The last externally published version of the full FFRN Bibliography (January 2010) is available online. Here on the FFRN website you find a new, constantly updated version (last: 28 January 2021) of the FFRN bibliography, using subpages and hypertext links to break up the – by now very long – bibliography into its categories. As the subcategories are now on separate pages, which makes it less likely that people will look at the whole bibliography as one piece, we now list certain pieces in several places to account for content that is relevant in several categories. For an overview of the subcategories you find a table of contents overview below. On the top right, you can also use the search box to search the entire site for keywords and author names.
We update the bibliography regularly. If you have suggestions and additions, please let us know by emailing to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Film Festivals / Film Festival Research: Thematic, Annotated Bibliography
Compiled for the Film Festival Research Network
by Skadi Loist and Marijke de Valck
(last updated: 18 March 2022)
1. Film Festivals: The Long View
1.1 a) Film Festival Theory and Methodology
1.1 b) Reports and Responses to Film Festival Studies
1.1 c) Book Reviews
1.1 d) Bibliographies
1.1 e) Film Festival Pedagogy
1.2 Political Aspects of Film Festivals (History)
1.3 General Academic Studies on Festivals (Not only Film Festivals)
2. Festival Time: Awards, Juries and Critics
3. Festival Space: Cities, Tourism and Publics
4. On the Red Carpet: Spectacle, Stars and Glamour
5. Business Matters: Industries, Distribution and Markets
5.1 Markets and Funds
5.3 Service Guides for Professionals
5.4 Studies / Reports Related to Film Festival Research
5.5 Festival (as) Organization
6.4 The Middle East
6.5 Latin America
6.7 North America
7.1 Issues of Festival Programming
7.2 Interviews with Programmers
7.3 Film Festivals and Questions of Aesthetics
7.4 Films and Filmmakers on the Festival Circuit
8. Reception: Audiences, Communities and Cinephiles
9.1.1 LGBT / Queer Film Festivals
9.1.2 Women’s Film Festivals
9.1.3 Jewish Film Festivals
9.1.4 Children’s Film Festivals
- Fantasy Film Festivals
- Horror Film Festivals
9.2.b.1 Animation Film Festivals
9.2.b.2 Archival Film Festivals
9.2.b.3 Documentary Film Festivals
9.2.b.4 Ethnographic and Anthropological Film Festivals
9.2.b.5 Experimental Film Festivals
9.2.b.6 Silent Film Festivals
- Short Film Festivals
9.2 d) Social Concern Festivals & Activism
9.2.d.1 Disability Film Festivals
9.2.d.2 Environmental Film Festivals
9.2.d.3 Human Rights Film Festivals
9.2.d.4 Indigenous Film Festivals
9.2.d.5 Mental Health Film Festivals
9.3 National and Regional Showcases
9.4 Film Festivals and New Media Platforms
10. Publications Dedicated to Individual Film Festivals
In addition to the FFRN bibliography we offer further resources regarding film festival research.
2) A List of BA/MA theses focussing on film festivals
3) A List of Syllabi of classes on film festival / studies
Introduction to the (Print) Second Edition
(22 January 2010)
The topic of film festivals has attracted a lot of attention since our first edition of the Film Festival Bibliography appeared online (7 Dec. 2008). Talk about festivals’ past, present and future fueled debates among academics, professionals, and critics alike. It is pleasing to note that the momentum has also translated into substantial writing. This new version of the thematic bibliography on film festival research counts no less than 100 new entries, the majority of which are new publications.
In our introduction we will share some observations on this new body of literature. What follows is the full list of thematically clustered references. In order to make the extensive list of references more accessible, we have added a short introduction to each section and subsection. The short texts also help to give a brief overview of the field of film festival research as it currently exists.
We have included academic as well as journalistic work that has already contributed or is likely to contribute to the study of film festivals. The academic work ranges from articles and book chapters to monographs and anthologies on the topic. Although we are aware of the existence of several interesting MA theses and unpublished conference papers, we opted to leave them out for two practical reasons: limited accessibility and space.
