About Reconciling Film Cultures Symposium

Join our panel of film scholars for a two-part discussion, with light refreshments provided.


  • Frances Bonner (Associate Professor and Reader in Television and Popular Culture, School of Communication and Arts, UQ)
  • Anne Demy Geroe (Director of Iranian Film Festival Australia - IFFA)
  • Jason Jacobs (Head of School and Professor in Film and Television Studies, School of Communication and Arts, UQ)
  • Mark Ryan (Senior Lecturer in Film, QUT)
  • Louise Sheedy (President and Program Manager, Melbourne Cinematheque)
  • Herman Van Eyken (Professor and Head of School, Griffith Film School)

FREE EVENT - 1:00-4:00pm, Monday 27th July, University of Queensland Art Museum

RSVP by emailing info@qldff.com (with dietary requirements)

From the early days of thinking and writing on film, distinctions have been made between a mainstream and an avant-garde cinema. Some films were public entertainments while others were fine art. These branches of cinema had differing obligations, were consumed in differing contexts, and appealed to differing audiences.   

However, film has always had a particular gift for upsetting such simplistic binaries. In 1938 Alistair Cooke attributed this trait to cinema’s “innate and impenitent democracy.”

The Hollywood studio system had its geniuses, and there was a genius to the system; crude grindhouse entertainments have been celebrated as “termite art”; and art films—individually and collectively—have had a strong foothold in the public imagination at various times.

The early 21st century presents new paradoxes: institutionalised film studies, online cinephilia, and digital distribution have meant that there has never been more abundant film discourse, or greater access to rich and varied cinema. But for all of this production and availability it can feel as though the divide between film cultures is growing.

Are we all retreating into film cultural niches, or is there hope for outreach, crossover, and conversation? Is reconciling film cultures possible? Is it even desirable?

This event is sponsored by the School of Communication and Arts at the University of Queensland 


UQ Art Museum, James and Emelia Mary Mayne Centre (#11)