CFP: 3rd Film Festivals Symposium: “Film Festivals, Funds and Film Industry”

“Film Festivals, Funds and Film Industry”
3rd Film Festival Symposium
April 7-8-9, 2023
in cooperation with 42nd Istanbul Film Festival, April 7-17, 2023)
Istanbul, Turkey

As part of the project “Film Festivals in Turkey: Structure, Economy, Organization, Audience Profile (The case of Antalya, Adana, Istanbul, Ankara Film Festivals)” no. TUBITAK 1001 121K234, the 3rd FILM FESTIVALS SYMPOSIUM, organized by screenfest: The Journal of Film Festival Studies, will be held in cooperation with the Istanbul Film Festival on April 7-8-9, 2023 within and during the Istanbul Film Festival. The Symposium Organization Committee would like to thank the İstanbul Film Festival for their cooperation and support. The Symposium aims to provide an academic debating platform that embraces all aspects of film festivals.  We cordially invite you to the Film Festival Symposium.

Abstract and Panel Proposal Deadline: 15 February 2023


  • Marijke de Valck, Utrecht University/Netherlands
  • Skadi Loist, Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf/Germany
  • Tamara L. Falicov, University of Missouri-Kansas City/USA
  • Ana Vinuela, Sorbonne Nouvelle University/France


  • Jeske van der Slikke,/Hubert Bals Fund-International Film Festival Rotterdam/Netherlands



In the film industry, film festivals and funds play a significant role, especially for post-1990s independent cinema/arthouse films, in terms of both their increasing influence on the circulation of films across national borders and production activities (Wong, 2011). Given the fact that arthouse films/independent cinema generate limited box office revenues and face distribution problems festivals and their funding become increasingly important. This development has led to the emergence of a symbiotic relationship between films and festivals, with festivals occupying an important position in the global arthouse film economy (Valck, 2020). Funds serve a crucial function in the festival ecosystem in terms of creating a network for co-productions (Vinuela, 2018) in addition to production support.  In this context, particularly how arthouse films will be produced and distributed constitutes the main debate. It is worth discussing whether international film festivals and supranational funds as talent finders, play an increasingly active role as producers (Ostrowska, 2010; Loist, 2011; Valck, 2017) in the shaping and funding of independent cinema/arthouse film (Falicov, 2010; 2017; Chan, 2011; Ross, 2011; Vallejo, 2020) while at the same time enabling films to penetrate the global circuit (Iordanova, 2009). To this end, we seek answers to the following questions at the intersection of film festival studies and media industry studies:

Which (new) research methods do we need in the field of media industry studies? What research gaps need to be filled in studies on festivals and funds? What are the dominant approaches in the current debate? How do festivals and funds shape world cinema? How can we take the field of and the debates around film festival studies and media industry research further? Within the framework of these questions, the topics to be addressed in this symposium include but are not limited to the following:

  • network and circuit of national/regional/supranational funds,
  • film festivals, funds and global cinema culture,
  • state funds in the context of hegemony or cultural diplomacy,
  • funds as soft power of countries in hegemonic ascendancy,
  • supranational funds’ quest for authenticity and artistic quality,
  • critique on funds’ role in imposing Western aesthetic standards,
  • constructing national cinema by festivals’ film selection policies and supranational funds,
  • supranational funds, national specificity and the search for new solutions,
  • supranational funds’ role in promoting diverse cinema cultures and transnational cinema,
  • external factors on the decision-making processes of the funds,
  • data-driven research on industry practices in terms of funding,
  • funds’ contribution to theatrical distribution of arthouse films,
  • flexible/labor intensive working conditions in the context of sustainability of festivals and funds,

In this regard, we believe that there is a need for further collaboration between academics, industry professionals and executives. How can professionals, academics and filmmakers cooperate to achieve increased transparency on funding? In this framework, the criteria for selection and evaluation of funds (along decolonialized standards, ecological thresholds or detailed mission statements that may be fund-specific, etc.) can be put up for discussion.

In addition to focusing on the main theme of “Film Festivals, Funds and Film Industry”, the 3rd Film Festivals Symposium is also open to papers based on both empirical and theoretical approaches with an interdisciplinary reading on the following topics:

  • the history and historiography of film festivals,
  • methodology in the studies on film festivals,
  • jury work and awards,
  • programming, curating,
  • film festivals – national cinema and cinema canon,
  • film festivals’ audience/cinephile,
  • funding of film festivals,
  • film policy and film festivals,
  • global festival circuit and film market
  • distribution and circulation in relation to film festivals
  • approach to short films in festivals (fiction, documentary, animation, experimental),
  • thematic festivals,
  • transnational film festivals,
  • online film festivals,
  • the COVID-19 pandemic and film festivals.

The Symposium welcomes academics, festival staff, film critics and film industry professionals. The Symposium will be held in Turkish and English.

The Symposium will be an in-person event taking place during the 42nd Istanbul Film Festival. It may, however, be held online depending on the course of the pandemic. We will share further information on this issue in the upcoming process.

Participants are required to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. A list of local hotels as well as information regarding additional events will be posted on the symposium’s website.

For more information about the Symposium, please visit at

Feel free to reach out to us in case you have any questions info

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