5.5 Festival (as) Organization

This new subsection collects works that deal with organizational aspects of film festivals. These entries pick up on the blind spot of questions concerning the organization and stakeholders behind the events and analyze issues of institutional backgrounds, funding, employment and industry patterns, missions statements and agendas. These questions are fundamental for an analysis of how festivals fit into the film industry, creative industries and the circulation of cinema. The specific institutional background and founding history gives insight into the workings and agendas of the respective festivals. For instance, festivals founded by municipal and state institutions to further political and diplomatic goals – here Cannes and Berlin immediately come to mind – work on a different agenda and with very different employment and funding structures than, say, minority festivals founded by activists (be it queer film festivals or diasporic ones).

While cultural festivals have been discussed in sociology, management and tourism studies, pieces specifically focusing on the organizational aspect of film festivals are still few. Kai Reichel-Heldt (2007) looked at the differences in organization and funding structures for the Berlinale and smaller German film festivals, and Ruby Cheung (2010) charted funding models for themed film festivals in the UK. Ragan Rhyne (2009) has analyzed film festivals as part of a cultural industry and charted the stakeholders influencing festival structures. Coming from the management angle, Charles-Clemens Rüling (2009) analyzed festivals as field-configuring events.


Aydemir, Aylin Pınar. 2022. “Yeni Dönem, Yeni Festivaller?” In Film Festivalleri E-Kitabi 1: 10-11 Kasim 2021, Ankara, edited by Hakan Erkılıç, 315–30. Ankara: De Ki Basim Yayim. [New Era, New Festivals?].

Barnes, Heather L. 2020. “The Data-Driven Festival: Recordkeeping and Archival Practices.” In Documentary Film Festivals Vol. 1: Methods, History, Politics, edited by Aida Vallejo and Ezra Winton, 53–59. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Calderón Acero, Camilo Andrés. 2020. “Gestión de festivales de cine en Bogotá: Más allá de la formación de públicos.” In “Festivales De Cine En América Latina: Historias Y Nuevas Perspectivas.”: Historias Y Nuevas Perspectivas, edited by Maria P. Peirano and Aida Vallejo. Special issue, Comunicación y Medios 29. (42): 108–19. [Managing Bogota Film Festivals: Beyond Audience Formation].

Cerquera, Natalia López. 2023. “From the Festival-as-Event to the Festival-as-Process: A Journey Through Community Film Festivals in Colombia.” In Small Cinemas of the Andes: New Aesthetics, Practices and Platforms, edited by Diana Coryat, Christian León, and Noah Zweig, 179–96. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Cheung, Ruby. 2010. “Funding Models of Themed Film Festivals.” In Film Festival Yearbook 2: Film Festivals and Imagined Communities, edited by Dina Iordanova and Ruby Cheung, 74–103. St. Andrews: St Andrews Film Studies.

Cheung, Ruby. 2016. “Ever-Changing Readjustments: The Political Economy of the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF).” New Review of Film and Television Studies 14 (1): 59–75. https://doi.org/10.1080/17400309.2015.1107268.

Colta, Alexandra Maria. 2019. “Creative and Emotional Labour: Programming Human Rights Film Festivals as Practice-Led Ethnography.” Alphaville, no. 17: 128–45. https://doi.org/10.33178/alpha.17.08.

Corrêa, Paulo Vitor Luz. 2017. “Festivais De Cinema E a Internet: Uma Breve Análise Por Meio Dos Formatos De Submissão De Filmes.” Unpublished manuscript, last modified November 20, 2022. https://issuu.com/pauloluzcorrea/docs/estudo_festivais_brasileiros_submis. [Film Festivals and the Internet: A Brief Analysis Through Film Submission Formats].

Dawood, Hayder. 2022. “Seeking Legitimacy Through Specialization and Diversification: How Do Film Festivals Select Films.” MA Industrial Management and Innovation, Uppsala University.

Dawson, Leanne. 2020. “Culture in Crisis: A Guide to Access, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Festivals, Arts and Culture.” MAI: Feminism & Visual Culture. https://maifeminism.com/culture-in-crisis-a-guide-to-inclusion/. Accessed October 27, 2020.

Dickson, Lesley-Ann. 2019. “Episodic Volunteer Management at Festivals: The Case of Valletta Film Festival, Valetta, Malta.” In Managing Organisational Success in the Arts, edited by David Stevenson, 147–70. Routledge research in creative and cultural industries management. London, New York, NY: Routledge.

Dinkla, Lina. 2012. “Festivals und digitale Filmeinreichungen: Festivals and Digital Film Submissions.” [bilingual German | English]. Short Report, 62–67.

Fischer, Alex. 2012. “’the Fully Clickable Submission’: How Withoutabox Captured the Hearts and Minds of Film Festivals Everywhere.” In Digital Disruption: Cinema Moves On-line, edited by Dina Iordanova and Stuart Cunningham, 153–66: St Andrews Film Studies.

