Doing Women’s Film and Television History VI: Changing Streams and Channels 

14 – 16 June 2023

University of Sussex, Brighton, UK

Doing Women’s Film and Television History is back in 2023! Join us at the University of Sussex for the 6th edition of this leading international conference on women’s film and television history.

Confirmed Keynotes:

  • Professor Sally Faulkner (University of Exeter)
  • Professor Terri Francis (University of Miami)

The sixth edition of the conference, will foreground the history of the distribution, marketing and promotion of women’s work and how this shapes its visibility, significance and impact on audiences and on the work of other women directors and producers. Our title references both the technologies of broadcast and digital distribution as well as evoking the flows between women’s work in different spaces, times and places. Our definition of ‘women’ is an inclusive one.

Starting with the festival-based events of the early 1970s – such as the first New York International Festival of Women’s Films, the Women’s Event at Edinburgh Film Festival, the Toronto Women and Film Festival, the Washington Women’s Film Festival, etc. – feminist filmmakers, scholars and critics have sought outlets for the production, distribution and exhibition of women’s work. Since then, initiatives and programmes that aim to foster women’s film and media production and showcase their work have spread more widely and more recent campaigns addressing the persisting gender inequalities within film and media industries around the world have been continuing this historical project of claiming space. We ask ‘How can these calls for a change in the structures that perpetuate the marginalisation and/or exclusion of women’s work from mainstream channels of cultural production, distribution and exhibition be informed by historical perspectives?’.

We are particularly interested in the work of female-identified and feminist programmers, commissioners, critics, distributors, festivals and archivists, exhibitors of various kinds in promoting and showcasing women’s work and making it available in specific periods and to future generations. We also suggest some emphasis on the way changing technologies, platforms and channels have been used by women or impacted women’s roles in production and distribution in cinema, television and media more generally and in historical comparisons of how this has happened at different moments.

This three-day conference welcomes a variety of international and intersectional perspectives relating to experiences and histories of working practices, and/or researching the work of women film/media practitioners and its circulation within and across cultural spaces.

Our call for papers is geared towards, but is not strictly limited to, historical perspectives on the following topics:

  • Intergenerational and transnational dialogues between filmmakers and programme producers, past and present
  • Archiving and preservation
  • Distribution and exhibition including new technologies and their impact on national production economies and initiatives and on access for new and diverse producers and audiences.
  • The impacts and limitations of gender/equality initiatives and projects past and present e.g., the F-rated campaign, ACTT/BECTU/BFI /Directors UK campaigns, class actions etc.
  • Intersectional approaches/challenges to the visibility of/in women’s work (class, race, ethnicity, sex, sexuality, disability, etc.)
  • The marketing and/or self-presentation of women directors, producers, actors and other personnel across time.
  • Educational programmes, curricula and the dissemination of women’s work – challenging canons and creating counter-histories.
  • Feminist filmmaking within and outside mainstream channels and currents.
  • Lesbian, bisexual, queer and trans women’s activism in media production, distribution and exhibition.
  • Intersectional ecofeminism and sustainability in film and media production, distribution and exhibition

Proposals for twenty-minute presentations must include the title of the presentation, a 250-word abstract and a brief biography of the author(s). Pre-constituted panels of three speakers may also be submitted, and should include a 250-word panel rationale statement, as well as individual abstracts.  We welcome practice-led contributions which address women’s histories in film, television and audio/visual media; for these please submit a 250-word description, running time, display requirements and links to a 5 minute excerpt and full work. If accepted, practice-led contributions may be presented as part of panels or as a limited number of separate sessions/screenings and/or made available to delegates online.

Please submit your proposals here:

Deadline for proposal submission: 14 January 2023

Please note the conference will be in person with some opportunities for remote participation.

Conference enquiries: