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  5. KuirFest Berlin 2019
May 2019

KuirFest Berlin 2019

Queer Feminist Rebels
Curated by Esma Akyel, Esra Özban and Pembe Hayat KuirFest / Pink Life QueerFest

Transgressing boundaries and (re)creating areas for transnational solidarity against the ‘indefinite ban’ on LGBTI+ events in Ankara, KuirFest Berlin presents a series of films, talks, performances and workshops in the programme Queer Feminist Rebels. Curated by Esra Özban and Esma Akyel from Pembe Hayat KuirFest, this year’s programme will gather documentary, fiction, shorts, web-series and experimental works by female, non-binary and trans filmmakers; the programme invites you to a rebellious engagement with dominant modes of filmmaking and mainstream LGBTI+ representations. Queer Feminist Rebels offers various areas of encounter with queer feminist counter-histories, time/space/gender bender narratives, queer feminist killjoys and/or joymakers.

Mainstream LGBTI+ cinema is highly dominated by cis-male filmmakers and actors, relaying cis-male narratives. Like in many other domains of life, female, non-binary and trans people are marginalised under heteropatriarchal social structures, where cis-men are firmly at the top of the hierarchy. Queer feminist filmmakers are rebelling against these established forces of oppression and power by reversing the norms and reconstructing queer existence on and off-screen. Through the KuirFest Berlin: Queer Feminist Rebels programme, we aim to gather films and filmmakers as well as activists to explore queer feminist perspectives of gender and sexuality in cinema and beyond. This programme gathers films that transgress the dominant modes of filmmaking and suggests a transitive and fluid understanding of time, space, identity and sexuality.

KuirFest Berlin offers a selection of convention-breaking films from recent productions on queer feminist cinema. The films will be followed by discussions with international guests, accompanied with workshops and parties.

Funded by Berliner Senat für Kultur and Europa and Hannchen-Mehrzweck-Stiftung.

Pembe Hayat KuirFest / Pink Life QueerFest, organized by Pembe Hayat LGBTI+ Solidarity Association, aims to open gender roles to discussion, to increase the visibility of LGBTI+ culture and their organizations, to create spaces of self expression and to attract attention to queer politics by making use of the high level of influence of arts; and provides dialogue spaces for the productions and discussions of queer art and queer cinema.

Esma Akyel graduated from the Media and Visual Studies programme of Bilkent University with their master thesis titled Repetition in Film Form: The Case of Kim Ki-duk. They worked as a social cohesion officer in SGDD-ASAM, an association for supporting refugees in Turkey. Esma now works as the festival coordinator of Pembe Hayat KuirFest. They are also a member of Dramaqueer Art Collective.

Esra Özban after graduating from Economics at Bogazici University, continued graduate studies at Goldsmiths, University of London in Film and Screen Studies MA programme. Esra Özban is the festival director and has worked as a programmer & coordinator at Pembe Hayat KuirFest since 2014. Esra also taught film-related courses at Bilkent and TED Universities and is a member of Atina Collective.



Lizzie Borden, USA 1983, 90 Min., OV with English subs


Sydney Freeland, USA 2016, 60 Min., OV with English subs


Ulaş Dutlu, Turkey 2014, 60 Min., OV with English subs


Soda _Jerk, Australia 2018, 54 Min., OV with English subs