Teaching Women’s Filmmaking

Online Conference, 16-17 April 2021

Department of Film and Television, Istanbul Bilgi University

KEYNOTE:​ Scholar & video essayist Catherine Grant


Zoom Session I - Zoom Session II - Zoom Session III - Zoom Session IV

You can check the conference program below or download a one-page version here.

Keynote Lecture

Making Nearby: On teaching and unlearning women’s filmmaking through the audiovisual essay



Friday, 16 April
[14:45 – 18:30 Zoom Session I, 18:30 Zoom Session II]


14:45 - 15:00

WELCOME: Aslı Tunç, Istanbul Bilgi University

15:00 – 15:50


Moderator: Ebru Çiğdem Thwaites Diken

  • Gina Marchetti, “#MeToo and Film School in the PRC: Yang Mingming’s Female Directors (2012) and Girls Always Happy (2018)”
  • Thomas Leitch, “A Chorus of Silences: Teaching Women’s Cinema in the Context of Other Marginalized Cinemas”
  • Ekin Pınar, “The Place of Women’s Filmmaking in an Interdisciplinary Architecture Curriculum”
  • Selen Kılınç, “Teaching as Performance: Yvonne Rainer and 'Trio A'”

16:00 – 16:50


Moderator: Diğdem Sezen

  • Maria Juko, “Adapting 19th Century Texts for the 21st Century Feminist Audience: Greta Gerwig’s Little Women and Autumn de Wilde’s Emma
  • Leonie Gschwendtberger, “The (Un)Teachable Film Praxis of Trinh T. Minh-ha”
  • Nayibe Bermúdez, “Auteur Politics and Immaterial Labour in Lucrecia Martel’s Zama (2017)”

17:00 – 17:50


Moderator: Feride Çiçekoğlu

  • Szilvia Ruszev, “Flashing Pain: Cinematic Articulation and Compassionate Gaze”
  • Kiki Loveday,”The Archive in my Closet”
  • Katie Bird, “young (women) filmmaker(s)” (video essay)

18:00 – 18:30





Catherine Grant, “Making nearby? On teaching and unlearning women’s filmmaking through the audiovisual essay”

Moderator: Colleen Kennedy-Karpat


Saturday, 17 April
[14:45 – 18:30 Zoom Session III, 18:30 Zoom Session IV]


14:45 – 15:00

SUM-UP OF THE FIRST DAY: Colleen Kennedy-Karpat

15:00 – 15:50


Moderator: Şirin Fulya Erensoy

  • Lorena Cervera, “A Film by Cine Mujer: A Video Essay” (video essay)
  • Jolene Mairs Dyer, “Kim Longinotto: Theorizing the Female Gaze in Relation to Intersubjectivity and the Auteur in Documentary Practice”
  • Esra Yıldız, “Remembering Through Films: Women Documentary Directors in Search of Lost Past”

16:00 – 16:50


Moderator: Kate Ince

  • Estrella Sendra Fernández, “Film As Sound Art: Embracing Love through Extradiegetic Sound in Nadine Labaki’s Caramel(video essay)
  • Katerina Papakyriakopoulou, “Social Realism and the Female Gaze in Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank
  • Ipek Altun, “A Life Cycle Becoming Purified: No Home Movie (2015)”

  • Evaguelia Diamantopoulou, “Issues of Presence and Absence of the Female Figure in the Artistic and Filmic Portrait”

17:00 – 17:50


Moderator: Nadine Boljkovac

  • Colleen A. Laird, “Shifting the Syllabus: Reframing the Masculine Narrative in Japanese Cinema Classrooms”
  • José Duarte, “Tales of Alienation: Teaching Teresa Villaverde’s Films”
  • M. Mert Örsler, “Bilge Olgaç: A Turkish Political Filmmaker”
  • Swapna Gopinath & Neha Jindal, “Perceiving Patriarchal Forbearings of Filmmaking in the Indian Film Industry: Contextualizing Zoya Akhtar’s Dil Dhadakne Do

18:00 – 18:30




ROUNDTABLE: Teaching Agnès Varda

CHAIR: Sandy Flitterman-Lewis

  • Libertad Gills, “Walking or Weeping” (video essay)
  • Kate Ince
  • Jenny Chamarette
  • Nadine Boljkovac
  • Alan Williams
  • Feride Çiçekoğlu
  • Colleen Kennedy-Karpat