Fischer, Alex. 2013. Sustainable Projections: Concepts in Film Festival Management. St Andrews: St Andrews Film Studies.

Fischer, Alex. 2018. “The Fully Clickable Situation: From Tyranny to Monopoly to a Filmfreeway.” In International Film Festivals: Contemporary Cultures and History Beyond Venice and Cannes, edited by Tricia Jenkins, 49–69. London, New York: I.B.Tauris.

Gamson, Joshua. 1996. “The Organizational Shaping of Collective Identity: The Case of Lesbian and Gay Film Festivals in New York.” Sociological Forum 11 (2): 231–61.

Gesell, Christian. 2012. “Digitale Filmvorführung auf Filmfestivals: Eine einfache und qualitativ hochwertige Lösung des Internationalen Kurzfilmfestivals Berlin: Digital Film Screenings at Film Festivals: Simple and High Quality Solution From the International Short Film Festival Berlin.” [bilingual German | English]. Short Report, 68–73.

Hassink, Robert, and Yong-Sook Lee. 2018. “Exploring International Film Festivals from a Co-Evolutionary Perspective: The Cases of Berlin and Busan Compared.” European Planning Studies 26 (5): 933–49. https://doi.org/10.1080/09654313.2018.1446912.

Kujawski, Linda. 2018. “FestivalarbeiterInnen Vernetzen Sich International.” shortfilm.de, March 28, 2018. https://www.shortfilm.de/festivalarbeiterinnen-vernetzen-sich-international/.

Lang, Iain, Simon Clode, and Ann Vogel. 2006. “2006 Survey of Film Festivals World-Wide.” Unpublished Study.

Larson, Mia. 2011. “Innovation and Creativity in Festival Organizations.” Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management 20 (3-4): 287–310.

Lauzen, Martha M. 2016. “Image Repair: A Case Study of Thierry Fremaux and the Cannes Film Festival.” Public Relat. Rev. 42 (1): 170–75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2015.11.002.

Leão, Tânia. 2023. “Organização, Trabalho E Voluntariado Nos Festivais De Cinema: Análise De Dois Casos Portugueses.” [Organization, work, and volunteering at film festivals: Analysis of two Portuguese cases]. Sociologia On Line, no. 31: 76–95. https://doi.org/10.30553/sociologiaonline.2023.31.5.

Leca, Bernard, Charles-Clemens Rüling, and Dominique Puthod. 2015. “Animated Times: Critical Transitions and the Maintenance of Field-Configuring Events.” Industry and Innovation 22 (3): 173–92. https://doi.org/10.1080/13662716.2015.1033839.

Loist, Skadi. 2011. “Precarious Cultural Work: About the Organization of (Queer) Film Festivals.” Screen 52 (2): 268–73. https://doi.org/10.1093/screen/hjr016.

Mazza, Carmelo, and Jesper Strandgaard Pedersen. 2008. “Who’s Last? Challenges and Advantages for Late Adopters in the International Film Festival Field.” Creative Encounters Working Papers 16. Unpublished manuscript, last modified April 25, 2020. http://hdl.handle.net/10398/7782.

Mitchell, Sarah Elaine Dillard. 2017. “Glamorous Work: An Ethnographic Study of the Toronto Interntational Film Festival.” PhD Thesis, Department of Anthropology, Indiana University.

Mitchell, Sarah Elaine Dillard. 2017. “Programmer as Festival Spokesperson: Information Management Strategies at the Toronto International Film Festival.” In Film Festivals and Anthropology, edited by Aida Vallejo and Maria-Paz Peirano, 305–21. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Mitchell, Sed. 2021. “Glamorous Work: Notes from the Red Carpet.” Visual Anthropology Review 37 (1): 142–63. https://doi.org/10.1111/var.12228.

Moretti, Anna, and Francesco Zirpoli. 2016. “A Dynamic Theory of Network Failure: The Case of the Venice Film Festival and the Local Hospitality System.” Organization Studies 37 (5): 607–33. https://doi.org/10.1177/0170840615613369.

Oncins, Estella. 2013. “The Process of Subtitling at Film Festivals: Death in Venice?” IJHSS 3 (14): 70–80. http://www.ijhssnet.com/journals/Vol_3_No_14_Special_Issue_July_2013/9.pdf. Accessed April 25, 2020.

Ooi, Can-Seng, and Jesper Strandgaard Pedersen. 2010. “City Branding and Film Festivals: Re-Evaluating Stakeholder’s Relations.” Place Branding 6 (4): 316–32. https://doi.org/10.1057/pb.2010.30.

