Trespassing Journal

Introduction: Trespassing Borders/ Border Crossings

Jamie Steele


In 2012, filmmakers Jonathan Millet and Loïcs H. Rechi produced the feature length documentary, Ceuta, douce prison/ Ceuta, Prison By The Sea. Unfolding in the Spanish enclave that borders Morocco, it operates as an interstitial location between Europe and Africa – the last stopping point en route to mainland Europe. As the French newspaper Le Monde noted in their review of the documentary,

this little parcel of land, not far from Tangiers [Morocco] on the strait of Gibraltar, is surrounded by barbed wire; its beaches are under surveillance and patrolled by armed police. Getting in there is a challenge, but it is not the end result, since the Europe it represents is not within the Schengen zone (Régnier).

This neat summary of the documentary highlights the political importance and relevance of borders in the contemporary context, outlining the forms of exclusion that can be couched within their construction. Ceuta, douce prisonfollows the plight and struggles of at least five people from diverse backgrounds (primarily from unspecified countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and in India) as they reside in the CETI centre (Centro de Estancia Temporal de Inmigrantes) for refugees and migrants who are striving to reach mainland Europe.[1]As the title of the documentary suggests, the Spanish enclave operates as an ‘open-air prison’ (Vincent 118), with indeterminable futures - as encapsulated by Iqbal’s discussion with the authorities around no maximum ‘terms’ in Ceuta - and vague hopes of making it to what they refer to as the Iberian ‘peninsula’. The title hints at Ceuta’s past as a ‘city-prison (presido)’ (Ferrer-Gallardo and Albet-Mas 528). Contextually, Ceuta operates as ‘a limbo-like space: a transitional zone, a threshold or midway territory between two different borders, where the migrants’ trajectories towards the “European-EU” are spatially and temporally suspended’ (Ibid.). The documentary’s references to physical borders are not perfunctory, but immediate and ever-present – focusing on the semantic vocabulary of barbed-wire fences around Ceuta and the sea as the barriers enclosing the individuals within Ceuta and preventing them from leaving. One of the individuals that the documentary briefly follows, Fatiga, appositely summarises their struggle in Ceuta, by stating that they want to get to Europe ‘but not this typeof Europe’ (emphasis added) – where they are still not afforded the freedom of movement and the possibility of social mobility. All of the refugees in the documentary are depicted trying to create their own economy, their own positions and roles in Ceuta, working in clandestine jobs of helping with the grocery shopping, offering car washes, and help with parking.

In further discussions, whilst gazing out towards the Mediterranean Sea with the port lights of Algeciras and the rock of Gibraltar (Figure 1.1), Bouba outlines that ‘they believe that when you are in Europe, you have arrived; but it is the opposite.’ Abderrezak argues that ‘[t]he Mediterranean Basin has been transformed into a space of rupture’ in the context of the implementation of the ‘Integrated System of External Surveillance’ in 1998, which has ‘turn[ed] the sea into an impassable body of water’ (Abderrezak 15). The hopes of the documentary’s subjects are painfully and frustratingly close, as well as emphasising the refugees’ desperate plight, which is articulated by the line in Figure 1.2, ‘We could nearly swim there’. It is represented on the horizon, but the failing crepuscular sunlight sinking behind the Spanish coastline articulates that it is so near, yet so far at the same time (See Figure 1.1). The poetic representation of distant hope and fading aspirations, whilst residing in a restricted Europe, posits the sea as a symbolic and physical border, with each ripple of the waves representing the constant challenges and continuing barriers placed in front of each of the refugees.

Figure 1.1: As the sunlight fades, two migrants (Bouba on the right of the frame) gaze out from Ceuta across the Mediterranean to Spain in Ceuta, Douce Prison[2]

Figure 1.2: Earlier in the film, Ceuta, Douce Prison,the Rock of Gibraltar is captured from Ceuta, with the prescient line ‘We could almost swim there’.

