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Women’s Filmmaking in Contemporary Britain

We attended this:

ICA, CFAC (University of Reading) and BIMI (Birkbeck) invite you to the Symposium

Women’s Filmmaking in Contemporary Britain

12 Dec 201511:00 am | ICA Cinema 1 | £6.00 to £10.00

Xiaolu Guo, Far and Near, English and Mandarin with English subtitles. DigitBeta,

22 mins, 2003


During the Sarajevo film festival in August 2015, a conference organized by the Council of Europe adopted a declaration that called on member states to implement policies to reduce gender imbalance in the European audiovisual industries. This is very relevant to the UK, where only one in six feature films is directed by a woman. This symposium, organized in conjunction with the Onwards and Outwards season, reflects on the achievements of women directors in British cinema and revisits the perennial question of women’s under-representation in British film culture. Noted women working in the industry and in academia address these and other questions, discussing women’s filmmaking and the contemporary context of production, distribution and exhibition in relation to the key concepts of authorship and nation.

The symposium has been conceived by: Lúcia Nagib (University of Reading), Alison Butler (University of Reading) and Laura Mulvey



11.15 Introduction

11.30-12.30 Women’s filmmaking and national cinema

Chair: Laura Mulvey

Speakers: Jo Blair (programmer, Picturehouse), Karen Alexander (freelance curator and scholar), Holly Aylett (freelance researcher and scholar)

12:30-13:00 Discussion

1.00-2.00 Lunch

2:00-2:30 Screening Far and Near (Xiaolu Guo, 2003)

2.30-3.30 Provocations:

Mandy Merck (Royal Holloway): What draws women spectators today to explicit sex in films?

Alison Butler (University of Reading): Why are symposiums such as this still necessary today?

Rachel Garfield (University of Reading): Should women’s films challenge conventional cinema with an ‘alternative’ aesthetic?

3.30-4.30 Women’s filmmaking and authorship

Chair: Alison Butler

Speakers: Xiaolu Guo (filmmaker and writer), Angela Martin (independent scholar), Shelley Cobb (University of Southampton)

4:30 -5pm Discusssion

Onwards and Outwards is made possible with support from the BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery.



T : +44 797 212 9854
E : creative@reelangels.tv