This chapter addresses the Euro-American-centrism in the study of radical film cultures by examining cinematic and political practices in a non-Western context. It shifts radical film research’s traditional emphasis on class to an intersectional approach that recognises complex interplays between different identities, including gender, sexual, class and national identities. I suggest that sexuality has an important role to play in radical politics, and that queer film festivals are important sites for radical film cultures to develop. Indeed, while neoliberal capitalism and the nation state often exert a powerful influence on queer film cultures transnationally, not all queer film festivals are radical, broadly understood as democratic, egalitarian, anti-capitalist and anti-normativity in this context (Richards 2016, 2017). If many queer film festivals in the Global North are seen as middle-class-serving, lifestyle-oriented and consumption-driven and have thus lost their critical edge, queer film festivals in many parts of the Global South are still charged with creative energies and radical potentials exactly because of state illiberalism and neoliberal governance, as my study of the BJQFF hopes to demonstrate.
In this chapter, I first trace a brief genealogy of the BJQFF with a focus on changing festival venues in order to see how the festival uses ‘guerrilla tactics’ to fight government intervention and contest neoliberal capitalism. Following this, I examine the various names that the festival has used, as well as the organising strategies of the festival, including organising principles, audience engagement and film dissemination. To conclude the chapter, I consider the political implications of the BJQFF in a transnational context by linking radical film culture to postsocialist cultural politics. I argue that radical film cultures represented by the BJQFF help us appreciate the value of some ideas and practices from socialist histories in the neoliberal, postsocialist present.