Paris Lesbian and Feminist Film Festival

Last updated
Paris Lesbian and Feminist
Film Festival
Festival International du Film
Lesbien et Féministe de Paris
Location Paris
AwardsAudience Awards
Hosted by Cineffable
LanguageFrench and English

The Paris Feminist and Lesbian Film Festival (French: Festival International du Film Lesbien et Féministe de Paris) is a women-only film festival founded in Paris, France, in 1989. The festival is organized by Cineffable, an association dedicated to promoting lesbian cinema, and encouraging lesbian creativity.



The Paris Feminist and Lesbian Film Festival grew out of dissatisfaction with the treatment of Lesbians in the Créteil International Women's Film Festival. Many lesbian women felt that in spite of the fact that lesbian films frequently won the Viewers Choice awards (prix du public), lesbian films, filmmakers and attendees were not given sufficient space or attention at the festival, and so they decided to create their own event, [1] which would not only provide lesbians with screening opportunities, but would also be a shared community for knowledge sharing, a way to increase lesbian visibility and combat lesbophobia, and a social outlet. [2]

The first event was held in 1989, as a "cinéclub", [3] with subsequent festivals in 1992 and 1993, all held at the La Clef Cultural Center in Paris. As the festival grew, it moved venues, first to the André Malraux Cultural Center (Le Kremlin-Bicêtre) until 2000, when the number of attendees grew to between 2000 and 3000, [4] and then to the Le Trianon theater. [5] Since 2010, the festival screens at l'Espace Reuilly. [6]


The festival is organized and produced by the Cineffable association. The association includes several thousand members, making it one of the more significant lesbian organizations in France. It is run according to feminist principles – it is non-hierarchical, based on knowledge sharing and transfer for continuity, and defines its mission statement as "we have to assume responsibility, to take control of our images, to become actresses in our own productions in order to break definitively with the oppressive system of representation that shuts us in, that shuts us up". [7]

The festival is open to anyone who identifies as a woman, and is based on membership attendance; that is – attendance is free for members, and thus anyone desiring to attend the festival purchases a membership card, which provides access or discounts to other Cineffable events as well. The festival is self-funded, except for an annual grant from the city of Paris, as part of an official program for gender equality, [8] and works on the principle of "no one left outside" through discounts for marginalized communities and a ticket sharing program, enabling access for all to screenings. [9]

The festival includes several competition tracks, debates, an art exhibition, workshops and a gala or concert event. [10] [11] Audience awards are granted at the festival in the following categories: [12]

In previous years, there were also awards for best screenplay and best film poster.

The festival has grown steadily since its inception. [13] It screens over 50 films each year. [14]

Best Feature Film awards

2018Extra TerrestresCarla CavinaPuerto Rico / Venezuela
2017 Signature Move Jennifer Reeder United States
2016Io e Lei (Me, Myself, and Her) Maria Sole Tognazzi Italy
2015 Girltrash: All Night Long Alexandra KondrackeUnited States
2014Moonlight PeopleEkaterina PolyanskayaRussia
2013 Facing Mirrors Negar AzarbayjaniIran / Germany
2012Lengua maternaLiliana PaolinelliArgentina
2011En secret (Circumstance) Maryam Keshavarz USA / Iran / Lebanon
2010no audience awards
2009 Rain Maria GovanUK / Bahamas
2008 The World Unseen Shamim Sarif UK / South Africa
2007 Nina's Heavenly Delights Pratibha Parmar UK


Sévigné (Julia Berkowitz) Marta Balletbò-Coll Spain
Fremde Haut Angelina Maccarone Germany
2005Hu Die (Butterfly) Yan Yan Mak Hong Kong
2004 Goldfish Memory Liz GillIreland
2003Do I Love You? Lisa Gornick UK
2002 By Hook or by Crook Harry Dodge (as Harriet Dodge) and Silas Howard USA
2001 Chutney Popcorn Nisha Ganatra USA
2000 If These Walls Could Talk 2 Jane Anderson, Martha Coolidge and Anne Heche USA
1999 Revoir Julie Jeanne Crépeau Canada
1998Alles Wird Gut Angelina Maccarone Germany
1997 Fire Deepa Mehta USA
1996Costa Brava Marta Balletbò-Coll Spain
1995Life is a WomanShanna SerikbajewaKazakhstan
1994 Go Fish Rose Troche USA
1993 The Company of Strangers Cynthia Scott Canada
1992 Anne Trister Léa Pool Canada

See also

Related Research Articles

Monique Wittig French writer

Monique Wittig was a French author, philosopher and feminist theorist who wrote about overcoming socially enforced gender roles and who coined the phrase "heterosexual contract". She published her first novel, L'Opoponax, in 1964. Her second novel, Les Guérillères (1969), was a landmark in lesbian feminism.

Léa Pool C.M. is a Swiss-Canadian filmmaker who taught film at the Université du Québec à Montréal. She has directed several documentaries and feature films, many of which have won significant awards including the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, and she was the first woman to win the prize for Best Film at the Quebec Cinema Awards. Pool's films often opposed stereotypes and refused to focus on heterosexual relations, preferring individuality.

My Super 8 Season is a 2005 French film by Alessandro Avellis that deals with gay and lesbian issues.

Michèle Causse French academic

Michèle Causse was a French lesbian activist, translator and author.

Antoinette Fouque was a psychoanalyst who was involved in the French women's liberation movement. She was the leader of one of the groups that originally formed the French Women's Liberation (MLF), and she later registered the trademark MLF specifically under her name. She helped found the "Éditions des femmes" as well as the first collection of audio-books in France, "Bibliothèque des voix". Her position in feminist theory was primarily essentialist, and heavily based in psychoanalysis.

