.


Chan, F 2011, ‘The international film festival and the making of a national cinema’, Screen, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 253-260.

Dawson, L, & Loist, S 2018, ‘Queer/ing film festivals: history, theory, impact’, Studies in European Cinema, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 1-24

Heath, T 2018, ‘Saving space: strategies of space reclamation at early women’s film festivals and queer film festivals today’, Studies in European Cinema, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 41-54.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s