2017 — Tolpuddle.

13-14 July

The Radical Film Network Conference 2017 – Tolpuddle will take place from 14.00 on Thursday 13th July – 14.00 on Saturday 15th July at the Tolpuddle Festival, UK.  The conference will run alongside the Tolpuddle Radical Film Festival

The conference working group is currently inviting proposals for participation from researchers, filmmakers and moving image artists, exhibitors, cultural workers, and activists involved in radical film culture. Please download the call for proposals here

2017 — New York City.

3-6 May

In advance of the Sixth Annual Workers Unite! Film Festival (2017), an international group of activists, artists, makers, distributors, exhibitors and academics will gather in New York City to discuss the future of politically-engaged, aesthetically innovative film culture around the world.To find out more information about the conference or to register, please visit the event’s Eventbrite page at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/radical-film-network-nyc-a-global-gathering-tickets-30347960567.

The conference is the third of four events in the ‘Sustaining Alternative Film Cultures’ project (2015-17), a two-year research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK. More information about ‘Sustaining Alternative Film Cultures’ is available on the ‘Projects‘ tab.

2016 — Glasgow.

April 29th – May 2nd

Over the 2016 May Day holiday weekend (29 April to 2 May), Glasgow played host to the Radical Film Network Festival and Unconference. The event comprised an ‘unconference’ – a radical re-working of the conventional academic conference hosted by the University of Glasgow, and a major film festival. Together, the Unconference and Film Festival comprised the largest radical film event in Scottish history, and resulted in the formation of a new part of the network: RFN Scotland. You can download the event programme here: RFN Scotland Events Programme.

2015 — Birmingham.

February 7th – 8th

The inaugural conference of the Radical Film Network took place in Birmingham on 7-8 February 2015. The conference was the first opportunity for all those involved in the RFN to share and discuss their work at length and explore how the network could support it in the future.

The details:

‘Political Cinema for the 21st Century’ was the inaugural conference of the Radical Film Network (RFN), and was the first opportunity for those involved with the network to discuss their work and explore how the network should develop.

In addition to the main conference activities at BCU, Birmingham-based RFN affiliates and conference partners, Vivid Projects, hosted an exhibition and wine reception for conference delegates on Saturday 7th.

Panel discussions:

Structure & Sustainability

Chris Jury
Bath Spa University
‘Report from the Fourth Annual Global Labor Film Festival Organizers’ Conference in Washington D.C’

Reuben Irving
University of Worcester
‘Non-Hierarchical Self-Governing Consensus. How Can it Work for the RFN?’

Chair: Steve Presence

Lessons from the Past

Julia Knight
University of Sunderland
‘Finding Financial Sustainability in Radical Film Culture: Lessons from the Past and the Case of The Other Cinema’

Eamonn Kelly
University of South Wales
‘Institute of Race Relations/Channel 4’s Struggles for Black Community: Representing Race in the 1980s’

Terry Flaxton
University of the West of England
‘An Examination of the Waves of Technology that Affect Radical Aesthetics and Radical Politics’

Robin McPherson
Napier University
‘Peripheral Visions: Combined and Uneven Development in Scottish Radical Film’

Chair: Dima Saber Birmingham City University

Theory & Practice

Clive Myers
Lynda Myer-Bennett
Eclectic Films
‘Theory and Practice: a Case-Study of The Orchard’

Jan Worth
‘Rethinking “Radical”: Breaking the Theory/Practice Divide’

Richard Bickle
UK Society for Co-operative Studies

Sue Letts
Birmingham Film Co-operative
‘The Co-operative Movement: Principles and Practice’

Sarah Redman
Manchester Film Co-op
John Cooper
Birmingham Film Co-op
‘Film for a Fairer World: Manchester Film Co-op and Birmingham Film Co-op’

Chair: Elizabeth Mizon Bristol Radical Film Festival

Case Studies in Radical Film

Dima Saber
Birmingham City University
Michelle Aaron
University of Birmingham
‘On Screen Off Record: Civil War, Political Filmmaking and Ethical Practice’

Jamal Bahmad
University of Leeds
‘Toward a Radical Cinema in Morocco? Independent Filmmaking after the Arab Spring’

Shaun Dey
Reel News
‘Reel News: Video-Activism for the Trade Union Movement and Beyond’

Sam Wild
Independent Filmmaker and teacher
‘Hong Kong: Out of the Shadows’

Chair: John Mercer Birmingham City University

Festivals & Audiences

Elena Boschi
Liverpool Hope University
‘Film, Interrupted: Radical Film Experiences In and Out of the Cinema’

David Owen
Bristol Palestine Film Festival
‘Who is Radical Film For?’

Elizabeth Mizon
Bristol Radical Film Festival
‘Increasing Audiences of Radical Media’

Anthony Killick
Edge Hill University
‘Film Festivals and Counter Hegemony’

Chair: Sarah Sparke UWE

Aesthetics & Politics

Jeremy Spencer
Camberwell College of Art
‘Aesthetics and Politics within Godard’s Cinema’

Ed Webb-Ingall
Royal Holloway, University of London
‘Watching Political Films, Watching Films Politically: The Trigger Film Then and Now’

Nicolas Helm-Grovas
Royal Holloway, University of London
‘Peter Wollen: A Radical Critic in the Early 1970s’

Sarah Hamblin
University of Massachusetts, Boston
‘Cinétracts: Then and Now’

Chair: Sylvia Harvey

Conceptual & Political Approaches

James Newton
University of Kent
‘The Anarchist Cinema’

Clive Nwonka
Lecturer in Film, unaffiliated
‘New Labour and the End of British Social Realism’

Ken Fero
Coventry University
‘Cinematic for the People’

Sharon Hooper
Leeds College of Art
‘Feminist Strategies for Documentary Film’

Chair: Mandy Rose


The conference will be held at the Parkside Building of Birmingham City University’s City Centre Campus.

Maps, directions and more information are available on BCU’s website.