6. Trans/National Cinemas

As the concept of the nation state has increasingly come under attack, cinema studies have slowly adopted this approach and strive to think through the concept and different possibilities of the trans/national in cinema. Film scholars in the field argue, for instance, for a kind of European film studies that provides a new narrative beyond the distinct study of singular national cinemas (all opposed to Hollywood). Thomas Elsaesser (2005, section 1.1) emphasizes the different ways in which film production as well as film reception transcend borders and, thus, call for an account of the transnational in film.

Film festivals are the platforms where new national waves can be discovered (cf. Nichols 1994, section 8). Or as Owen Evans suggests, film festivals (in Europe) are “loci of cultural dialogue between Hollywood and the rest of the world’s cinema” (2007: 24, section 1.1). What needs to be taken into account when stating this is the power differences between the (Western) film festival circuit and national cinema/”world cinema” (Stringer 2001, section 3). In the last few years, scholars have started to analyze how film festivals (in the West) have served as cultural taste-makers for global cinema, which have had (and still have) significant influence on the global film markets. This is true, for instance, for the marketing of African (Diawara 1993, section 6.3), Iranian (Nichols 1994, section 8; Nichols 1994, section 1.1) and Korean cinema (AHN 2008a, b) in Western arthouse cinemas. In several cases, the argument goes, the festival circuit’s taste and the awards/rewards coming with it have influenced non-Western filmmakers in their careers and potentially led them to produce for the festival circuit rather than for their region or according to (an imagined) artistic integrity (Stringer 2001, section 3). Along with the criticism of the festival circuit for influencing (unacknowledged) the production of trans/national cinema comes the call to look critically at the impact that film festivals – and the writing of film reviews and criticism that comes at their tails – have on film history (cf. Stringer 2001: 135, section 3; Stringer 2003, section 1.1; Zhang 2002, section 6.2).

We have subdivided section 6 “Trans/National Cinema” in order to map out the different regions that have been studied in this context and to try to account for the differences that have been highlighted in the respective pieces.

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).

6.1 Europe
6.2 Asia
6.3 Africa
6.4 The Middle East
6.5 Latin America
6.6 Australia
6.7 North America

Akbulut, Hasan. 2022. “Ulus-Ötesi Bir Festivalin Anatomisi: Londra Türk Filmleri Festivali.” In Film Festivalleri E-Kitabi 1: 10-11 Kasim 2021, Ankara, edited by Hakan Erkılıç, 72–97. Ankara: De Ki Basim Yayim. [Anatomy of a Transnational Film Festival: London Turkish Film Festival].

Aydın, Tuncer Mert. 2022. “Covid-19 Pandemisi Sürecinde Almanya Ve Amerika Birleşik Devletleri’nde Ulusötesi Türk Film Festivallerinin Yapısı.” In Film Festivalleri E-Kitabi 1: 10-11 Kasim 2021, Ankara, edited by Hakan Erkılıç, 99–118. Ankara: De Ki Basim Yayim. [The Structure of Transnational Turkish Film Festivals in Germany and the United States of America during the Covid-19 Pandemic].

Binark, Mutlu. 2022. “Pandemi Döneminde Güney Kore’de Sinema Endüstrisi Ve Film Festivalleri: Seyirciyle Sinema Salonunda Buluşma Yolları.” In Film Festivalleri E-Kitabi 1: 10-11 Kasim 2021, Ankara, edited by Hakan Erkılıç, 119–48. Ankara: De Ki Basim Yayim. [Film Industry and Film Festivals in South Korea during the Pandemic: Ways to Meet with the Audience in the Movie Theater].

Burgess, Diane. 2023. “From Showcase to Lightbox: Programming the National on the Festival Circuit.” In Canadian Cinema in the New Millennium, edited by Lee Carruthers and Charles Tepperman, 370–94. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Chadha, Siddharth. 2022. “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: AKS International Minorities Festival Pakistan 2021.” NECSUS_European Journal of Media Studies 11:336–43. https://doi.org/10.25969/mediarep/18829.

Chan, Felicia. 2011. “The International Film Festival and the Making of a National Cinema.” Screen 52 (2): 253–60. https://doi.org/10.1093/screen/hjr012.

Chan, Felicia. 2017. “Film Festivals and Cosmopolitan Affect.” In Cosmopolitan Cinema: Cross-Cultural Encounters in East Asian Film, 92–118. Tauris World Cinema Series. London, New York, NY: I.B. Tauris.