Video Essays

Lorena Cervera, “A Film by Cine Mujer: A Video Essay”

Estrella Sendra Fernández, “Film As Sound Art: Embracing Love through Extradiegetic Sound in Nadine Labaki’s Caramel”

Libertad Gills, “Walking or Weeping”

Organizing Committee

  • Feride Çiçekoğlu, Istanbul Bilgi University
  • Colleen Kennedy-Karpat, Bilkent University
  • Diğdem Sezen, Teesside University
  • Şirin Fulya Erensoy, Istanbul Bilgi University
  • Ebru Çiğdem Thwaites Diken, Istanbul Bilgi University
  • Kate Ince, University of Birmingham
  • Nadine Boljkovac, Independent Scholar
  • Special Advisor: Sandy Flitterman-Lewis, Rutgers University

Call For Submissions

This virtual conference marks Istanbul Bilgi University’s third annual event dedicated to women and media, following the conference Female Agency and Subjectivity in Film and Television in April 2019, with a book from Palgrave Macmillan published in November 2020 and the March 2020 virtual conference Gender Equality and Sustainability: Agnès Varda’s Sustaining Legacy, with proceedings forthcoming from Bloomsbury (2021): The Sustainable Legacy of Agnès Varda: Feminist Practice and Pedagogy in Cinema and Visual Arts.

This year’s focus blends scholarship with pedagogy. We seek contributions from scholars and teachers around the world that explore strategies, best practices, and past experiences when using films made by women in the classroom and when navigating women’s careers in cinema through teaching and research.

The two-day event will be split between two forms of scholarship: one day will be dedicated to traditional academic papers and roundtables; the other to audiovisual criticism. Individual paper presentations will be limited to 10 minutes. We will also consider pre-constituted, 30-minute roundtable discussions with 3-5 designated participants. Written contributions based on papers and roundtables will be considered for inclusion in published proceedings, whose format will be finalized after the conference.

For the video essay component, our goal is to challenge both established and emerging video essayists to devote their critical energies to audiovisual scholarship on women’s filmmaking. These video essays can focus on any aspect of women’s filmmaking, past or present. The conference presentation will consist of up to 10 minutes for screening the work (an excerpt may be selected if the full video essay exceeds this limit), followed by 10 minutes of commentary from the creator. We will consider audiovisual material that has already circulated online (e.g., posted to video sharing sites), but which was posted no more than two years prior to submission. The submitted work must not have been curated by any academic publications. Formal curation/publication for video essays may be offered after the conference to selected contributions.

The committee is pleased to welcome scholar and audiovisual essayist Catherine Grant as the featured keynote speaker for the two-day conference.

Possible topics for papers, roundtables, and/or video essays include

  • Teachable cinematic moments
  • (Un)teachable women’s films
  • Theorizing the female gaze
  • Women’s cinema and the film studies curriculum
  • Women’s cinema and production training
  • Gender in the filmmaking & screen studies classroom
  • Screenwriting and women’s filmmaking/television
  • Genre and women’s filmmaking
  • Women as documentary filmmakers
  • Women and essay/experimental film
  • Women in film/TV history
  • Stardom in women’s media
  • Gender and sexuality in women’s media
  • Women’s filmmaking and national cinema(s)
  • Women in transnational screen industries
  • Women filmmakers and the canon
  • Women’s films and the archive(s)
  • Auteurism and women filmmakers
  • In memoriam: Chantal Akerman, Agnès Varda, Barbara Hammer, Penny Marshall, Bilge Olgaç, inter alia

Submission Requirements

Please direct all inquiries and submissions to Nilüfer Neslihan Arslan (nilufer.arslan@bilgi.edu.tr) no later than February 1, 2021. Participants will be notified of acceptance by March 1, 2021. Presentation scheduling will respect each participant’s time zone to the best of our ability.

  • A traditional paper proposal must include a 300-500 word abstract, a bibliography with up to 5 entries, and a brief author bio.
  • Roundtable panel proposals must include a ~500 word abstract describing the goal of the panel, a bibliography with up to 10 entries, and bios and contact information for each of the 3-5 participants. Please indicate clearly in the proposal which panelist is the primary correspondent.
  • Video essay submissions must propose a work completed no earlier than January 2019. Proposals must include a link to the complete video essay (with password if access is restricted), an abstract, a bibliography/videography that cites the works included in the video essay and related scholarship, as well as a brief creator bio.