A different gaze

The Festival promotes independent lesbian and feminist cinema of the whole world realized and produced by female directors. Every year lesbian and feminist production becomes more remarkable and rich in its contents: it offers both a self-representation -how lesbians see other lesbians- and a lesbian point of view on the world. The Festival rejects the clichés continuously spread by heterosexual cinema about the lesbian subject in films such as Butterfly Kiss, Heavenly Creatures, Gazon Maudit, etc. The main elements, varyingly mixed, of such representations, are mental illness and/or homicidal compulsion, a congenital renunciation to sexuality that leads to sublimation, or the undertaking of male attitudes and behaviours. As a consequence, the reactions of the heterosexual audience to such images swing from horror to compassion, to derision or, at the best, to chilly empathy. How could it be different? Lesbians get out from the cinema feeling humiliated or angry. It is quite obvious that experiences of difference should be represented directly by subjects who experience such difference in their lives: macrocultural transformations are always produced by the growth of identity and influence of minorities.

We dedicate Immaginaria to all the lesbians who are free and against every kind of oppression.


Visibilia, Lesbian Cultural Association

IMMAGINARIA, the "International Women's Film Festival - REBELS, LESBIAN, ECCENTRICS" has been organised since 1993 by VISIBILIA, the Lesbian-Feminist Cultural Association founded in Bologna in 1989, and numbering several hundred members all over Italy. The Festival team is composed by women coming from the whole country and providing their work and professional experience for free.

IMMAGINARIA is a self-financed festival with additional grants by local and national bodies.

The Festival presents documentaries, fiction, experimental and animation films and videos, directed by women, with lesbian and/or feminist contents. For the selection, the Festival considers only features which have never been publicly screened in Italy. For information please contact the Festival Office by e-mail.
Entry Form for submission to the next IMMAGINARIA edition is also available on-line.

The Festival assigns 4 awards:

IMMAGINARIA takes place every year in Bologna in the last week of February in a centrally-located cinema. In the cinema are also available an area for visual arts exhibition and book library, computer points and info desks for information on independent lesbian cinema production, real time display of information and data concerning the Festival and a comfortable and pleasant lounge and cafeteria area. Besides women coming from all over Italy and abroad, the Festival audience include field operators, delegations from other Festivals in the world, representatives of Italian and European lesbian associations, representatives of national and foreign specialised press.

Immaginaria pursues three main goals: making lesbian and feminist cinema known in Italy, where it still lacks suitable distribution channels; overcoming prejudice and making institutions understand and realise the cultural importance and value of lesbian and feminist cinema production; presenting the best examples of independent lesbian and feminist cinema production to large cinema and TV distribution companies.

Last Update 18 of May 2005