Whereas the articles in this edition are primarily concerned with how the borders are crossed, transgressed and transcended through an engagement with critical and conceptual models, particularly cinematic transnationalism, it is important to continue to draw attention to how borders are still enforced, and used as a powerful tool in discourse, particularly in a geopolitical context. Let us first consider how borders have been articulated in recent discourse on film and in critical analysis.

Borders and Cinema – Where are they today?

Harvey’s introduction to ‘Nationalism in Contemporary Western European cinema’ opens with a prescient discussion of Brexit (the UK electorate’s decision to vote to withdraw from the European Union) and the changing significance of borders in contemporary cinema.[3]As Harvey posits, ‘the transnational promise of fluid borders and comingling cultures was being forced out of the geopolitical landscape by a rejuvenated nostalgia for a singular, native identity’ (1). Rawle’s work entitled ‘Transnational Cinema: An Introduction’, published in the same year, opens on the same premise and critical point in British politics. Drawing on discourse pertaining to Brexit and to the election of Donald Trump, Rawle posits that ‘[a]t a time when borders have been more porous than ever, the intensified focus on nationalism restates the prominence of nation-states in popular consciousness’ (Rawle xii).[4]In both cases, the perceived rise of political ‘populism’ provides an entry point to the analysis of nationalism and transnationalism. The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom launched a study designed to track the rise of political ‘populism’ as a means to better understand how and why populist Left and Right-wing parties have gained prominence politically and been elected to significant positions of power across the globe (such as ‘five of the world’s seven largest democracies’) (The Guardian Editorial). As The Guardian further outlines, ‘[t]he roots of populism are deep and primarily economic, despite the objectionable way they often find expression […] There is a demand for big answers and radical political ambition’ (Ibid.).[5]Moffit and Tormey determine the ‘political style’ of populism as an ‘appeal to “the people”’ through the articulation of ‘crisis, breakdown, threat’ (Moffit and Tormey 382). This is partly a result of ‘the effect of the mediatisation of the political equating to a simplification of political discourse, [and] its reduction to neat us-against-them antagonisms and sound-bite solutions’ (Moffit and Tormey 387). Without delving into the politics of any of the border case studies outlined to this point (the Brexit debate changes daily at the present time of writing), borders appear to have their most power discursively and in political rhetoric, whether or not they are actually fully implemented, enforced and controlled in the way that was initially ‘offered’ and ‘posited’ in a move that consolidates the emerging notion of ‘fake news’.

In the context of Harvey’s ‘new nationalisms’, the discursive role of borders has been mobilised by right-wing parties, lending themselves to a potential ‘institutional racism of border politics [that has] intensified throughout the early twenty-first century’ and since 9/11 and the financial crisis of 2008 (Harvey 2-3).[6]According to Marciniak and Bennett, these ‘nationalistic movements’ provide ‘a reflection on foreignness as a perceived contentious and challenging idea’, with ‘the morbid reality of border regimes and border deaths around Europe and the US [particularly in the context of the Syrian refugee crisis], and the UK’s vote for “Brexit” motivated by anti-immigrant sentiments’ (2-3). It is from this contextual premise that Marciniak and Bennett challenge the dominant discourse, proposing an ‘aporetic’ understanding of the ‘foreigner’, which, in their words, ‘points to non-binarism, toward[s] a wavering border’ (1). As a result, their article draws on ‘transnational cinema cultures’ (Marciniak and Bennett) as an interpretative and analytical reference point for nuancing the perception of the so-called ‘foreigner’.

This edition of the Trespassing Journal is primarily concerned with borders in the context of cinematic transnationalism, and now there are further approaches that are beginning to gain critical validity in Film Studies and complement a transnational reading. Mulvey, Rascaroli and Saldanha offer the notion of a ‘cosmopolitan cinema’, contending that Mills’ category of the ‘sojourner director’ operates as one category within the context of ‘the mobile characteristics of creative and artistic crews’ (Mulvey et al. 3). Gott and Schilt’s ‘cinema-monde’ approach - as Will Higbee summarises in the epilogue to the edited collection - maintains a ‘common ground’ with transnational cinema (Higbee 345), with ‘a strong preoccupation with borders, border crossing and intercultural “contact-zones”’ being one ‘nodal’ point (Ibid.).[7]As a result, it is possible to deduce that mobility and borders are important point of analysis in Film Studies at the present time. Let us first turn to some key theoretical debates in the field of film and its representation of borders.

