Feminale und femme totale revisited – the first two women's film festivals in Germany
Discussion with the founders of the Feminale in Cologne (1984), Regina Eichen and Karin Jurschick, and femme totale in Dortmund (1987), Petra Cornelissen and Silke J. Räbiger
Moderated by Borjana Gaković
The two first German women’s film festivals were both established in North Rhine-Westphalia – far from the (West German) cultural centres at the time. Yet their structure and objectives are different: whereas from the beginning, femme totale focused on actively questioning historical feminist debates and brought together different generations of film women both on-screen and in the discussion room, the Feminale concentrated on making what was new visible – on current film experiments. We want to discuss these developments and the respective orientations with the founders of both these festivals and find out the differing motivations and situations that brought them about. We also want to discuss issues that are relevant for the future of women’s film work: What did "feminist film work" mean then, and what does it mean now? How can we adequately classify what we do? How does this appear to the outside and to the inside, to our own community? How can institutionalisation and volunteer or activist work be brought together productively? How do we adequately historicize, archive and preserve our own work? And what can we learn today from past experiences for the future?