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‘Dykes, Camera, Action!’ Documentary Explores the History of Queer Cinema

A history of queen cinema from the women who made it happen is set to be explored in a riveting new documentary that will premiere at this year’s Raindance Fim Festival.

‘Dykes, Camera, Action!’ is a feature-length documentary covering the history of queer cinema from the early days as a marginalized sub-culture, to the 1990s which saw the rise of New Queer Cinema, up to the present.

Examining the ways that women directors have impacted the genre and how media plays into the representation of sexuality and gender, the film is told without narration allowing the filmmakers tell their own stories, blending personal experiences with a narrative about the evolution of lesbian cinema.

Related: The Celluloid Closet: A Brief History of Queer Cinema

Through compelling and intimate interviews intertwined with archive footage and film clips, ‘Dykes, Camera, Action!’ is a film that attendees of the Raindance Festival won’t want to miss out on.

Filmmakers Barbara Hammer, Su Friedrich, Rose Troche, Cheryl Dunye, Yoruba Richen, Desiree Akhavan, Vicky Du, film critic B. Ruby Rich, Jenni Olson, and others share moving and often hilarious stories from their lives and discuss how they’ve expressed queer identity through film and particularly represented the community at a time when representation was very minimal.

Photo credit: Caroline Berler

Director Caroline Berler said that the film stemmed from a conversation she had with filmmaker Rose Troche, most notably known as a co-executive producer and writer on ‘The L Word’, and from learning about her contributions to queer cinema. “After the night, I asked Rose if I might interview her about her life, career and her experiences as an LGBTQ activist.

As soon as Rose and I started talking I knew there was a whole other side to the films that I loved so much growing up: the women behind the camera. I knew I had found the perfect film to make. From there I continued to find more of the amazing filmmakers who contributed to this history, and the film took on a life of its own.

I’ve been thrilled to discover how enthusiastically audiences respond to these women directors and their unique sensibilities, stories and ways of seeing. There aren’t enough films directed be women. Lastly, Dykes, Camera, Action! celebrates the power of film, with its ability to make us laugh, cry, transports us through storytelling and to inspire action.

‘Dykes, Camera, Action!’ will screen at the Raindance Film Festival in London on the 3rd and 5th October – tickets are available here. The screening of the film on the 5th is hosted by DIVA Magazine and will be followed by a Q&A with Caroline Berler.

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