Notes on borders in cinema[8]

During a ‘critical roundtable’ on the concept of transnational cinema, Elizabeth Ezra foregrounded the continued importance of borders by positing that ‘[t]he transnational is a step on the road to globalisation, a stage at which national borders are still, at the very least, recognised.’ (Ezra, in Fisher and Smith)[9]It is precisely the role of borders in the era of the ‘EU referendum in the UK’ and Donald Trump’s ‘calls for a wall between the US and Mexico’ that maintains a connection to the national and ‘discourse and ideologies of nationalism’ (Mazdon, in Fisher and Smith). Following definitions of nationalism, Willemen argues that ‘[t]he existence of borders is very real, and although their meaning and function are changeable, their effectiveness has not diminished in the least’ (Willemen 32). To this end, Willemen posits that ‘national cultures’ (‘consolidated’ by borders) are articulated and represented both ‘spatially’ (i.e. ‘by way of a spatial commutation test’) and ‘temporally’ in line with certain ‘periods’ such as ‘the rise of capitalism’ (Ibid.). The understanding of borders, in cinema at least, continues the relevance of Ezra and Rowden’s prescient point that ‘(a)s some boundaries disappear, others spring up in their place. The drive to distinguish among groups never truly disappears; it just gets displaced periodically to reflect the shifting geopolitical landscape.’ (Ezra and Rowden 9). In his social and anthropological work on Transnational Connections, Hannerz hints at the arbitrary nature of borders as a construct and points to the fallacy of adopting them as a hard and fast critical model.[10]For instance, Hannerz states that the ‘image of a cultural mosaic, where each culture would have been a territorial entity with clear, sharp, enduring edges, never really corresponded with realities. There were always interactions, and a diffusion of ideas, habits, and things’ (Hannerz 18). Even within the so-called ‘national culture’, Willemen identifies the ‘cross-cultural’ and ‘multicultural’, which imply ‘borders [that] can be crossed’ (31). Although the notion of borders – as a construct – and spatial marker are inherent, and seemingly inescapable, in multiple contexts, it should not be a surprise to automatically move beyond them. It appears, to adopt one of Hannerz’s terms, that there is a tendency to ‘mystify’ the role of borders.

Returning to earlier conceptions of border crossing and cinematic transnationalism, Bergfelder, Harris and Street propose the notion of ‘transnational imagination’ in the context of set design or more generally mise-en-scènein the 1920s and 1930s in Europe (30). The approach highlights ‘the permeability and mutual influences in design […] and the cross-mobility of key artistic figures’ (Bergfelder, Harris and Street 28). This has continued and has perhaps intensified in the film industry at this present time of writing (See, for instance, Eyre and McIntyre’s article on Denis Villeneuve). Higson contends that ‘borders are always leaky and there is a constant movement across them’ (67), and this ‘permeability’ (Newman 4) characterises much of the complexity around the articles in this edition. This issue, however, highlights how borders can be open to some, and closed to others - a thematic continuity that characterises both filmmakers, their subjects, style, form and content in this edition. Whilst the articles appear to foreground a representational understanding of borders, patterns of movement and flows also arise in industrial terms, introducing and framing Massimi and Eyre and McIntyre’s two approaches. More precisely, the clear articulation and representation of borders occur more prominently for individuals and groups in non-dominant positions (see Massimi’s article ‘Polyphonic Bodies, Accented Voices: Diasporic and Migrant Identities in Current Flemish Cinema’).