Peaslee, Robert Moses, Jessica El-Khoury, and Ashley Liles. 2014. “The Media Festival Volunteer: Connecting Online and on-Ground Fan Labor.” TWC, no. 15. https://doi.org/10.3983/twc.2014.0502.

Peranson, Mark. 2013. “First You Get the Power, Then You Get the Money: Two Models of Film Festivals (2009).” In The Film Festivals Reader, edited by Dina Iordanova, 191–203. St Andrews: St Andrews Film Studies.

Pisu, Stefano. 2018. “A Transnational Love–Hate Relationship: The FIAPF and the Venice and Cannes Film Festivals (1950-1970).” In International Film Festivals: Contemporary Cultures and History Beyond Venice and Cannes, edited by Tricia Jenkins, 109–31. London, New York: I.B.Tauris.

Póvoa, Débora. 2023. “‘The Festival Is Ours’: Power Dynamics of Community Participation in the Alter Do Chão Film Festival.” International Journal of Cultural Studies 26 (2): 200-215. https://doi.org/10.1177/13678779231154288.

Redvall, Eva Novrup. 2012. “More Than Films and Dragon Awards: The Göteborg International Film Festival as a Meeting Place.” Journal of Scandinavian Cinema 2 (2): 135–42. https://doi.org/10.1386/jsca.2.2.135_1.

Reichel-Heldt, Kai. 2007. Filmfestivals in Deutschland: Zwischen kulturpolitischen Idealen und wirtschaftspolitischen Realitäten. Studien zur Kulturpolitik 5. Frankfurt am Main: Lang.

Rhyne, Ragan. 2009. “Film Festival Circuits and Stakeholders.” In Film Festival Yearbook 1: The Festival Circuit, edited by Dina Iordanova and Ragan Rhyne, 9–39. St. Andrews: St Andrews Film Studies.

Rüling, Charles-Clemens. 2009. “Festivals as Field-Configuring Events: The Annecy International Animated Film Festival and Market.” In Film Festival Yearbook 1: The Festival Circuit, edited by Dina Iordanova and Ragan Rhyne, 49–66. St. Andrews: St Andrews Film Studies.

Rüling, Charles-Clemens. 2011. “Event Institutionalization and Maintenance: The Annecy Animation Festival 1960-2010.” In Negotiating Values in the Creative Industries: Fairs, Festivals and Competitive Events, edited by Brian Moeran and Jesper Strandgaard Pedersen, 197–223. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.

Rüling, Charles-Clemens, and Jesper Strandgaard Pedersen. 2010. “Film Festival Research from an Organizational Studies Perspective.” Scandinavian Journal of Management 26 (3): 318–23.

Strandgaard Pedersen, Jesper, and Carmelo Mazza. 2011. “International Film Festivals: For the Benefit of Whom?” CU 3:139–65. https://doi.org/10.3384/cu.2000.1525.113139.

Tan, Jia. 2019. “Networking Asia Pacific: Queer Film Festivals and the Spatiotemporal Politics of Inter-Referencing.” Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 20 (2): 204–19. https://doi.org/10.1080/14649373.2019.1613727.

Teissl, Verena. 2017. “Einreichen. Einsehen: Kulturmanageriale Betrachtungsweisen.” Triëdere: Zeitschrift für Theorie, Literatur und Kunst (17): 149–59.

Teissl, Verena. 2018. “Korrektiver Blickwechsel Postkoloniale Einflüsse auf die Programmpolitik spezialisierter Filmfestivals.” In Kulturelle Übersetzer: Kunst und Kulturmanagement im transkulturellen Kontext, edited by Christiane Dätsch, 135–52. Edition Kulturwissenschaft Band 103. Bielefeld: transcipt.

Teissl, Verena, Elisabeth Mayerhofer, and Wendy Reid. 2021. “Austrian Film Festival Forum: Cultural Governance and Accountability in Viennese Film Festivals.” International Journal of Arts Management 24 (1): 103–13.

Vogel, Ann. 2023. Cinema and the Festivalization of Capitalism: The Experience-Makers. Leiden: Brill.

Wiedemann, Thomas, and Tanja C. Krainhöfer. 2018. “Filmfestival Dekonstruiert: Akteurskonstellationen in Der Debatte Zur Zukunft Der Berlinale.” [Film Festival Deconstructed: Actor Constellations within the Debate about the Future of the Berlinale]. Navigationen- Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturwissenschaften 18 (2): 177–96. https://doi.org/10.25969/mediarep/3534.

Zachar, Gerald, and Michael Paul. 2018. “Evidencing the Economics of Film Festival Funding: Do Government Subsidies Help?” In Handbook of State Aid for Film: Finance, Industries and Regulation, edited by Paul C. Murschetz, Roland Teichmann, and Matthias Karmasin, 481–505. Cham: Springer International.

(Last updated: 11. April 2024)