Only in the last twenty years have Film and Media scholars begun to grant film festivals significant attention. Bill Nichols’ seminal text “Global Image Consumption in the Age of Late Capitalism” (1994) is often cited as the first attempt at theorizing these complex phenomena. The initiative to bring Global Studies into contact with Film Studies has been followed by a number of scholars, some of whom contributed to the organization of the sub-field of film festival studies. As they were part of the discussion of global flows though, film festival networks were simultaneously thought as an alternative circuit for film distribution.
Synoptique seeks to expand the conversation by proposing a special issue designed to encourage new frameworks for thinking about film festivals as a multi-faceted film industry and institution in an increasingly interconnected, or conversely disconnected, world. We welcome papers that experiment with new approaches to studying film festivals and their networks. We are particularly interested in interventions that take into account the multiplicity of scales often left out by, or subordinated to, the global focus that kicked off the scholarship on the topic, including the region or the diasporic. In addition, we believe that renewed attention to non-European and non-A-list film festivals, as well as historical perspectives, can contribute to illuminating the complexity of actors involved in film festivals, and question the festivals’ economical and political roles. Thinking of the variety of existing festival circuits also entails theorizing networks as disrupted, open, or even incoherent and unstable.
This special issue is therefore seeking to position film festivals within a variety of contemporary and historical networks so as to appreciate the multiple ways in which they contribute to shape film cultures. To this end, we invite submissions by scholars and festival professionals. Festival reports as well as interviews, will also be considered. Submissions can include, but are not limited to topics such as:
- online film festivals
- formal and informal networks
- non-European and non A-list film festivals and their networks
- film festivals and tourism
- film festivals and national, regional or diasporic cinemas
- issues of programming, the politics of film selection
- approaches to the study of film festivals (e.g. Transnational vs. Global Studies)
- film festivals and activism
- film festivals and global cinema
- how prizes, awards, competitions, and premiers influence programming
- minorities film festivals (queer, LGBT, diaspora)
- film festivals and narrow topics (e.g. bicycles, human rights, food, etc.)
- film presentations as a part of festivals not solely devoted to film, or, conversely, other events offered within film festivals
- film festivals and their audiences (as participants, spectators, consumers)
- changes in long-running festivals due to shifts in politics, economics, demographics or technology
Submissions should be approximately 15-30 pages (interviews and reports may be shorter), written in either English or French, formatted according to MLA guidelines. Papers should be submitted by April 3rd, 2014. A link on www.synoptique.ca will guide you through the submission process. Feel free to contact us at editor.synoptique[at]gmail.com should you have any questions.