In two of the three articles, the notion of ‘cinemas of small nations’ (Hjort and Petrie) comes to the fore in the case of Québec and Belgium, which implies the presence and salience of borders when articulating the local context. From this premise, film festivals have drawn borders for the articulation of ‘minor’ or ‘regional’ cinemas and identities in the process of giving a voice to those who are unheard, often neglected, or even subsumed within more than one larger nation. For instance, there are festivals dedicated to Catalan Cinema (Edinburgh 2018)[11]and those with sections considering Georgian Cinema (Encounters, Bristol 2018),[12]Lithuanian Cinema (Encounters, Bristol 2016),[13]and Latvian Cinema (CinEast Film Festival in Luxembourg 2018),[14]to name only a few examples. Academic film conferences, on the other hand, have celebrated transnationalism in cinema, pressing forward claims to move beyond the national framework, and exploring film thematically and conceptually. As Higbee observes, transnational cinema is primarily used in an academic context, since ‘when you speak to filmmakers as opposed to academics about “transnational cinema”, you’re usually met with a blank expression’ (Fisher and Smith) For instance, the MeCETES project explored the premise of ‘cultural encounters’, which arises from the circulation of film and media outside the nation of origin.[15]Bondebjerg, one of the leads on the MeCETES project, proposes that ‘[c]ultural exchange and encounters on local, national and global levels are today imbedded in electronic and digital forms of media and communication. Mediated cultural encounters have become central for transnational exchange between individuals, nation states and institutions.’ (Bondebjerg) The term ‘encounter’ has become a useful part of the transnational critical vocabulary to summarise the experiential meeting of cultures and their reception, as explored later by Maldonado in the scholar’s article. Further current projects, such as ‘Watching the Transnational Detectives’ at the University of Hull, engage with ‘cultural encounters’ – such as ‘language learning’ - by focusing on how British audiences perceive and interpret international crime dramas (Chadderton, Haworth, Kimyongür, and Rorato). The project highlights the irony that ‘in post-Brexit Britain, television viewers have access to an ever increasing number of foreign language programmes’ (Chadderton et al.), and this points to an increasing diversification of television programming in a transnational context.

Whilst the theme of this issue of the Trespassing Journalis primarily concerned with the articulation and representation of borders, cinematic transnationalism frames the three critical approaches. Maldonado, and Eyre and McIntyre foreground the ‘crossing’ of borders, whereas, for Massimi, the traversing of borders is tackled historically in relation to themes of migration and the ‘polyphonic’. These approaches all imply cinematic transnationalism (Higson; Ezra and Rowden; Higbee and Lim). The contributions in this journal all articulate the multiple strands to the concept of cinematic transnationalism, exploring the presence and formation of borders in institutional, industrial, textual and representational forms. For Massimi, in particular, the representation of excluded groups – in this case the Moroccan and Turkish minorities in Belgium – are placed at the forefront, with a focus centred on those who remain on the outside or whose identity and sense of place is in a state of flux/ uncertain. Such an interpretation of borders resonates with Newman’s assertion that ‘power hierarchies are necessarily spatiali[s]ed’ (Newman 6), particularly in the context of diasporic filmmakers and their subjects. In the case of Massimi’s article, the ‘hood’ operates as one example of the ‘spatialisation’ of power, i.e. forms of exclusion.

Analysing the Borders of this Issue:

Massimi’s article, ‘Polyphonic Bodies, Accented Voices: Diasporic and Migrant Identities in Current Flemish Cinema’, considers the presence of borders prevalent within Flanders and Brussels. The article focuses on the early films of Moroccan Belgian duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah and the Turkish Belgian filmmaker Kadir Balci, examining the representation of masculinity and the importance of sound and music (hence the ‘polyphonic’) in the two respective diasporic communities. For Massimi, the ‘polyphonic’ operates as a means of ‘harmonising’ complex identities within a diasporic body, and, to a larger extent, a film (18-24). Massimi articulates the primary line of argument neatly and cogently as the following; ‘the editing and sound design disprove such a conflictual separation of Timur’s national cultural identities [in Turquaze/ Turquoise (Balci, 2009)], as they intervene to situate the homeland and hostland on a plane of temporal and spatial synchronicity.’ (20) For those who are marginalized, particularly in a diasporic context, the role of music comes to the fore, and operates, for Massimi, as a ‘privileged form of expression’ (23). The articulation of borders takes many forms within this ‘composite’ context (13), with linguistic boundaries present in the complex political and regional situation of Belgium (as two/ three linguistic communities) on the surface, and Belgium’s diasporic communities. Massimi’s article analyses the minority position within this complex ‘scenario’ (15) – recognising the emergence of ‘diasporic masculinity’ and ‘masculine subjectivity’ as the primary forms of continuity. As Massimi argues, the traditional expectations of questions of masculinity are complicated, ‘negotiated’ (24) and even ‘mediated’ (26) in the films of Balci and El Arbi and Fallah.

Eyre and McIntyre’s article, ‘Traversing National Borders, Transcending Cinematic Borders: The Sojourner Cinema of Denis Villeneuve’, draws on Mills’ (140-164) concept of ‘sojourner cinema’ to emphasise how Villeneuve seamlessly navigates between small national cinematic traditions and global Hollywood. Eyre and McIntyre propose that the concept is particularly useful when analysing ‘directors from small nations, who are creating a new class of Hollywood film’ (44). The primary example of this interaction is Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2046 (2017), which, for the scholars, blends together personal references to Québec in a dystopian LA setting (Eyre and McIntyre 44). These personal touches and flourishes, as noted in Eyre and McIntyre’s article, resonate with Ulf Hannerz’s approach to cosmopolitanism. Hannerz proposes that

[i]t may be one kind of cosmopolitanism where the individual picks from other cultures only those pieces which suit himself [sic]. In the long term, this is likely to be the way a cosmopolitan constructs his [sic] own unique perspective out of an idiosyncratic collection of experiences. (Hannerz 103)[16]

In this case, Eyre and McIntyre contend that Villeneuve offers a personal connection to Québec in his Hollywood corpus of films.

For Eyre and McIntyre, ‘borders’ are articulated through ‘aesthetic tensions’ and Villeneuve’s ‘arthouse and commercial sensibilities’ (33). This is partly due to the very different and ‘contrasting’ filmmaking production systems in which Villeneuve has worked. As the article posits, he ‘straddles both these national cinemas [Québec and mainstream American filmmaking] – and as a sojourner director he brings them together in transnational fusion’ (Eyre and McIntyre 35). One of the primary films produced in Québec, or Canada more generally, in Eyre and McIntyre’s article is Villeneuve’s breakthrough film Incendies (2010), which epitomises the turn towards transnationality and so-called ‘sojourner cinema’ (Mills) through its touristic and voyeuristic depiction of the Middle East (36-37). According to Eyre and McIntyre, the ‘outsider’s view’ or ‘outsider’s perspective’ reverberates into Villeneuve’s Hollywood produced films, particularly Sicario(2015) (38). This facilitates a ‘fresh take’ on well-established and often tautological themes, issues and genres in the USA (Ibid.). Overall, the ‘cosmopolitan’ (Mulvey, Rascaroli and Saldanha) and the ‘sojourner’ (Mills) models offer a useful approach to cinematic borders in a contemporaneous context.

Maldonado’s article, ‘Trespassing the Visual: The Rhetorical Nature of Constructing Identities and Supplementing Différance in Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life’, uses the ethnographic documentary Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life (Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack and Marguerite Harrison, 1925) as its paradigmatic case study. The article examines representations of masculinity and the use of technology. These filmic devices and film technology serves to affirm borders and consolidate ‘a sense of nation’ and national belonging for ‘American audiences facing an uncertain national future’ (Maldonado 62). As Naficy notes, Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life is viewed as ‘the archetypal progenitor’ for ethnographic filmmaking in Iran in which ‘modern, often foreign-trained, filmmakers who were themselves agents of modernity, documented the tribes before their disappearance’ (‘The anthropological unconscious of Iranian ethnographic films: a brief take’ 118). The contextual backdrop of modernity in the USA remains prevalent as a point of comparison with the Bakhtiari tribe, who ‘represent a bygone era of simplicity and authenticity, and their way of life a prelapsarian world of before – before civilization and modernity’ (Naficy ‘Lured by the East: Ethnographic and Expedition Films about Nomadic Tribes – The Case of Grass (1925)’ 130). In Maldonado’s article, the borders are articulated technologically, as ‘technological borders’, as well as between depictions of masculinity and femininity (two notions that are tied to questions of nation through patriarchal culture) (59-62). Despite the inclusion of a woman filmmaker as part of the filmmaking team on the project, representations of masculinity as operational in relation to the fear of the Other and questions of emasculation, leading to an understanding of the state of the nation that reinforces the symbolic order and status quo. As Naficy deduces, Grass’ ‘play of the gazes replicates a series of binary power relations: between East and West, ethnographer and subject, and male and female’ (Naficy ‘Lured by the East: Ethnographic and Expedition Films about Nomadic Tribes – The Case of Grass (1925)’ 131). For Maldonado,

