Cine-Excess 15 CFP – Bodies as Bodies as Battlegrounds: Disruptive Sexualities in Cult Cinema 20th-24th October 2021

Date & Time:

20th October, 18:00


Streamed international conference and online screening season.


Cine-Excess 15 - Bodies as Battlegrounds: Disruptive Sexualities in Cult Cinema
20th - 24th October 2021
Streamed conference and online screening season, organised in Association with Birmingham City University.

Keynote Speakers:

Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
Deakin University
(Author of 1000 Women in Horror)
Dr Alison Peirse
University of Leeds
(Editor of Women Make Horror)

For its 15th annual edition, Cine Excess enters a new decade of the twenty-first century and considers the diverse history and growing hybridity of cult cinema and its representations. The focus of this year’s conference theme: Bodies as Battlegrounds: Disruptive Sexualities in Cult Cinema, considers the extent to which the struggle for inclusive representation by various marginalised groups is enacted through a variety of classic and contemporary cult film genres and their forms and technologies.

Keynote Alexandra Heller-Nicholas has written eight books on cult, horror, and exploitation cinema with a focus on gender politics. Her seminal publications include 1000 women in horror (BearManor Media, 2020) which maps women’s contributions to horror from 1895-2018. She has also published Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study (McFarland, 2011), which will celebrate its 10-year anniversary at Cine-Excess. In her keynote address, Alexandra will explore the revision of her book which now includes a new chapter on women directed rape-revenge films. Here, Alexandra rejects the idea that women-led rape-revenge narratives are purely a post #MeToo phenomenon.

Keynote Alison Peirse also considers women’s contributions to the horror genre. Alison’s multi award-winning edited collection ‘Women Make Horror: Filmmaking, Feminism, Genre’ (Rutgers University Press, 2021) has been praised for transforming the discourse on women-led horror. Building on this timely work, Alison’s keynote address considers female shape shifters in cult and horror cinema, with a specific focus on the disruptive werewolf archetype.

The focus on disruptive cults representations considered by both keynote speakers also informs this year’s call for papers, which will consider broader issues of gender diversity, sexuality, and representations of marginalised groups as intersections embodied by the cult image. Bodies as Battlegrounds: Disruptive Sexualities in Cult Cinema also explores a range of global cinema traditions, subversive filmmakers, and performers whose work can be understood as engaging with the socio-political struggle for inclusive representation. Further topics might also consider the work of classic and contemporary marginalised and Queer filmmakers, alongside those performers whose works offer social commentary with unconventional content, while issues of diaspora, race, disability, and mental health are other key topics that will be discussed by this year’s event.

Proposals are invited for individual papers or pre-constituted panels that consider cult film case-studies within a range of differing contexts that relate to this year’s theme. However, we would particularly welcome contributions that focus on the following areas:

  • Sexuality Re-Framed: New Interpretations of Disruptive Screen Identities
  • Feral in Female Form: Subversive Females and Animalistic Images
  • Distinctive Visions: New Interpretations of Radical Cult Filmmakers
  • Troubling the Nation-State: Disruptive Visions of America in Cult Cinema
  • Diverse Voices in Body Genre Cinema: Classic and Contemporary Case-Studies
  • The Other Reframed: The Role of Sexuality and Identity in Horror Remakes
  • Classic and Contemporary Visions of Queer Global Horror
  • Inclusion through Disruption: Disruptive Narratives in Educational and Pedagogic Practices
  • National Cinema, National Bodies: Problematising British Cinema Through Cult Genres
  • From Deviance to Diversity: Changing Struggles for Identity in Queer Cinema
  • Screening Diversity, Challenging Desire: Celluloid Sin, Digital Sex and Pornography
  • Margins Within Margins: LGBTQ+ Representations and Intimacies
  • Screening Rights and the Battle for Embodiment: Trans and Non-Binary Voices on Screen
  • From Transmedia to Transhuman: Divergent Bodies in Digital spaces
  • Fear in Folk: From Found Footage to Found Identities
  • Short, Sharp Shocks: Short Films as Radical Formats of the Self
  • Reconfiguring Violated Bodies: The Body as Battleground in Rape-Revenge
  • Cult Stars and Disruptive Performances
  • New Territories, Diverse Fears: Cult Film’s Indigenous Communities
  • Exhibition and Inclusivity: Industry Perspectives on Diverse Digital Channels

Over the past 15 years Cine-Excess has developed a reputation as an inclusive and safe space in which to present new work around global cult film cultures. We welcome submissions from emerging and established and scholars, activists, film makers and community groups.

Please send a 300-word abstract and a short (one page) C.V. by 23rd August 2021 to:

Amy Harris
Co-Director of Cine-Excess

Professor Xavier Mendik
Director of the Cine-Excess International Film Festival
Birmingham City University

A final listing of accepted presentations will be released on 27th August 2021.

Filmmakers wishing to submit short and/or feature-length films for consideration at Cine-Excess 15 should consult our Film Freeway page for further information:

For press enquires and guest updates about Cine-Excess 15 please contact:
Natasha Marburger
Co-Director of Cine-Excess