CFP Family in Film, Deadline for Abstracts: Dec. 1

full name / name of organization: 
Jana Toppe / Jura Gentium Cinema
contact email: 

Leo Tolstoy opens his masterpiece Anna Karenina with the sentence "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
The family, a key structure to society, is a unit so basic that we hardly give it any thought. Yet its composite is always changing, and with it its depiction in the arts.
Leaving the biological factor of consanguinity aside, families are social institutions that aid in the socialization of children, and literally offer a home and solidarity to its members. Family life already differs by class as well as different religious or ethnic backgrounds.

The family ideal has changed greatly over the past decades, with divorce rates and alternative family types emerging and gaining acceptance. Social scientists have voiced concern at all times regarding the future of the family as a nurturing institution as well as the socialization and mental health of children. Political and economic developments (e.g. layoffs, depression) place a great burden upon families, forcing them to choose between economic stability and fulltime child care.

Families have been a central topic to film due to their pivotal role in all our lives. Be it the ironically dysfunctional Addams family, the fighting divorcees in Kramer vs. Kramer or the prosocial ties that bind in a recent film such as Grown Ups.
For the dossier "The ties that bind – the socio-politics of family", Jura Gentium Cinema is seeking submissions that focus especially on (but are not limited to)

- Comparing and contrasting different cultural depictions of family with the 'classical' model

- Genres and their concept of family

- Vertical changes: how has the image of family changed across on specific genre?

- Financial hardship and families (depictions of families in troubled areas)

- Criminal activity and functioning family values (The Sopranos, The Godfather)

Especially socio-political, cross-/intercultural analyses are welcome, explaining the different family structures within different cinema.

Final drafts should not exceed 5500 words. Abstracts are due by December 1, and can be submitted to Jana Toppe,