Grass offers a story that demonstrates a dual masculinity for American men [… which] pleases the Modern Man as well as the Explorer in the audience; despite a threat of Others, whether immigrants or women, men are assured that they retain the place of pride and supremacy (62).

From this premise, borders function as ‘performative’ for the reinforcing of a ‘male-dominated space’. This is further supplemented by the use of, what Maldonado terms, ‘technological borders’ in which filmic devices reinforce, in essence, a Euro-American centric position. The primary examples - that Maldonado foregrounds - are the use of aerial shots ‘that put the tribe’s members in danger, or the long shots of the never-ending steep and dangerous mountains that the tribe struggled to get across, the Westerners are shown completing the same journey but seemingly without struggle or harm.’ These binary oppositions are nuanced through postcolonial theory, and highlight the perception and interpretation of borders in ethnographic documentary filmmaking in the 1920s.

The contributions to this journal also include film and book reviews on the topic of borders and their articulation across different media. In this issue, the borders are always crossed, never formalised in a way that cannot be transcended. As Newman outlines, it illustrates the perceived ‘uneven development’ (5) in cinematic transnationalism as a conceptual and theoretical model, which is epitomised by the numerous approaches to this edition’s theme.[17]All in all, the compilation of this issue has been complex, primarily due to the difficulty in analysing borders across various different disciplines and the multiple ways in which they are perceived and understood.


[1]See Ferrer-Gallardo and Albet-Mas (529) for further information and analysis of Ceuta’s CETI.

[2]Mulvey, Rascaroli and Saldanha’s analysis of ‘cosmopolitan cinema’ includes a similar image from Le havre, looking out across the English Channel/ La manche (Aki Kaurismäki, 2011) (10).

[3]On 27 November 2018, the European Audiovisual Observatory held a conference in Brussels dedicated to the ‘Impact, challenges and chances for the European audiovisual sector’ after Brexit (European Audiovisual Observatory). The conference speculated on and outlined the forthcoming developments and potential pitfalls post-Brexit. The primary emphasis was placed on co-productions, with broadcasters to increasingly turn to co-productions through treaties that had already been implemented, and the mobility of European talent (Ibid.). As noted by participants (in this case, Harriet Finney), the BFI had begun to make ‘amendments’ to its ‘cultural test’ to ensure that it is still inclusive for European talent (European Audiovisual Observatory).

[4]In November 2018, an event at the Institut français d’Écosseon ‘border politics’ considered that ‘debates [such as the 2016 referendum in the United Kingdom] are often framed in Manichean terms: bona fide refugees vs. “economic migrants,” security vs. humanitarian concerns, identity politics vs utilitarian logics.’ (Institut français d’Écosse)

[5]The study on ‘populism’ also reveals a pernicious side, where much of the rhetoric continues to be situated. As The Guardian notes, ‘where mainstream parties have adopted anti-immigrant rhetoric, they have simply emboldened extremists – giving permission to ever more overt racism.’ (The Guardian Editorial) This interpretation chimes with theoretical approaches to populism, which claims that ‘the primary antagonism of “the people” may be other groups in society’ (Moffitt and Tormey 391)

[6]In this re-focus on statistics pertaining to European and national identity, Bondjeberg contends that figures ‘have changed over time towards a stronger percentage of sometimes feeling European, next to a dominant national identity. But they indicate, that the national identity seems thick and the European much more thin.’ (Bondjeberg). At this point, the ‘thickness’ of national identity appears, at least discursively, more palpable.