Christine Delphy French sociologist and feminist activist (born 1941)

Christine Delphy is a French feminist sociologist, writer and theorist. Known for pioneering materialist feminism, she co-founded the French women's liberation movement in 1970 and the journal Nouvelles questions féministes with Simone de Beauvoir in 1981.

<i>Too Much Pussy!</i> 2010 French film

Too Much Pussy! is a 2010 French-German documentary film directed by Émilie Jouvet. It follows a group of performers who are all members of the sex-positive movement during the tour of their "Queer X Show" through Europe, from Berlin to Malmö. The group consists of the writer and actress Wendy Delorme, the DJ Metzgerei, the adult actress Judy Minx, the singer Mad Kate, the artist and performer Sadie Lune, and the adult actress and director Madison Young.

Carole Roussopoulos

Carole Roussopoulos was a Swiss film director and feminist who was primarily known for her pioneering early documentary films of the Women's liberation movement in France. She made approximately 150 documentaries during the course of her career.

Nathalie Magnan

Nathalie Magnan was a media theoretician and activist, a cyber-feminist, and a film director. She taught at both universities and art schools, and is known for initiating projects linking Internet activism and sailing with the Sailing for Geeks project. She also co-organised the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in 1984. She died at home of breast cancer.

Amandine Gay

Amandine Gay is a French feminist, filmmaker, researcher and actress. Her first film Ouvrir la Voix is a documentary giving voice to Black women in France that aims to give an other approach of feminist movements.

Marcelle Capy French writer and pacifist

Marcelle Capy is the pseudonym adopted by Marcelle Marquès (1891–1962), a French novelist, journalist, feminist and militant pacifist. She published a number of works from 1916 to 1950, all devoted to her interest in pacifism. She is remembered in particular for her award-winning Des hommes passèrent, published in 1930. As a journalist, she contributed to many papers, especially La Vague which she co-founded in 1918. In the early 1930s, she was an active member of the Ligue internationale des combattants de la paix.

Chouftouhonna Festival is a multidisciplinary festival dedicated to women artists, organized in Tunisia each year by the feminist association Chouf.

Fatou Sow (sociologist) Senegalese feminist sociologist

Fatou Sow is a Senegalese feminist sociologist specialising in sociology of gender.

Lauren Bastide French journalist, feminist, podcaster

Lauren Bastide is a French journalist, feminist, podcaster, spokesperson for the better representation of women and an activist on intersectional feminism.

Yvonne Netter was a French advocate, journalist, campaigner for feminism and Zionism and an active member of the French Resistance during the Vichy France period. She was arrested and interned in three French-run camps before being helped to escape.

Louise Toupin Canadian political scientist

Louise Toupin is a Canadian political scientist and specialist in feminist studies. She was a founding member of the Women's Liberation Front of Quebec and Éditions du remue-ménage, which were important sites of feminist activism in the late 1960s and early 1970s in Montreal. She then earned a PhD from the Université du Québec à Montréal, later becoming a lecturer at that same institution. Her research focused on collections and analyses of feminist theory from the recent history of Québec.

Jacqueline Julien is a Moroccan-born French feminist, film maker and lesbian role model. She co-founded the Bagdam Cafée in Toulouse. This cafe is credited with moving the focus of French lesbian culture south. It closed after ten years but its virtual self continues today.

Geneviève Pastre was a French poet, academic and lesbian activist. She has been described as "responsible in a large measure for the creation of the Gay Liberation Movement in France", although she said of herself: "Je ne suis pas une activiste. Je suis poéte et danseuse".

Clotilde Dissard was a French journalist and feminist. She founded the journal, La Revue feministe. Dissard died in 1919.

"L'Hymne du MLF", also known as "Debout les femmes", was written as the anthem of the Women's Liberation Movement (MLF) in France. It was created collectively in March 1971, during the second wave of French feminism, by militant feminist activists in Paris, during a meeting in preparation for a gathering on March 28, 1971, in the Square of Issy-les-Moulineaux, in memory and in honor of the women of the Paris Commune, marking its centennial.


  1. "Why Cineffable? Why the Paris Feminist and Lesbian Film Festival?". Cineffable. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  2. "Paris International Lesbian & Feminist Film Festival". The Lesbian Agenda. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  3. "Cineffable : quand les lesbiennes se font du cinéma !". le Cabinet de Curiosité Féminine (in French). 26 October 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  4. "CINEFFABLE – Festival International du film lesbien et féministe: des femmes, rien que des femmes…". le Cabinet de Curiosité Féminine (in French). 26 October 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  5. Sullivan, Moira. "Special Report: 18th Paris Cineffable Feminist and Lesbian Film Festival, 2006". Movie Magazine. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  6. "Venue". Cineffable - Useful Information. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  7. Catalog of the 8th Festival, 1996
  8. Sullivan, Moira. "Special Report: 18th Paris Cineffable Feminist and Lesbian Film Festival, 2006". Movie Magazine. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  9. "Ticketing". Cineffable. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  10. "Paris International Lesbian and Feminist Film Festival". Accor Hotels. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  11. "Concert". Cineffable. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  12. "CINEFFABLE (Paris) 2018: Submissions are now open". African Women in Cinema (in French). 4 April 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  13. Tarr, Carrie; Rollet, Brigitte (6 Oct 2016). Cinema and the Second Sex: Women's Filmmaking in France in the 1980s and 1990s. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN   9781474290784.
  14. "10 Feminist Film Festivals To Follow". Raindance. Retrieved 5 May 2019.