9.4 Film Festivals and New Media Platforms

In a time when ‘media convergence’ is a general buzz phrase and when cinema operators fear that the wave of digitalization might extinguish cinephilia as we know it, there has been a proliferation of hybrid forms where film festivals make use of or altogether migrate to the Internet. The label “online film festival” is not an easy one to define. Many major festivals also show a selection of (short) films online (Sundance, Berlinale), some festivals only exist in the virtual world (e.g. Babelgum Online Film Festival), and other ones let audiences vote online and then they screen the winning films in a conventional cinema (Bitfilm, Hamburg). The pieces collected under this rubric provide different views on this issue.

We renamed the former subsection (9.4) Online Film Festivals, which is now called Film Festivals and New Media Platforms. This change acknowledges the emergence of a number of film festivals dedicated to new media content and platforms, such as film festivals focusing on iPhone or mobile products. Although not many (academic) studies are available on this topic yet we anticipate a change in the near future.


Bakker, Norbert. “Utopian Film Festivals: Space, Content and Business Matters in Early Online Film Festivals.” Synoptique, vol. 3, no. 2, 2015, pp. 9–28. synoptiqueblog.files.wordpress.com​/​2018/​07/​2-​norbert-​bakker-​utopian-​film-​festivals-​space-​content-​and-​business-​matters-​in-​early-​online-​film-​festivals.pdf.

Castle, Scott. “What’s in a Name? Does the Term ‘Online Film Festival’ Mean Anything at All?” The Independent: Film and Video Monthly, vol. 23, no. 6, 2000, pp. 18–20.

de Valck, Marijke. “’Screening’ the Future of Film Festivals? A Long Tale of Convergence and Digitization.” Film International, vol. 6, no. 4, 2008, pp. 15–23.

Hanzlík, Jan, and Ewa Mazierska. “Eastern European Film Festivals: Streaming Through the Covid-19 Pandemic.” Studies in Eastern European Cinema, vol. 13, no. 1, 2022, 38-55. doi:10.1080/2040350X.2021.1964218.

Hernandez, Eugene. “The Point of No Return: On-Line Film Festivals, Showcases & Distributors.” The Independent: Film and Video Monthly, vol. 22, no. 9, 1999, pp. 26–28. www.aivf.org​/​node/​439.

Klimek, Caroline. “From Programmer to Curator: How Film Festivals Are Pushing the Boundaries of New Media and Expanded Cinema.” Canadian Journal of Film Studies | Revue Canadienne d’Études Cinématographiques, vol. 27, no. 1, 2018, pp. 73–87. doi:10.3138/cjfs.27.1.2017-0016.

Kurtzke, Simone. Webfilm Theory. PhD Thesis, Queen Margaret University, 2007, etheses.qmu.ac.uk​/​79/​1/​SimoneKurtzke.pdf. Accessed 24 May 2011.

Nedyalkova, Maya. “Festivals Gone Digital: A Case-Study of Netcinema.bg and the Online European Film Festival in Bulgaria.” Transformation Process in Post-Socialist Screen Media, edited by Jana Dudková and Katarína Mišíková, 2016, pp. 138–52.

Niederer, Sabine. “The Future of Festivals: Interview with Arjon Dunnewind.” Video Vortex Reader: Responses to YouTube, edited by Geert Lovink and Sabine Niederer, Institute of Network Cultures, 2008, pp. 203–06.

Patmore, Chris. “iPhone Film Festivals.” Film & Festival, no. 27, 2011, pp. 16–17.

Simons, Jan. “Between iPhone and YouTube: Movies on the Move?” Moving Images Beyond YouTube, edited by Geert Lovink and Rachel Somers Miles, Institute of Network Cultures, 2011, pp. 95–107.

Slováková, Andrea. “Connecting Festivals, Distributing Films: An Interview with Diana Tabakov, Acquisitions Manager at Doc Alliance Films VOD Platform.” Documentary Film Festivals Vol. 2: Changes, Challenges, Professional Perspectives, edited by Aida Vallejo and Ezra Winton, Palgrave Macmillan, 2020, pp. 201–10.

Taillibert, Christel. “Festivales y patrimonio cinematográfico en la era digital: La situación francesa.” [Festivals and film heritage in the digital age: The French situation.]. Festivales Cinematográficos [Film Festivals], edited by Aida Vallejo, MAIA Ediciones, 2014, pp. 83–99.

Taillibert, Christel. “Les nouveaux festivaliers online: Une étude quantitative du public de My French Film Festival.” [The new festival attendees online. A quantitative study of the audience of My French Film Festival]. Les nouvelles pratiques cinéphiles, edited by Jean-Paul Aubert and Christel Tallibert, L’Harmattan, 2015, pp. 123–82. Champs visuels 12/13.

Taillibert, Christel. “New Perspectives for Online Film Festivals.” International Film Festivals: Contemporary Cultures and History Beyond Venice and Cannes, edited by Tricia Jenkins, I.B.Tauris, 2018, pp. 32–48.

Taillibert, Christel. “Phénomènes De Circulations En Festival: L’influence Des Nouvelles Technologies.” [Phenomena of circulation in film festivals: The influence of new technologies.]. Miranda, no. 10, 2014, doi:10.4000/miranda.6330.

Van de Peer, Stefanie. “Damascus and Beirut, or Why Arab Film Festivals Go on and Offline.” Film Festival Yearbook 6: Film Festivals and the Middle East, edited by Dina Iordanova and Stefanie Van de Peer, St Andrews Film Studies, 2014, pp. 197–212.

Vivar Navas, Rosana. Los Festivales De Cine En La Era De Los ‘New Media’: Una Perspectiva Lúdica Sobre Las Fiestas Del Cine Y Sus Públicos [Film festivals in the era of the ‘new media’: A playful perspective on film festivals and their audiences.], PhD Thesis, Universidad de Granada, 2016.

Wilson, Gavin. Cell/ular Cinema: Individuated Production, Public Sharing and Mobile Phone Film Exhibition. PhD Thesis, University of Leeds, 2014, etheses.whiterose.ac.uk​/​8475/​.

Wolf, Reinhard W. “5 Jahre Festival Scope: Festivalfilme Online Vermarkten.” [5 Years Festival Scope: Marketing Festival Films Online]. shortfilm.de: Das KurzfilmMagazin [shortfilm.de], 23 Oct. 2016, www.shortfilm.de/5-jahre-festival-scope-festivalfilme-online-vermarkten/. Accessed 24 June 2021.

(Last updated: 11 March 2022)