Photo courtesy of critical communication and media studies and film studies programs.
GIANNA CASSIN | STAFF REPORTER | email@example.com
Queer representation in media is hard to come by. When it is found, the representation can often be minimal, offensive or stereotypical.
Butler’s critical communication and media studies and film studies programs will be hosting a week-long Queer Film Festival from Oct. 25 to Oct. 27 in order to represent more stories to the Butler community. The festival begins with a showing at the Kan-Kan Cinema, where admission is free with a Butler ID. The festival also includes two more showings on campus and a discussion with Dr. Shoniqua Roach, the next guest for The Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement’s Visiting Black Intellectuals Series, about one of the films. This festival aims to take an intersectional approach to queer stories. The festival aims to showcase the growing interest in queer film studies.
Dr. Ann Savage, a professor of critical communication and media studies, currently teaches a queering film class and is the lead organizer of the Queer Film Festival.
“President Danko had grants that people could apply for to bring diversity to the community,” Savage said. “This is about queer visibility. It’s not like I’m showing normative films. [In the festival,] I make sure that we watch a lot of different racial and ethnic representation because queer film and media is dominated by white people. I made a point to represent as much diversity as I can.”
Anna Marcou, a senior English and critical communications and media studies double major, is planning on attending the festival for two of their film classes. Regardless of going for class, they are also passionate about watching and analyzing queer films.
“I feel like there have only been a handful of queer films that have made it into the mainstream and been talked about,” Marcou said. “There’s a whole world out there of queer films that may not have big Hollywood budgets, but are still worthy of being discussed as art.”
Evan Sumner, a sophomore psychology major, is also attending for one of his film classes.
“I think exposure is a big thing,” Sumner said. “All of the films are dealing with several different topics that need more exposure. In general, I think it’s a really good opportunity to show lives that aren’t exposed to [Butler] students that you can learn from and understand people more.”
This festival aims to show Butler community members more positive queer media representation. These stories may contain narratives that people are not often exposed to, but are nonetheless important in order for students to be exposed to more than one kind of story.
Queer history in film is being discussed more. “Disclosure,” a 2020 documentary about Hollywood’s depiction of transgender folks and how those depictions impact transgender people, is an example of this. Concurrently, a docuseries is airing on Amazon Prime Video, Youtube TV and Roku. “Queer for Fear: The History of Queer Horror” aims to discuss the history of queer representation specifically in horror.
In the first of four episodes, the creators of the docuseries mention how both the horror genre and queer people are considered “outside of society.” The series demonstrates how queer people may be more drawn to horror because the monsters in these films is often how society sees them.
More types of queer representation are being shown in films today. Without queer representation in media, queer people would be left with no one on the screen who is similar to them. It is important that queer films focus on a variety of intersectional experiences, which the film festival aims to portray in order to expose Butler students to different stories.
The schedule of events for the festival is below.
Tuesday, Oct. 25th
7:30 p.m. at Kan-Kan Cinema
Wednesday, Oct. 26th
6:00 p.m. at Jordan Hall 141
Thursday, Oct. 27th
4:00 p.m. at Jordan Hall 141
7:00 p.m. at Eidson-Duckwall Robertson Hall
Unpacking “Pariah” — Dr. Shoniqua Roach
BCR — Visiting Black Intellectual Series