While a few festivals reaffirm themselves as leaders within their zone of influence, this encourages a pattern of movement in which films travel from the more prestigious events towards those with a lower-profile in the festival hierarchy. For each festival, the programming of films already screened in rival events would mean accepting their competitors’ greater importance as places of ‘discovery’, thus risking the possibility that international participants instead attend those events in the future. In this sense, it is rather unsurprising that top-tier festivals tend to be very strict with their demands for world premieres which, more often than not, prohibit films’ festival screenings in their own country (Quintín 2009, 48). If film producers want to enjoy the greater prestige and media coverage provided by Cannes, as a general rule they must ensure that the film is not screened in other events before May, noticeably missing regional festivals like Cartagena and Guadalajara, both held in March, or the Buenos Aires Festival de Cine Independiente (BAFICI) in April. Indeed, because festivals use films’ premiere status to boost their prestige within the hierarchy, one of the main unwritten rules of the festival world is that films tend to move from more to less prestigious events, as will be explored in a number of case studies – most notably The Motorcycle Diaries/ Diarios de motocicleta (AR/US/CL/PE/BR/UK/DE/FR dir. Walter Salles 2004) in Chapter 7 and Japón (MX/ES/NL/DE dir. Carlos Reygadas 2002) in Chapter 9. By the same token, when a prestigious festival accepts a film that has already been screened at another event, it acts as a very powerful stamp of approval for both the film and the festival which ‘discovered’ it first. Yet again these are exceptional cases that confirm the rule. In most instances, the hierarchical system of filmfestivals suggests that while Latin American films with international ambitions need to pass the filtering process of top-tier European and North American festivals, regional events are consigned to a lower-position, either screening high-profile films after they have premiered or selecting films from the entries discarded by prestigious festivals.
Reliance on festivals and specialised distribution in Europe have also gained Loach a reputation in Britain as being an ‘art’ director, even though this label has not always been reflective of the content of his work. John Hill argues that Loach’s films have become ‘art’ cinema in the UK, not because of their aesthetics but because they have relied on prizes at European filmfestivals and specialised international distribution for success. 22 Steve Neale argues that European art cinema relies on certain conventions, its main features being a suppression of action, stress on character and ‘a foregrounding of style and authorial enunciation.’ 23 However, this is not typical of Loach’s work. Rather, he tends to eschew showy stylistic techniques and has always denied that he is an ‘artsy’ director. Like many of his works, Riff Raff relies on genre elements like comedy. It was made using actors with real-life
Early seminal contributions to the field of film festival studies have traced the historical development of filmfestivals from an initially predominantly Euro-centric point of view (Elsaesser, 2005; de Valck, 2007). Marijke de Valck argues that ‘history [can] help us understand why filmfestivals succeeded in developing into a successful network’ and splits her historical overview of European filmfestivals since the 1930s into three phases (de Valck, 2007, p. 19). The first phase lasted from the creation of the first reoccurring film festival in Venice in 1932 until 1968. During this phase, European filmfestivals, such as Venice, Cannes and Berlin, were underpinned by a geopolitical agenda and served as showcases for national cinemas. Their programmes were usually pre-selected by national film committees rather than curated by the festivals themselves. Following demonstrations at the 1968 Cannes Film Festival, the established festival format was re-organised and the second historical phase of filmfestivals began. This period lasted until the 1980s and was characterised by independently organised filmfestivals and a focus on cinema as art form. The exact time of the third phase emerged is blurry, but de Valck suggests that the shift happened sometime in the 1980s (2007). It heralded the expansion of the film festival format around the world, the creation of niche filmfestivals, and the institutionalisation and professionalisation of filmfestivals. Looking beyond Europe however, de Valck’s chronological overview does not match up with non-Western filmfestivals. The establishment for festivals such as the Mar del Plata International Film Festival in Argentina (since 1954) or the Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) in Burkina Faso (since 1969) fall outside this Euro-centric timeline. Many niche filmfestivals also sprouted outside of these constraints and it is thus crucial to expand the field of film festival history. More recent publications in film festival studies have moved away from the Euro-centric approach and have analysed and contextualised the historical development of filmfestivals in Africa (Dovey, 2015), Asia (Iordanova and Cheung, 2011; Berry and Robinson, 2017), South America (Barrow and Falicov, 2013; Peirano, 2016), the Middle East (Iordanova and Van de Peer, 2014) and Australia (Stevens, 2016), as well as the histories of identity-based niche filmfestivals (Iordanova and
The next important institution involved in organizing big filmfestivals in Łódź is Łódź Cultural Centre (Łódzki Dom Kultury – ŁDK). ŁDK is the largest cultural centre in the city, established in 1953. It promotes activities related to cinema, theatre, art, and education. The festivals organized by ŁDK include Polish Festival of Films about the Family (Ogólnopolski Festiwal Filmów o Rodzinie FOR). The idea behind it is to show a range of different kinds of documentaries and TV programs regarding the family. Polish productions are shown along with foreign films from France, Italy, Germany or Japan. The event has been held annually in Łódź since 2008, at the ŁDK cinema. The centre has also participated in organizing the interdisciplinary Dance Cinema Festival (Festiwal Kino Tańca) since 2001, held every two years in autumn. It presents dance films from all over the world, organizes dance and cinematography workshops, seminars, as well as a competition for the best Polish dance cinema films.
