New book: Film Festivals and Anthropology

Cambridge Scholars Publishing has just published the book Film Festivals and Anthropology, edited by Aida Vallejo and María Paz Peirano.

You can get a 20% discount entering the code festivals20 in the online order.
You can order the book online and download the introduction for free.

This collection explores the intersections between anthropology and film festival studies. Film and anthropology scholars map ethnographic film festivals and ethnographic approaches to festivals worldwide. The book provides a historical reconstruction of most of the main festivals exhibiting ethnographic film, considering the parallel evolution of programming and organisational practices across the globe. It also addresses the great value and challenges of ethnographic research tools for studying the wide-ranging field of film festivals.This volume is the first to collect long-term experiences of curating and exhibiting ethnographic film, as well as new approaches to the understanding of film festival practices. Its contributions reflect on curatorial practices within visual anthropology and their implications for ethnographic filmmaking, and they shed light on problems of cultural translation, funding, festival audiences and the institutionalisation of ethnographic cinema.The book offers a novel perspective on film festivals as showcases for cinema, socio-cultural hubs and distribution nodes. Aimed at anthropologists, media scholars, festival organisers and documentary film professionals, it offers a starting point for the study of ethnographic film exhibition within its cultural and social contexts.

Aida Vallejo words as Adjunct Professor in Media Studies at the University of the Basque Country, Spain.

María Paz Peirano is Lecturer in Film Studies at University of Chile, with a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Kent, UK.


Table of Contents

  • Preface: Screening Anthropology across the Planet
    Faye Ginsburg
  • Introduction: Film Festivals and Anthropology
    María Paz Peirano and Aida Vallejo


  • Introduction: Mapping Ethnographic Film Festivals: a World Overview
    María Paz Peirano

I.I. Curating Anthropology

  • Festivals, Conferences, Seminars and Networks in Visual Anthropology in Europe
    Colette Piault
  • Ethnographic and Indigenous Film Festivals in Latin America: Constructing Networks of Film Circulation
    María Paz Peirano
  • Visual Anthropology in the USSR and Post-Soviet Russia: a History of Festival Practices
    Victoria Vasileva (Chistyakova) and Ekaterina Trushkina
  • The Artful Narrative of Anthropological Festivals: View from the Baltics
    Carlo A. Cubero

I.II. Case Studies

  • Between Familiar and Unfamiliar. Ethnographic Films in the Festival dei Popoli
    Vittorio Iervese
  • Temple University’s Conferences on Visual Anthropology: A First Person, Clearly Biased Report on an Experiment
    Jay Ruby
  • Margaret Mead Film Festival: Four Decades of World Picture(s)
    Neta Alexander
  • The Nordic Eye Revisited. NAFA, 1975 to 2015
    Peter I. Crawford
  • Les Regards Comparés and Le Bilan du Film Ethnographique: Jean Rouch’s initiatives
    Nadine Wanono
  • The Film Festival of the Royal Anthropological Institute: A Personal Memoir on its Thirtieth Anniversary
    Paul Henley
  • 25 Years of Beeld voor Beeld Festival and Visual Anthropology in the Netherlands
    Eddy Appels
  • Organisational Challenges when Programming an Ethnographic Film Festival: Lessons from Göttingen
    Beate Engelbrecht


  • Introduction: Ethnographies of Film Festivals: Reflections on Methodology
    Aida Vallejo
  • Insider/outsider Positions at Glasgow Film Festival: Challenges, Issues and Opportunities in Industry-Partnered Ethnographic Research
    Lesley-Ann Dickson
  • Travelling the Circuit: A Multi-sited Ethnography of Documentary Film Festivals in Europe
    Aida Vallejo
  • A Community at the Margins: An Ethnography of Chinese Independent Film Festivals
    Flora Lichaa
  • Programmer as Festival Spokesperson: Information Management Strategies at the Toronto International Film Festival
    SED Mitchell
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