Costa Villaverde, Elisa. 2016. “Film Festivals and Cinematic Events Bridging the Gap Between the Individual and the Community: Cinema and Social Function in Conflict Resolution.” IAFOR J Media Commun Film 3 (1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijmcf.3.1.06.

de Valck, Marijke. 2017. “Screening World Cinema at Film Festivals: Festivalisation and (Staged) Authenticity.” In Routledge Companion to World Cinema, edited by Rob Stone, Paul Cooke, Stephanie Dennison, and Alex Marlow-Mann, 393–403. Oxford: Routledge.

Falicov, Tamara Leah. 2010. “Migrating from South to North: The Role of Film Festivals in Funding and Shaping Global South Film and Video.” In Locating Migrating Media, edited by Greg Elmer, Charles H. Davis, Janine Marchessault, and John McCullough, 3–21. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Frías, Luis Gerardo, and Felipe Marañón. 2022. “Diversidad Cultural, Coproducciones Y Tendencias Fílmicas En Tres Festivales Europeos De Cine Clase A.” In Producción Y Consumo De Contenidos Audiovisuales. Coordinadores: Abordajes Desde La Comunicación Social, edited by Brenda A. Muñoz, Antonio Corona, and Gabriel Pérez Salazar, 15–49: Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila. [Cultural diversity, co-productions and film trends at three European class A film festivals.].

Herrero, Carmen. 2020. “The Beyond Babel Multilingual Film Festival.” Journal of Film & Video 72 (1-2): 33–45. https://doi.org/10.5406/jfilmvideo.72.1-2.0033.

Ihwanny, R., and M. Budiman. 2019. “The Director’s Responses and the Shaping of Indonesia’s Identity in the European Film Festival Funding.” In Urban Studies: Border and Mobility, edited by Thor Kerr, 79–85. London: Routledge.

Iordanova, Dina. 2010. “From the Source: Cinemas of the South.” Film International 8 (5): 95–98.

Iordanova, Dina. 2010. “Mediating Diaspora: Film Festivals and ‘Imagined Communities’.” In Film Festival Yearbook 2: Film Festivals and Imagined Communities, edited by Dina Iordanova and Ruby Cheung, 12–44. St. Andrews: St Andrews Film Studies.

Iordanova, Dina. 2010. “The Listings: Transnational Film Festivals.” In Film Festival Yearbook 2: Film Festivals and Imagined Communities, edited by Dina Iordanova and Ruby Cheung, 259–65. St. Andrews: St Andrews Film Studies.

Iordanova, Dina, and Ruby Cheung. 2010. “Introduction.” In Film Festival Yearbook 2: Film Festivals and Imagined Communities, edited by Dina Iordanova and Ruby Cheung, 1–10. St. Andrews: St Andrews Film Studies.

Palis, Joseph. 2015. “Film Festivals, the Globalization of Images and Post-National Cinephilia.” The Pennsylvania Geographer 53 (2): 35–47.

Radhakrishnan, Ratheesh. 2016. “Kim Ki Duk’s Promise, Zanussi’s Betrayal: Film Festival, World Cinema and the Subject of the Region.” Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 17 (2): 206–22. https://doi.org/10.1080/14649373.2016.1170310.

Stafford, Roy. 2010. “Bite the Mango: Bradford’s Unique Film Festival.” In Film Festival Yearbook 2: Film Festivals and Imagined Communities, edited by Dina Iordanova and Ruby Cheung, 106–20. St. Andrews: St Andrews Film Studies.

Teissl, Verena. 2014. “Export or Cultural Transfer? Reflections on Two Concepts.” In Exporting Culture: Which Role for Europe in a Global World? edited by Raphaela Henze and Gernot Wolfram, 149–59. Berlin: Springer.

Teissl, Verena. 2020. “Change of View: Postcolonial Influences and Authenticity in the Context of International Film Festivals.” Arts Management Quarterly (135): 55-64. https://www.artsmanagement.net/dlf/cb8ebaea406f511bf6837472c02c7878,2.pdf. Accessed June 25, 2021.

Utamachote, Sarnt, Rosalia Namsai Engchuan, Malve Lippmann, and Can Sungu. 2022. “Un.Thai.Tled Filmfestival Und SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA: Transnationale Verflechtungen Jenseits Von Eurozentrischer Dominanz Und Nationalstaatlichen Konzepten.” In Filmfestivals: Krisen, Chancen, Perspektiven, edited by Tanja Krainhöfer and Joachim Kurz, 298–319. München: edition text + kritik.

(Last updated: 18. April 2024)