[7]Higbee’s chapter draws on the ‘Transnational Moroccan Cinema’ project as a key case study to illustrate how ‘cinéma-monde’ operates in context. Also, see the projects’s website - for further information, blog entries and interviews with filmmakers.

[8]This subheading is a direct reference to Kathleen Newman’s book chapter entitled ‘Notes on transnational film theory: decentred subjectivity, decentered capitalism’ (Newman) and also points to Sarris’ article called ‘Notes on Auteur Theory’ (Sarris).

[9]In his introduction to ‘Transnational Cinema: An Introduction’, Rawle also draws on this ‘critical roundtable’ and the positions of key scholars in the field to frame and develop his approach to cinematic transnationalism (xiii-xiv).

[10]Bergfelder uses Hannerz’s sociological work to underpin an approach to ‘national, transnational and supranational cinema’, particularly in terms of film production.

[11]See the following link for further information on the Catalan Film Festival programme:

[12]The 2018 Encounters Film Festival in Bristol shone a spotlight on four approaches to Georgian cinema, (1) ‘Georgian Past Masters’, (2) ‘Georgian New Talent’, (3) ‘Georgian Film Schools’, and (4) ‘Georgian Animation’: (1), (2), (3) , (4)

[13]See the following link for listings for the Lithuanian shorts programme at the Encounters Film Festival in 2016:

[14]See the following link for the full listing of the Latvian programme at CinEast(2018):

[15]For more information on the project, consult

[16]Mulvey et al. similarly draw on Hannerz’s social anthropological work to conceptualise their approach to ‘cosmopolitan cinema’.

[17]See Gott and Schilt’s (8-9) introduction to the concept of ‘cinéma-monde’, which also pays attention to the ‘unevenness’ of transnational relations and mobility via Newman and Ďurovičová.

Works Cited:

Abderrezak, Hakim. Ex-Centric Migrations: Europe and the Maghreb in Mediterranean Cinema, Literature, and Music, Indiana University Press, 2016.

Balci, Kadir, director. Turquaze/ Turquoise, MMG Film and TV Production, 2009.

Bergfelder, Tim. “National, transnational or supranational cinema? Rethinking European Film Studies”, Media, Culture & Society, Vol. 27 No. 3, 2005, pp. 315-331.

Bergfelder, Tim., Sue Harris, and Sarah Street. Film Architecture and the Transnational Imagination: set Design in 1930s European Cinema, Amsterdam University Press, 2007.

Bondebjerg Ib. “Transnational Europe: TV-drama, co-production networks and mediated cultural encounters”, Palgrave Communications., 2:15034, 2016, <Doi: 10.1057/palcomms.2016.34>.

Chadderton, Helena. Rachel Haworth, Angela Kimyongür, and Laura Rorato. “Watching the Transnational Detectives”, 2018, viewed December 6 2018,

Cooper, Merian C.,  Ernest B. Schoedsack and Marguerite Harrison, directors. Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life, Famous Players-Lasky Corporation and Paramount Pictures, 1925.

European Audiovisual Observatory. “Brexit – Impact, challenges and chances for the European Audiovisual Sector”, December 2 2018, viewed December 8 2018,

Ezra, Elizabeth. and Terry Rowden. “What is Transnational Cinema?” in Elizabeth Ezra and Terry Rowden, eds., Transnational Cinema: The Film Reader, Routledge, 2006.

Ferrer-Gallardo, Xavier., and Abel Albet-Mas “EU-Limbospaces: Ceuta and the proliferation of migrant detention spaces across the European Union”, European Urban and Regional Studies, Vol. 23 No. 3, 2016, pp. 527-530.

