Contemporary Radical Film Culture: Networks, Organisations and Activists, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Contemporary Radical Film Culture

Networks, Organisations and Activists, 1st Edition

Edited by Steve Presence, Mike Wayne, Jack Newsinger


288 pages | 13 B/W Illus.

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Comprised of essays from some of the leading scholars and practitioners in the field, thisis the first book to investigate 21st-century radical film practices across production, distribution and exhibition at a global level.

This book explores global radical film culture in all its geographic, political and aesthetic diversity. It is inspired by the work of the Radical Film Network (RFN), an organisation established in 2013 to support the growth and sustainability of politically-engaged film culture around the world. Since then, the RFN has grown rapidly, and now consists of almost two hundred organisations across four continents, from artists’ studios and production collectives to archives, distributors and film festivals. With this foundation, the book engages with contemporary radical film cultures in Africa, Asia, China, Europe, the Middle East as well as North and South America, and connects key historical moments and traditions with the present day. Topics covered include artists’ film and video, curation, documentary, feminist and queer film cultures, film festivals and screening practices, network-building, policy interventions and video-activism.

For students, researchers and practitioners, this fascinating and wide-ranging book sheds new light on the political potential of the moving image and represents the activists and organisations pushing radical film forward in new and exciting directions.


For more information about the Radical Film Network, visit

Table of Contents


Part I: Issues in Radical Film Culture, Past and Present

  1. ‘"Admin will make or break the rebellion": Building the Radical Film Network’ Steve Presence
  2. ‘Imagining change: A history of radical film in the USA’ Chuck Kleinhans
  3. ‘Feminist documentary: Distribution, exhibition and interactive platforms’ Julia Lesage
  4. ‘Video activism on the social web’ Jens Eder and Chris Tedjasukmana
  5. ‘TV interventions: Artists, activists and alternative media’ Ieuan Franklin
  6. Part II: Interventions in practice and politics

  7. ‘Spaces of the possible: Developing the Radical Film Network in Scotland’ David Archibald
  8. Ciutat Morta: agency, ICTs and critical urban documentary in the Spanish context’ Ana Rodriguez
  9. ‘The practice and politics of radical documentary circulation: A case-study of tactical media in India’ Shweta Kishore
  10. ‘Activist filmmaking in Africa, with a focus on Cameroonian Jean-Marie Teno’ Mette Hjort
  11. ‘Radical cinema in Israel and Palestine after Oslo: Unrealistic hopes and unwarranted expectations’ Haim Bresheeth
  12. ‘Scratch video revisited’ Nick Cope
  13. ‘A funny thing happened on the way to utopia - The Workshop Declaration (1982-1989)’ Andy Robson
  14. Part III: Festivals and Exhibition

  15. ‘Film, interrupted: Alternative screening practices for a radical film culture’ Elena Boschi
  16. ‘Re-thinking human rights film festivals: A radical perspective’ Anthony Killick
  17. ‘Frames of counterpower: The politics of film programming’ Ezra Winton
  18. ‘‘‘Communist international of queer films": The radical culture of the Beijing Queer Film Festival’ Hongwei Bao
  19. ‘Star and Shadow Cinema and before: Radical screening culture in Newcastle upon Tyne’ Christo Wallers

Part IV: Interviews

18. ‘Artists’ moving image’ Oliver Ressler interviewed by Mike Wayne

19. ‘European feature docs’ Moviemienta/Aris Chatzistefanou interviewed by Jack Newsinger, Steve Presence and Mike Wayne

20. ‘Video-activism’ Reel News/Sean Dey interviewed by Eamonn Kelly

21. ‘Community access’ Echo Park Film Center/Paolo Davanzo and Lisa Marr interviewed by Steve Presence

22. ‘"We need critical magazine, debates, spaces!" Third cinema in Morocco’ Nadir Boumouch interviewed by Steve Presence

About the Editors

Steve Presence is a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at UWE Bristol. He is the convenor of the Radical Film Network, and his research spans activist film culture, documentary and the UK film and television industries.

Mike Wayne is a Professor in Film and Media Studies at Brunel University. His research covers radical film practices, media and cultural studies, Marxist theory and questions of class inequality and its cultural impacts.

Jack Newsinger is Assistant Professor in Cultural Industries and Media at the University of Nottingham, UK. He has published widely on cultural and media policy, cultural labour and diversity, and been involved in the Radical Film Network since 2015.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies