Film Festival Research workgroup @ NECS 2018 Amsterdam

The NECS 2018 Conference “media tactics and engagement” taking place in Amsterdam, Netherlands » June 27-29, 2018 is only a few days away.

Here is a list of all festival related papers and panels at this year’s NECS conference.

Panels Sponsored by Film Festival Research Workgroup

A7 Festivals’ History from 1950s to 1970s
Wednesday 27th » 9.00-10.45; UvA OMHP D1.18A

  • Chair: Stefano Pisu »University of Cagliari/University of Roma Tre
  • Caroline Moine »University of Versailles St-Quentin-en-Yvelines
    The International Federation of Film Producers Associations Backstage at International Film Festivals during the Cold War
  • Stefano Pisu »University of Cagliari/University of Roma Tre
    The “Giornata del film europeo” in Venice: Between Film Festivals and European Media Policies, 1956-1960
  • Gabrielle Chomentowski »National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations, Paris
    African and Arab Filmmakers at Moscow and Tashkent Film Festivals: Foreign Policy and Professional Strategy during the Cold War
  • Elena Razlogova »Concordia University, Montreal
    Translation as Surveillance and Curation at the Moscow International Film Festival in the 1960s

B7  Festival Strategies: Top down / Bottom up
Wednesday 27th » 11.00-12.45, UvA OMHP D1.18A

  • Chair: Eija Niskanen »University of Helsinki
  • Melis Behlil »Kadir Has University
    Antalya in Istanbul: An Alternative “National Competition”
  • Ann Breidenbach »Stephens College
    Sightlines and Shadows: Citizen Jane, Activism, and Women’s Film Festivals
  • Diane Burgess »University of British Columbia
    #SeeTheNorth: Re-curating the National After TIFF at Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival
  • Ger Zielinski »Ryerson University
    Film Festivals as Media Practice: On Community Tactics and Strategies of Influence

C7  Film Festivals in the Global South
Wednesday 27th » 13.45-15.30, UvA OMHP D1.18A

  • Chair: Marijke de Valck »Utrecht University
  • Julia González de Canales »University of Vienna
    European Film Festivals’ production strategies in the Global South
  • Juliana Muylaert Mager »Universidade Federal Fluminense
    Brazilian documentaries in IDFA’s Bertha Fund: discussing the place for non-European cinemas in a globalized film festivals circuit
  • Konstantinos Tzouflas »University of Zurich
    Timely opportunities or poisoned gifts? The New Argentine Cinema, the Greek New Wave & the festival funding/prod. Instruments

D8  Queer Film Festivals
Wednesday 27th » 15.45-17.00, UvA OMHP E0.12

  • Chair: Skadi Loist »Film University Babelsberg
  • Frederik Dhaenens »Ghent University
    Moderately Queer Programming at an Established LGBTQ Film Festival: A case study of BFI Flare-London LGBT Film Festival
  • Theresa Heath »King’s College, London
    ‘Revolution sometimes happens because everyone refuses to go home’ Precarity and resistance at queer film festivals
  • Jonathan Petrychyn »York University
    Happy Queers in a ‘Market without Imagination’: Canadian Queer Film Festival Programming Tactics, 1995-2005

E2  Film Festivals after Netflix
Thursday 28th » 9.00-10.45, UvA OMHP A1.18D

  • Chair: Susan S. Kerns »Columbia College Chicago
  • Aleksandra Milovanovic »Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, Serbia
    (Re)thinking Distribution, Exhibition and Spectatorship: Sustainability of Balkan Film Festivals
  • Eija Niskanen »University of Helsinki
    Positing animation film festivals in the film festival circle
  • Pete Porter »University of Amsterdam
    Okja, satire, and Netflix: this giant piggy went to market; this giant piggy came home
  • Kirsten Stevens »Monash University
    Film Festivals After Netflix: Rethinking contemporary film festival engagement and programming tactics

F  Film Festival Research Workgroup meeting
Thursday, 28 June 2018, 11-12.45,

I13  Film Festivals  (HoMER)
Friday 29th » 11.00-12.45, VU Main Building 14A20

  • Chair: Paul Moore
  • Sezen Kayhan »Koc University, Istanbul
    Alternative Exhibition Strategies of Film Festivals in Turkey
  • María Paz Peirano »Universidad de Chile
    Audience Formation”: Film Festivals and the Expansion of the Cinematic Field in Chile
  • Vincent Baptist »University of Amsterdam
    Curated Circulation: Exploring the Consecutive Dissemination of Feature Films by Festivals, Distributors and Cinemas
  • Maria A. Velez-Serna »University of Stirling
    Fringe festivals and DIY film exhibition in Scotland


Panels and Papers that might also be of Interest

F3  Queer Tactics, On and Behind the Screen: Practices of Coalition and Refusal in Cinema’s Queer Commons
Thursday 28th » 11.00-12.45, UvA OMHP C1.05

  • Chair: Ger Zielinski »Ryerson University
  • Antoine Damiens »Concordia University
    Cineffable’s invisible labour: Paris International lesbian film festivals’ subtitles, translation, and solidarity
  • Emma Flavian »McGill University
    Screening the Tear: Black Counter-Cinema, Bad Parolees, and Spectatorships of Empathy
  • Clinton Glenn »McGill University
    Murderers of the Patriarchy: Reframing the (Queer) Nation in Romas Zabarauskas’ Porno Melodrama and You Can’t Escape Lithuania

G1  How to Teach European Cinema: the European University Film Award and Beyond
Thursday 28th » 13.45-15.30, UvA OMHP A1.18C

  • Chair: Skadi Loist »Film University Babelsberg
  • Workshop participants:
    Kathrin Kohlstedde »Filmfest Hamburg
  • Dagmar Brunow »Linnaeus University
  • Lydia Papadimitriou »Liverpool John Moores University
  • Laura Copier »Universiteit Utrecht
  • Melis Behlil »Kadir Has University
  • Michał Pabiś-Orzeszyna »University of Lodz

G7  Engaging in Cultural Democracy: Pedagogy, Curatorship, Artistic Practice

Thursday 28th » 13.45-15.30, UvA OMHP D1.18A

  • Chair: Synne Tollerud Bull »University of Oslo, Norway
  • Andrea Pócsik »Pázmány Péter Catholic University
    “We, Europeans…” Challenges of socially engaged art, curatorship and teaching practice
  • Miriam De Rosa »Coventry University
    Curating Moving Images in the Postdigital Age
  • Paula Albuquerque »University of Amsterdam / Gerrit Rietveld Academy
    Beyond the Violet End of the Spectrum – Specter Visualization in the Age of CCTV and Drones
  • Susan Kerns »Columbia College Chicago
    Embodying Pedagogy and Contradiction in Film Festival Planning and Curation
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FFRN get-together @ Berlinale 2018








Dear film festival folk & colleagues:

Keeping with the tradition of previous Berlinale editions we will again have a little FFRN get-together during the festival.

Anyone interested in meeting and catching up on conference and festival gossip is welcome to join us on Saturday, 17 February 2018, 7-9pm at the Corroboree restaurant/bar located in the Sony Center at Potsdamer Platz.  I have reserved a couch area located in the back of the restaurant on the ground floor.

If you are interested feel free to RSVP or just show up on the day.

Looking forward to seeing some of you there.


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CfP Korean Film and Festivals: Global Transcultural Flows

CFP – edited collection
Korean Film and Festivals: Global Transcultural Flows 

Film festivals for over seventy years have been the driving force behind the global circulation of cinema. Film festivals are also a place where cultures are translated and transported into other cultures. Work on film festivals is a burgeoning field of interest in Film Studies. Much cutting edge work is currently being published on film festivals in relation to world cinemas, yet the relationship between Korean cinema and film festivals so far has been relatively neglected.

Until recently, the work on this subject has mainly focused on European and North American Film Festivals, with presumptions and expectations about different global film cultures being shaped there. Asia is slowly becoming more prominent in the international festival world, and so it will be crucial to investigate how film festivals in Korea are engaging in this new global prominence of film festivals in Asia, and how this in turn is transforming what an international film festival is.

We hope the following volume will expand upon and enlarge the current work that has already been done on film festivals in Korea. There are also numerous small film festivals that are held in Korea, which would be beneficial to research to reveal the role they play in Korean film culture, and compare their structure and operations to the larger Korean film festivals.

Korean cinema has been making large waves in international film festivals for over a decade now, not to mention having had a long history at European film festivals that began in the 1960s. However there has not yet been a systematic study on the ideas and problems related to curating Korean films at international film festivals.

Along with this focus on the growing role of film festivals in relation to Korean cinema and lack of research on film festivals within Korea, this edited volume “Korean Film Festivals: Global Transcultural Flows” aims to address the following blind spots:

  • What constitutes the term ‘world cinema,’ and what issues are at stake when Korean cinema enters foreign lands with (different) values attached to it?
  • How are national narratives created around Korean cinema at international film festivals? Although Korean cinema has a long history of screenings at international film festivals, why is it that only in the past decade has Korean cinema started to win major festival prizes and gain a firm place within the rubric of ‘world cinema’?
  • If the film festival is the place that aims to exhibit certain kinds of films, what place does Korean cinema have within the exhibition network, and what type of cinema and images are being sought from Korea by international festival curators?
  • How is Korean cinema’s global success related to the film industry side of film festivals, where business deals are made for the worldwide distribution of Korean cinema?
  • How can issues of cultural translation be analyzed when looking at what exactly Korean cinema represents to international audiences, and what those audiences desire from it?
  • If we compare how Korean cinema is curated within film festivals in Korea itself and at international film festivals, what does this reveal about the transcultural flows that emanate from Korea to the rest of the world?
  • How is Korean culture translated through cinema via the festival distribution network?
  • On the other side of the scale, how do film festivals within Korea operate and fit into the international festival world?

The above questions will be explored in this edited volume. Other papers related to Korean cinema at international film festivals or Korean film festivals but with different angles will also be considered.

Call for Papers

Proposal should include an abstract of 300 words and the name, institutional affiliation, a 100 word biography of the author, and the title of the paper.

Please submit the abstract by 10 January 2018 to Dr. Hyunseon Lee: hs53[at]

The deadline for full chapter submission is the 1 September 2018. The length of article should be 6000-8000 words including footnotes and bibliography.

Hyunseon Lee, PhD. Habilitation
(SOAS, University of London)

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Update of the Film Festival Research bibliography

After a long overdue overhaul, we are proud to announce that the Film Festival Research bibliography is again up to date and includes a couple hundred new entries in all sections of the annotated bibliography.  Included are several new books and anthologies devoted to film festivals, listing also their individual contributions in the appropriate sections, as well as numerous articles, book chapters and research studies that have come out in the last two years.

Make sure to browse the new bibliography.  You can either follow the links in the table of contents, which will bring you directly to specific topic sections.  Or you can search the site by title, authors or terms by using the top right-hand search box.

If you are missing any new titles that you have come across that should be included here, feel free to get in touch so we can add them.

Happy reading.

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CfP Film Festival in South Asia (Workshop) 7-8 September 2017, Hyderabad, India

Film Festival in South Asia: A Dialogic Approach (a two-day workshop)

Cinema and Television History Research Centre CATH at De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester, UK and Department of Film Studies, at the English and Foreign Languages  University (EFL-U) in Hyderabad, India, are delighted to welcome you to this  transnational workshop on Film Festival Studies, which will be held 7 and 8 September  2017 at the EFL-U campus at Hyderabad, India.

The workshop, led by Dr Monia Acciari, a film scholar at DMU specialising on film festivals and South Asian cinema, in collaboration with Dr Hrishikesh Ingle at EFL-U, seeks to combine multiple skills, expertise, and approaches to broaden the interdisciplinary dialogue on film festivals.

This workshop seeks to bring together scholars, research students, and non-academic debating the evolution of methods, practical processes, policy issues, and politics in programming and organization of film festivals. Specifically, the workshop will encourage the discussion between the industry and the academic world, and leverage both the theory and practice of film festivals. By bringing together practicing film festival organisers, audience developers, academics, and curators the aim is to expose diverse mechanisms like acquiring films, censorship, publicity, developing curatorial notes, cataloguing etc., operating within and through film festivals, and study how many of these parameters can be ‘culturally’ motivated.

The workshop will provide ample scope for participants to engage with existing theories, historical approaches, and transnational trajectories of film festival studies. Participants would be presenting their ideas on organising a film festival, and learn from interactions with experts, practicing curators, and festival organisers. All the participants will have the unique opportunity to have hands-on experience with the practical aspects of  programming film festivals; this experience will be enhanced by the support of audience developers and film festival curators from India and the UK.
Call for Proposals:

1. The workshop intends to select a maximum 10 proposals from PhD research scholars, and independent researchers who have been awarded their PhD degrees in the last two years.

2. Your proposal should include a maximum 2 A4 pages write-up detailing: a) the concept of the film festival that you would like to organise, b) a curatorial note that explains where your idea is emerging from, your arguments for deciding which films to select, and a brief
explanation of how your festival idea contributes to theoretical/practical aspects of film festival research. Along with this include a one page cover-letter, and your latest CV.

3. Last date to receive proposals: August 10 2017. Email your complete application to monia.acciari[at] and hrishikesh[at]

4. The organisers are trying hard to fund travel by AC3 tier train of selected participants within India. However, this will be confirmed after the selection process is completed.

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Discount code for Activist Film Festivals book

On occasion of the upcoming NECS 2017 Paris conference Intellect has offered to announce its latest release on film festivals with a discount of 40% (valid until 1/1/2018) with the discount code ACTIVIST40 for the book ACTIVIST FILM FESTIVALS: TOWARDS A POLITICAL SUBJECT edited by Sonia Tascon and Tyson Wils.

£45, $64
ISBN 9781783206346
Paperback 245 pages

Film festivals are an ever-growing part of the film industry, but most considerations of them focus almost entirely on their role in the business of filmmaking.
This book breaks new ground by bringing scholars from a range of disciplines together with industry professionals to explore the concept of festivals as spaces through an activist lens, as spaces where the sociopolitical identities of communities and individuals are confronted and shaped. Tracing the growth of activist and human rights-focused films from the 1970s to the present, and using case studies from San Francisco, Brazil, Bristol, and elsewhere, the book addresses such contentious topics as whether activist films can achieve humanitarian aims or simply offer “cinema of suffering.” Ultimately, the contributors attack the question of just how effective festivals are at producing politically engaged spectators?

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Film Festivals Studies @ Circuits of Cinema conference (HoMER), Toronto

Circuits of Cinema: Histories of Movie and Media Distribution is a HoMER Network Conference on the History of Moviegoing, Exhibition and Reception hosted by Paul Moore and the Circuits of Cinema Project at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada, 22 to 24 June 2017.

Circuits of Cinema will be a forum for presentations of historicized or comparative research on movie distribution and media infrastructures of cultural exchange.  Presenters at Circuits of Cinema will collectively provide a spectrum of critical analysis on aspects of media distribution ranging from classical Hollywood’s global circulation, to histories of local and regional film circuits, to conditions in today’s networked media spaces.

As part of the conference hosting 100 presentations by authors of research on movie and other media distribution, from all eras and places, there will be two panels specifically dedicated to film festivals:

Film Festival Networks: The Work of Organizing Outreach
Sat. 24 June: 10:30 AM- 12:15 PM | Location: POD-372

Moderator: Jonathan Petrychyn

  • Jonathan Petrychyn (York University): “200 dykes having fun”: Organizing Queer and Women’s Film Festivals on the Canadian Prairies
  • Claudia Sicondolfo (York University), Wendy Donnan (York University): When Circuits Go Local: Examining TIFF’s National Outreach Program Film Circuit
  • Umayyah Cable (Northwestern University): Queers in Contest: The Cultural Politics of Palestine in LGBT/Queer Film Festival Organizing
  • Chelsea McCracken (University of Wisconsin-Madison): Taking the “Gay” Show on the Road: LGBTQ Film Festivals and Networks of Distribution

Film Festival Circuits: Methodological Issues
Sat. 24 June: 1:45PM- 3:15PM | Location: POD-372

Moderator: Deb Verhoeven

  • Skadi Loist (University of Rostock): Film Festival Circuits: Studying the Hubs in the Festival Network
  • Diane Burgess (University of British Columbia): Reconfiguring the national cinema value chain: Methodological dilemmas related to measuring the impact of film festival screenings
  • Kirsten Stevens (Monash University): Women in their place: symbolic value and dynamics of circulation in the women’s film festival network
  • Deb Verhoeven (Deakin University), Respondent


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Film Festival Research @ NECS 2017 Paris

As this year’s NECS Conference in Paris is coming closer, here is a handy list of the panels and workshops sponsored by the Film Festival Research workgroup.  Listed below is also our workgroup meeting, taking place Thursday evening. Please swing by!

Thursday, June 29, 11.30-13.15, Room D39

Chair: Marijke De Valck, Utrecht University

  • Dorota Ostrowska, Birkbeck College, London: Embodied Celluloid Spectres: Photographing Stars at Cannes Film Festival
  • Peter Virginas, Babes-Bolyai University / Romanian Institute for Research on National Minorities: Rhythms on the Festival Screen
  • Lin Che, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing: The Film Carnival Unit and Carnivalesque Experience in Beijing International Film Festival
  • Lesley-Ann Dickson, Queen Margaret University: Space-Text-Audience: Festivalisation Practices and Shifting Spectatorship at Glasgow Film Festival

Thursday, June 29, 13.30-15.15, Room D39

Chair: Lin Che, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing

  • Sonia M. Tascón, Western Sydney University: The Human Rights Film Festival Spectator: Community, Phenomenology, and Social Change
  • Patricia Caillé, Université de Strasbourg: A Powerful and Ritualized Storytelling: FIFAK, or the Mise-En-Scène of the Political Resistance in Tunisia
  • Marijke de Valck, Utrecht University: Cinephiles in the Making? IFFR’s Light Users and Incidental Visitors

Respondent: Dina Iordanova, University of St. Andrews

Thursday, June 29, 15.30-17.15, Room D39

Chair: Patricia Caillé, Université de Strasbourg

  • Carlos Daniel and Garcia Rivas, In the Same Shot: Surveillance at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival in 1959
  • Elena Razlogova, Concordia University: “They Mob the Pix”: Soviet Fans Assail Foreign Senses at Moscow and Tashkent Film Festivals
  • Tanja Krainhöfer and Thomas Wiedemann, Filmfestival Do Movies and Stories Really Have No Boundaries? Examining the Diversity of the Berlin International Film Festival (1980–2016)

WORKGROUP MEETING Film Festival Research
Thursday, June 29, 17.15-18.00, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, D Building

Friday, June 30, 11.00-12.45, Room D35

Chair: David Archibald, University of Glasgow

  • Alexandra Colta, University of Glasgow: Historicising the Festival and the Self
  • María Paz Peiran, Universidad de Chile: Mapping Histories and Archiving Ephemeral Landscapes: Challenges and Strategies Researching Film Festivals
  • Dunja Jelenkovic, Université Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines: Film Festival Histories: From Archives to Programs, and Back
  • Katharina Kamleitner, University of Glasgow: The Epistemological and Methodological Challenges of Researching Women’s Film Festivals

Friday, June 30, 11.00-12.45, Room D39

Chair: Saige Walton, University of South Australia

  • Stuart Richards, University of Melbourne: Queer Outwardly Australian Films and the Film Festival Circuit
  • Antoine Damiens, Concordia University: Visualising Queerness: LGBT Festivals as Archives and Cultural Memory
  • Clinton Glenn, McGill University: “We Are Not Errors”: Documentary Film and LGBT Activist Narratives in Russia

Respondent: Skadi Loist, University of Rostock

Friday, June 30, 13.00-14.45, Room D3

Chair: Pierre Barrette, Université du Québec à Montréal

  • Frédéric Gimello-Mesplomb, Université d’Avignon: Examining the Heritagization Process of Film Festivals as a Method of Approach
  • Pierre Barrette, Université du Québec à Montréal: Mapping the Current Offer of Audiovisual Festivals and Their Audiences in Montreal: Re-Thinking the Movie-Going Experience
  • Jean-Marc Leveratto, Université de Lorraine: Cinema Festivals and Ethnicity
  • Olivier Moeschler, Université de Lausanne: Reconstructing the Body, Augmenting the Senses. Integrating Film Festivals into Swiss Cultural Statistics

Saturday, July 1, 13.00-14.45, Room D37

Chair: Frédéric Gimello-Mesplomb,  Université d’Avignon

  • Kira Kitsopanidou, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3: Television and New Media Festivals and the Attention Economy
  • Mariana Medeiros Seixas, Université d’Avignon: The Fashion Synesthesia : Spectatorship Experience and the Fashion Film Festivals
  • Olivier Thevenin, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3: The Paris Virtual Film Festival and Its Relation to Human Sensory Experience
  • Christophe Cariou, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3: The Place of the Festival for Crowdfunded Films and Documentaries

Saturday, July 1, 15.00-16.45, Room D27

Chair: Dorota Ostrowska, Birkbeck College, University of London


  • Philippe Meers, University of Antwerp
  • Dorota Ostrowska, Birkbeck College, University of London
  • Malte Hagener, Philipps-Universität Marburg
  • Dina Iordanova, University of St Andrews
  • Caroline Moine, Université de Versailles
  • Elena Razlogova, Concordia University
  • Aida Vallejo, University of the Basque Country


In addition there are a few panels which also feature individual papers related to film festivals:

A4: Live and Experiential Cinema: Sensorial Excess in Immersive and Participative Film Spectatorship
Thursday, June 29, 9.30-11.15, Room D39

Chair: Lesley-Ann Dickson, Queen Margaret University

  • Rosana Vivar, University of Granada Spain: “Nowadays Is Not Only the Girlfriends That Come”: Exploring Gender Roles at San Sebastian Horror and Fantasy Film Festival
  • Sarah Atkinson, King’s College London: An Electric Shock to The Tongue – Fusing Cinema, Theatre, and Sensorial Augmentation
  • Helen W. Kennedy, University of Brighton: Funfear Attractions: the Playful Affects of Carefully Managed Terror in Immersive 28 Days Later Live Experiences
  • Brendon Wocke, University of Perpignan: Eating With Your Eyes: Edible Cinema and Participatory Synaesthesia

E7: Between Documentary and Experimental Realms: Avant-Doc, Past and Present
Friday, June 30, 9.00-10.45, Room D29

Co-sponsored by the Workgroups “Documentary Film” and “Cinema & Contemporary Visual Arts”

  • Chair: María Paz Peirano, Instituto de la Comunicación y la Imagen, Universidad de Chile
  • Greg de Cuir Jr, Independent Researcher/Curator, Belgrade: Circles, Lines, and Documentary Designs: Tomislav Gotovac’s Belgrade Trilogy
  • Juliana Froehlich, University of Antwerp/CAPES – Ministry of Education of Brazil (UA/CAPES): The Sensorial Reality abstraction and the Experimental Practice in A Margem | The Margin (1967), Ozualdo Candeias
  • Chris Cagle, Temple University: Structural Documentary on the Festival Circuit
  • Aida Vallejo, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU: From the Festival to the Museum. Expanded Formats in Documentary Film.

H14: Queer Sensibilities
Saturday, July 1, 9.00-10.45, Room D32

Chair: tba

  • Fanni Feldmann, University of Debrecen: See With Your Tongue: Taste as an Alternative Gaze in Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)
  • Theresa Heath, King’s College, London: Queer Film Festivals and New Sexual Geographies: The Mobilization of the Queer Body as a Tool of Space Reclamation
  • Jules O’Dwyer, University of Cambridge: Ekphrasis and the Queer Sensibilities of French Experimental Cinema
  • Ger Zielinski, Ryerson University: Queer Scenes in Transmedial Adaptations from Paris to Vancouver to Toronto

L2: Touching, Performing, Sharing, Curating: A Compilation of Cinematic Gestures
Saturday, July 1, 17.00-18.45, Room D3
Sponsored by the Workgroup “Cinema & Contemporary Visual Arts”

Chair: Kevin B. Lee, Art Institute of Chicago

  • Julian Ross, University of Westminster: Artist Moving Image in the Age of Swipe and Scroll
  • Miriam De Rosa, Coventry University: On Gesturality: Cinematic Images En Train De Se Faire.
  • Thomas Pringle, Brown University: Machine Intimacy: Habits of Sharing and the Mediation of Climate at Scale
  • David Richler, Carlton University: The Unifying Discourse of “World Cinema” at International Film Festivals and the Curatorial Gesture of Audiovisual Criticism
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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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Study on the Programming Diversity of the Berlin International Film Festival (1980–2016)

Stories and Films Have (No) Boundaries

Study on the Programming Diversity of the Berlin International Film Festival (1980–2016)

Based on the assumption that film festivals have become a “key force” and “power grid” in the production, distribution, and reception processes of movies (Elsaesser 2005; cf. De Valck/Kredell/Loist 2016), this study exemplarily examines the diversity of the Berlin International Film Festival’s program over the last 37 years. Without any doubt, especially major competitive film festivals (such as Cannes, Venice, Shanghai, or, significantly, Berlin) play a substantial role in defining film culture by cultivating notions of quality, taste, and meaning. Moreover, given the exponential increase in the annual film production, these festivals must be considered as important steering instruments in film trade and policy, since they decide via their curatorial mechanisms which films the distributors see and possibly buy, and therefore, which filmic oeuvres are allowed to get public attention on the local and global screen.

With more than 400 films in the yearly program, nearly half a million tickets sold, over 16,000 accredited visitors from 122 countries and about 3,800 journalists from 86 countries (figures from 2016), the Berlinale stresses the societal, cultural and economic plurality as a guiding principle of its annual film selection. Following this awareness, a quantitative analysis of the Berlinale programme from 1980 to 2016, focusing on criteria such as origin, gender, age, and socialization, was just published by a Munich-based research team.  The sample includes all short to feature films presented across the festival’s six major sections (Competition, Panorama, Forum, Generation, Perspective German Cinema, Lola@Berlinale) from 1980 to 2016 (n=10,024).

The complete study is available for download at:

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