9. Specialized Film Festivals

The vast proliferation of film festivals and the differentiation of film markets contribute to the development of specialized film festivals. There are a number of categories according to which these festivals can be grouped. The choice of our categories here is founded on basic elements which differentiate films and thus their showcase festivals as such. There are, for instance, festivals for long or short films, for features or documentaries, for animation or experimental films. Yet there are also other qualities that cluster films by way of a special programming profile of a festival: there are festivals that choose films not only according to their length, format or style, but rather according to a theme or context. Furthermore, not all specialized festivals have been studied yet, thus, our categorization is influenced by the texts available.

9.1 Identity-Based Festivals
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

9.2 Genre-Based Festivals
9.2 a) Film Genre
Fantasy Film Festivals
Horror Film Festivals

9.2 b) Type
Animation Film Festivals
Archival Film Festivals
Documentary Film Festivals
Experimental Film Festivals
Silent Film Festivals

9.2 c) Length
Short Film Festivals

9.2 d) Social Concern Festivals
Disability Film Festivals
Environmental Film Festivals
Human Rights Film Festivals
Indigenous Film Festivals
Mental Health Film Festivals

9.3 National and Regional Showcases

9.4 Film Festivals and New Media Platforms

9.5 TV Festivals


Caneppele, Paolo. 2022. “Amateur Film Festivals Sources, History, and Perspectives.” Studies in European Cinema, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1080/17411548.2022.2087051.

Gorfinkel, Elena. 2006. “Wet Dreams: Erotic Film Festivals of the Early 1970s and the Utopian Sexual Public Sphere.” Framework 47 (2): 59–86.

Peralta-García, Lidia, Raquel Gómez-Rosado, and Clara López-Cantos. 2023. “Rural Film Festivals: Social Functions, Obstacles and Challenges.” Communication & Society 36 (4): 135–53. https://doi.org/10.15581/

(Last updated: 29. April 2024)