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Dykes, Camera, Action! & Talk Utrecht University (sold out)

September 7, 2023 @ 20:30 22:30

Caroline Berler is a documentary director and editor based in New York City. Dykes, Camera, Action! is her first feature-length film. The idea for the documentary came to her after interviewing Rose Troche, who directed Go Fish and The L Word, had a role in the making of other queer television content, and whose work had a significant role in Berler’s own gay awakening.

Even at the time of making this documentary, representation of lesbian and queer women in cinema was still overwhelmingly invisible, compared to the representation of the ‘G’ in Hollywood. And so, after her accidental interview with Troche, she realized that for her film project she wanted to focus on these works of cinema that did center around queer women and offered solace to a whole generation of lesbian women who had to search hard for representation on the screen, as well as on the women who created these important pioneering films.

In a response to films like The Celluloid Closet and Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema — films that focused on the depiction of LGBTQ+ people in cinema — Dykes, Camera, Action! focusses on works and makers that thus far barely received recognition as landmarks in lesbian cinema.

Rosa Oomen, QFFU

This program is organised together with Program agency of Utrecht University.

After the movie there will be a talk about the visibility and representation of LGBTQ+ people in Hollywood and the New Queer Cinema movement. More information under the tab Side program.

This program is part of the retrospective Going Underground – An Introduction to New Queer Cinema. Film critic and scholar B. Ruby Rich was the first one to coin the term New Queer Cinema (NQC) to describe a wave of independent queer films made by queer directors from the early 80s to the mid 90s. These filmmakers explored issues such as race, class and gender identity within the LGBTQ+ community. With this program we want to give you a small taste of this groundbreaking cinematic movement. Come explore a collection of underground, experimental and rebellious queer cinema treasures that you rarely experience on the big screen.



Lesbians didn’t always get to see themselves on screen. But between Stonewall, the feminist movement, and the experimental cinema of the 1970s, they built visibility, and transformed the social imagination about queerness. Filmmakers Barbara Hammer, Su Friedrich, Rose Troche, Cheryl Dunye, Yoruba Richen, Desiree Akhavan, Vicky Du, film critic B. Ruby Rich, Jenni Olson, and others share moving and often hilarious stories from their lives and discuss how they’ve expressed queer identity through film.

Film Facts

Original language title: Dykes, Camera, Action!

Directed by: Caroline Berler

Year: 2018

Country: USA

Running time: 61 mins

Genre: Documentary

Language: English

Subtitles: English


  • L.A. Outfest 2019 Winner: Audience Award for Best Documentary Film
  • L.A. Outfest 2018 Winner: Special Programming Committee Award for Outstanding Emerging Talent

Content warning: Discussions and depictions of racism and homophobia

Side program

After the film, we will engage in a conversation with film scholar Laura Copier, currently a lecturer in the Master’s program in Film & Television Cultures at Utrecht University. Laura has watched the underground lesbian drama High Art (Lisa Cholodenko, 1998) an impressive twelve (!) times in the cinema and is the ideal discussion partner when it comes to queer film, with a critical perspective. This also applies to the documentary Dykes, Camera, Action! We will discuss the New Queer Cinema movement, the importance of representation within the LGBTQ+ community, the development and commercialization of queer film, but most importantly, we will share our love for (queer) cinema..

Villa Concordia

Concordiastraat 67A
Utrecht, Utrecht 3551 EM Nederland
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