A recurrent theme in many new entries concerns the continuing proliferation of film festivals. We see at the same time a boom in mega-budget international film festivals in Asia and the Middle East as well as a sprawling number of micro-festivals on increasingly specialized topics in Western countries. Many writers express concern about whether the current model will hold and call for a reconsideration of what festivals should be about (e.g. Gass 2008, Gass ed. 2009, Kammermeier 2008). Festivals’ ability to program films, instead of merely exhibit them, the collective viewing experience they offer, and the added value that competitions and prizes bring, are mentioned as some of the more defining elements of film festivals that can serve as anchor points in the future. Specific attention is given to the financial aspect of organizing festivals as well as to (expected) transformations due to digitization (e.g. Peranson 2009, Roddick 2009). Should festivals really embrace their function as an alternative distribution platform and start paying (higher) fees for the films they screen? Is an event that only screens movies from DVDs still a festival?
Besides the widespread attention to such topical issues, a lot of other great work has come out, in particular case studies. Please check out the entries in sections 6, 9 and 10. We have further specified our distinctions between specialized festivals, and the section on specialized festivals now includes subsections on Jewish film festivals, fantasy film festivals and social concern film festivals. Worth mentioning are the contributions from the field of business and organizational studies (Mazza and Strengaard 2008, Mezias 2008, Rüling 2009), which bring new theoretical perspectives to film festival research.
The current debates on film festivals occur in a variety of circles, such as academia, the film and festivals industry, and journalism. What’s more there is a growing cooperation and exchange between these fields, in seminars and publications, but also on blogs and other Internet forums. These crossovers are most welcome because they offer great potential for knowledge aggregation. However, they also pose a challenge to the original design and focus of this bibliography, which was meant to present film festival research. What to do with publications that are not based on research, but on professional and personal experience that offer new engagements and novel insights? How to deal with some of the lucid writings that appear in the blogosphere? Where to put reflections on carrying out film festival research? In this second edition we respond to these questions in three ways: 1) by including important non-academic publications, mostly in the Long View cluster  that was designed to cover anecdotal and journalistic publications; 2) by adding a cluster called Online Sources ; and 3) by adding a sub-cluster on Reports and Responses to Film Festival Studies [1.1.b]. Due to their ubiquity, regular festival reports on individual editions are not included in the bibliography.
A Few Notes about the Update
You will find two new categories within the bibliography. Under “1.1 c) Book Reviews” we now include reviews of film festival books in order to show that the work has been acknowledged and to encourage engagement with criticism. With the new subcategory “5.5 Festivals as Organizations” we want to highlight work that deals with the organizational aspect of film festivals. There are a few entries listed already, but since this is also an issue being discussed at conferences currently within Media Studies as well as Management Studies and Sociology, we anticipate with the new subcategory expected output in the near future.
With regard to existing categories, we felt compelled to change our classification system for entries in category “6. Trans/National Cinemas”. The focus had been on the distribution, circulation and negotiation of an idea of national cinema on the festival circuit, including the impact global power structures play here. Following Dina Iordanova and Ruby Cheung’s discussion of imagined communities and the various ways in which film festivals are linked to diasporas (Iordanova/Cheung 2010), we want to broaden the idea of trans/national festivals which we have described in this category so far in order to include those festivals that are not necessarily based in the regions we distinguish, but that have links to them or circulate films from that region. Thus, we include here pieces on diasporic festivals (esp. featured in the second volume of Film Festival Yearbook, which also includes listings of a variety of transnational film festivals in its resource section, cf. Iordanova/Cheung 2010: 266-86).
Another change has been made for the already multifaceted category “8. Reception: Audiences, Communities and Cinephiles”. This category collected articles circling around several different aspects of reception: text-based reception studies, discussions on aspects of reception and cinephilia, reception environments and their link to communities, etc. From now on this rubric will also include contributions from the area of Tourism Management and Business Studies. Among the new entries we want to highlight are two pieces that present quantitative audience research on festival audiences. These articles currently listed (Lee/Lee/Wicks 2004; Lee et al. 2008) are likely to be the tip of a new iceberg.
Finally, we’d like to point out that edited volumes are included both as volume and – in so far as relevant for the bibliography – as separate contributions. This allows us to categorize individual pieces under the most appropriate (sub)sections and will enable users of this resource to “browse” inside edited volumes thematically. However, we’d like to reiterate our original disclaimer that many of the film festival research pieces listed address multiple themes and could fit into several categories. The bibliography is therefore envisioned as a starting point for reading and research rather than a definitive classification.
We wish to thank Diane Burgess, Ruby Cheung, Alex Fischer, Dina Iordanova, Christian Jungen, Athena Kartalou, Jérôme Segal, David Slocum, Julian Stringer, Aida Vallejo, Enrico Vannucci, John Wäfler, and Ger Zielinski for their helpful suggestions and additions on updates of the film festival bibliography.