Cinema Historian and Film Critic. Writes for Art of Cinema and PhD in Art History.

"The films in the festival’s programme have universal significance. They challenge you to be true to yourself."




Merle Groneweg is a queer film enthusiast. She has been part of the XPOSED International Queer Film Festival, Berlin since 2015, and now co-directs the festival together with its founder Bartholomew Sammut. XPOSED has its origins in experimental queer short film, and today the festival is still all about bringing unexpected, thought-provoking art works to the screen.

If Merle Groneweg is not in the cinema or curating other film events, she's hanging out with friends or biking around. She also works for the German NGO PowerShift on environmental and human rights issues in the supply chain of metals. 

"I'm extremely honored to be part of this year's Side by Side! Ten days of queerness and film – how can it get any better? I am much looking forward to spending time with people yet unknown to me, to watching great films, and to then be moved by the stories told on and off the screen. Queer film festivals are community events, they can give us all a sense of belonging – and I hope that us standing "side by side" will send a message of hope and strength to others."




Author, film critic, curator, editor of Iskusstvo Kino magazine, editor in chief of Member of the Russian Guild of Film Critics and FIPRESCI.

“The history of art, including cinema, shows that fringe identities often encourage creatively different artistic systems. I hope that the films included in the Side by Side Film Festival competition will not only give voice to various minorities of contemporary society and their topical issues, but also make pertinent aesthetic choices.”