3. Festival Space: Cities, Tourism and Publics

In recent years, research on tourism has contributed significantly to spatial analyses of cultural festivals. There are two perspectives: the “arts and urban development” perspective sees festivals “as a catalyst for urban renewal, attracting tourists and capital investments, enhancing a city’s image and creating new jobs” (Crespi-Valbona/Richards 2007: 106, section 1.3), while the “liveable cities” perspective stresses how communities can appropriate commodified festival events for their own purposes, such as self-identification, and a local sense of community and place. Ros Derrett argues that it is possible to strengthen community cultural development and cultural tourism simultaneously with festivals that share their community’s “culture” with visitors (2000, 2003). At film festivals the connection between the festival’s content and regional distinctiveness of its location, however, is less obvious. Most programs have a strong international character and attract cosmopolitan visitors that want to celebrate and consume world/art cinema. Julian Stringer argues that festivals market both global similarity and conceptual difference, often using local attractions to compete in the contemporary global space economy. Taking the unevenly differentiated power relations between nations and regions into consideration, he regards the international film festival circuit as “a series of diverse, sometimes competing, sometimes cooperating public spheres” (Stringer 2001: 138). In addition, film festivals can be argued to provide counter-public spheres, for culture/aesthetics as well as (leftist) politics (Shapiro 2007; S. Kim 1998, section 9.1).

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Allan, Blaine. “The Festival of Festivals in the Toronto of Torontos.” Queen’s Quarterly, vol. 95, no. 4, 1988, pp. 813–23.

Bissell, William Cunningham. “When the Film Festival Comes to (Down)Town: Transnational Circuits, Tourism, and the Urban Economy of Images.” Global Downtowns, edited by Marina Peterson and Gary W. McDonogh, Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2012, pp. 160–85.

Burgess, Diane. “Bridging the Gap: Film Festival Governance, Public Partners and the ‘Vexing’ Problem of Film Distribution.” Canadian Journal of Film Studies | Revue Canadienne d’Études Cinématographiques, vol. 21, no. 1, 2012, pp. 2–20.

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Harbord, Janet. “Film Festivals: Media Events and the Spaces of Flow.” Film Cultures, Sage, 2002, pp. 59–75.

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Knee, Adam, and Kong Rithdee. “Tourism and the Landscape of Thai Film Festivals.” Film Festival Yearbook 3: Film Festivals and East Asia, edited by Dina Iordanova and Ruby Cheung, St Andrews Film Studies, 2011, pp. 154–65.

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Pabiś-Orzeszyna, Michał. “Conflict Management: The Camerimage Festival and the Dialectics of Prestige.” Iluminace: časopis pro teorii, historii a estetiku filmu = Journal for Film Theory, History, and Aesthetics, vol. 27, no. 3, 2015, pp. 7–22.

Palis, Joseph. “Film Festivals, the Globalization of Images and Post-National Cinephilia.” The Pennsylvania Geographer, vol. 53, no. 2, 2015, pp. 35–47.

Paramaditha, Intan. “Q! Film Festival as Cultural Activism: Strategic Cinephilia and the Expansion of a Queer Counterpublic.” Visual Anthropology, vol. 31, 1-2, 2018, pp. 74–92. doi:10.1080/08949468.2018.1428015.

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Stanciu, Elena-Larisa. “Urban Space and Queer Identities: The LGBTQ Film Festival as Heterotopia.” Analize: Journal of Gender and Feminist Studies, no. 3, 2014, pp. 159–77. www.analize-journal.ro​/​library/​files/​numarul_​3/​elena_​stanciu.pdf.

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(Last updated: 22 July 2021)