"An engaging and original history of queer film festivals and an insider critique of festival studies at large. Damiens has excavated our archives and offered a colourful tapestry of LGBTQ+ struggles over half a century, probing both the friendship and the activism at their core." - Thomas Waugh, Concordia University, Canada.
While scholars have theorized major film festivals, they have ignored smaller, ephemeral, events. In taking seriously minor European and North-American LGBT festivals which often only exist as traces within archival collections, this book revisits festival studies' methodological and theoretical apparatuses. As the first 'critique' of festival studies from within, LGBTQ Film Festivals argues that both festivals and queer film cultures are by definition ephemeral. The book is organized around two concepts: First, 'critical festival studies' examines the political project and disciplinary assumptions that structure festival research. Second, 'the festival as a method' pays attention to festivals' role as producers of knowledge: it argues that festivals are not mere objects of research but also actors already shaping academic, industrial, and popular cinematic knowledge. Drawing on my experience on the festival circuit, this book pays homage to the labour of queer organizers, critics, and scholars and opens up new avenues for festival research.
Antoine Damiens is a FRQSC Postdoctoral Fellow within the Department of English and the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at McGill University (Montreal).