Fisher, Austin., and Iain Robert Smith, “Transnational Cinemas: A Critical Roundtable”, Frames Cinema Journal, Issue 9, 2016, viewed December 2 2018,, <ISSN: 2053-8812>.

Gott, Michael. and Thibault Schilt. Cinéma-monde: De-centred perspectives on Global Filmmaking in French, Edinburgh University Press, 2018.

Hannerz, Ulf. Transnational Connections, Routledge, 1996.

Harvey, James. “Introduction: On the Visual Cultures of the New Nationalisms”, ed., Harvey, James. Nationalism in Contemporary Western European Cinema, Palgrave, 2018, pp. 1-15.

Higbee, Will. and Song Hwee Lim. “Concepts of transnational cinema: towards a critical transnationalism in film studies”, Transnational Cinemas, Vol. 1 No. 1, 2010, pp. 7–21.

Higbee, Will. “Cinéma-monde and the Transnational”, ed., Gott, Michael., and Thibault Schilt, Cinéma-monde: De-centred perspectives on Global Filmmaking in French, Edinburgh University Press, pp. 341-356.

Higson, Andrew. “The limiting imagination of national cinema”, in Mette Hjort and Scott Mackenzie, eds., Cinema and Nation, Routledge, 2010, pp. 63–74.

Hjort, Mette and Duncan Petrie, The Cinema of Small Nations, Edinburgh University Press, 2007.

Institut Français Écosse. “Talk: Border Politics and Policy in Today’s Europe”, 2018, viewed December 5 2018,

Kaurismäki, Aki, director. Le havre, Sputnik and Pyramide Productions, 2011.

Marciniak, Katarzyna., and Bruce Bennett. “Aporias of foreignness: transnational encounters in cinema”, Transnational Cinemas, Vol. 9 Issue. 1, 2018, pp. 1-12, <DOI: 10.1080/20403526.2018.1478371>.

Millet, Jonathan., and Loïc Rechi, directors. Ceuta, Douce Prison/ Ceuta, Prison by the Sea, Amnesty International and Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC), 2013.

Mills, Jane. “Sojourner Cinema: Seeking and Researching a New Cinematic Category”, Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media, Vol. 55 Issue. 1, 2014, pp. 140-164.

Moffitt, Benjamin., and Simon Tormey. “Rethinking Populism: Politics, Mediatisation and Political Style”, Political Studies, Vol. 62, 2014, pp. 381-397 <Doi: 10.1111/1467-9248.12032>.

Mulvey, James., Laura Rascaroli, and Humberto Saldanha. “For a Cosmopolitan Cinema. Editorial”, Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, No. 14, Winter 2017, pp. 1-15, <ISSN: 2009-4078>

Naficy, Hamid. An accented cinema: exilic and diasporic filmmaking, Princeton University Press, 2001.

Naficy, Hamid. “Lured by the East: Ethnographic and Expedition Films about Nomadic Tribes – The Case of Grass (1925)”, Ruoff, Jeff. eds., Virtual Voyages: Cinema and Travel, Duke University Press, 2006, pp. 117-138.

Naficy, Hamid. “The anthropological unconscious of Iranian ethnographic films: a brief take”, Anthropology of the Contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia, Vol. 1 Issue. 2, Winter 2013,pp.113-125. <ISSN: 2211-5722>

Newman, Kathleen. “Notes on transnational film theory: decentred subjectivity, decentred capitalism”, eds., Ďurovičová, Natasa., and Kathleen Newman, World Cinemas, Transnational Perspectives, Routledge, 2009, pp. 3-11.

Rawle, Steve. Transnational Cinema: An Introduction, Palgrave, 2018.

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Suggested Citation

Steele, Jamie. “Introduction: Trespassing Borders/ Crossing Borders”, Trespassing Journal: an online journal of trespassing art, science, and philosophy7 (Winter 2018). Web. ISSN: 2147-2734

Jamie Steele is Lecturer in Film and Screen Studies at Bath Spa University. He has published journal articles and book chapters, and a forthcoming monograph on contemporary Francophone Belgian cinema, transnational and regional cinema.