and was awarded by government-funded bodies Awards for All (Big Lottery Fund) and Film London, as well as corporate philanthropy fund, the Lush Community Pot. The Big Lottery Fund award stipulated that the festival be offered free, but would not cover wages for festival organisers. While this ensured that the festival was able to attract economically marginalised audiences, there was no means of meaningfully paying volunteers and organisers for their time since no profits were generated from ticket sales. This type of funding predicament is common, and places festival organisers in a problematic position practically and politically, since the continued running and success of the festival relies on the self/exploitation of festival workers. As Loist (2011) notes, even when queer film festival staff are salaried they generally hold down multiple jobs and consistently live in positions of economic precarity. This situation ensures that community-run, queer filmfestivals tend to last only as long as organisers are able to work for free or very little, with many experiencing ‘burn out.’ For example, at WDIYFF, inability to properly financially remunerate organisers resulted in a level of exploitation and self-exploitation which was in itself politically problematic and which ultimately put an end to full-length versions of the festival for the foreseeable future. Moreover, the festival was unwittingly adhering to Cameron-era Conservative party discourses of the ‘Big Society’ in which communities provide services formerly administered by the state. Finally, the pressure on smaller, London-based queer filmfestivals is exacerbated by increasing venue hire fees along with the rising cost of living, compelling festival workers to prioritise paid work over volunteer and community organising.
When Hubert Bals (1937-1988) proclaimed that the new masters of cinema were to be discovered in Africa and Asia, he could hardly have imagined the dedication with which the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) that he founded in 1972 would continue to live up to his vision. The festival aspired to discover the ‘masters’ in these regions on an annual basis in the decades that would follow and The Hubert Bals Fund (HBF), which was realized after his death in 1988, fulfilled Bals’ ambition to fund directors in areas where support for independent filmmakers is limited or non-existent. Now almost in existence for thirty years, the Fund has become an iconic element of the IFFR and a recognizable name within the film festival world. Although the IFFR was part of a relatively small, not yet fully institutionalized industry when Bals was in charge, there has been a mushrooming of filmfestivals around the globe over the last decades. This increase in both their number and their influence started in the 1980s, but the number of festivals has been exponentially growing since the beginning of the twenty-first century and seemingly every city wants to host its own film festival now. This exponential growth has spurred a growing body of scholarly research and discourse on the topic of filmfestivals as well, focusing on topics such as their relation towards Hollywood or mainstream cinema, how they work as a (self-sustaining) network or ecology, or their role within the production and distribution of cinema. This has been accompanied by interest among scholars from other fields of research such as cultural studies, organizational studies, anthropology or tourism studies, focusing on their role and usage within different frameworks, such as a festivals’ usage for city branding. Since Marijke de Valck and Skadi Loist founded the Film Festival Research Network (FFRN) in 2008 and the University of St. Andrews started publishing the Film Festival Yearbook series in the same year, there has been an exponential growth in both the interest in and the body of research on the topic. 1 However, as David Archibald and Mitchell Miller suggest at the end of their introduction to the Film Festival Dossier three years later: “What film festival scholarship purports to describe and understand […] will not be answered definitively any time soon. But we offer up this dossier as a contribution to the debate.” 2
In Ulf Hannerz’s work, cosmopolitanism is defined as “the willingness to become involved with the Other, and the concern with achieving competence in cultures” (239–40). By keeping this in mind, and in the midst of cultural diversity and a divided world, cosmopolitanism seeks to build on the virtuousness of the human experience. This article argues, by means of a sociological and textual approach, that filmfestivals should be placed at the centre of the larger debates on cosmopolitanism, especially because some festivals are cultural events built by multiple diasporic experiences. Furthermore, by setting up a dialogue between filmfestivals and cosmopolitan studies in order to upgrade the conception of identity-based festivals, this article reappraises Marijike de Valck’s definition of these festivals as events committed to political causes that transcend borders and intervene by circulating images at the supranational level (de Valck, “FilmFestivals and Migration” 1502). On these festivals, de Valck writes that “they aim to influence identity building, for example by community outreach or countering prejudices and ethnic stereotypes, and foster what Benedict Anderson called imagined communities” (1503). Dina Iordanova provides a more comprehensive account of diaspora-linked filmfestivals. Iordanova distinguishes between three types of filmfestivals: cultural democracy festivals, which are organised with national support; identity agenda festivals, which have specific functions such as fostering supranational communities and engaging in the struggle to unite a dispersed population, establish nationhood or increase identity awareness; and business and diaspora festivals, which are self-referential events normally sustained by diaspora entrepreneurship in the form of local businesses (“Mediating Diaspora”). Beside Iordanova’s selective categorisation of diaspora-based festivals, I propose a more flexible reading that is the one favouring a citizen’s approach, wherein the citizen/spectator plays an active role in the evolution of the event. It is important to study festivals as events able to contribute to the circulation of “other” images of a changing nation, and to the crossing of its geographical and symbolic borders. They also play a role in deepening one’s awareness of transnational differences and connections, fostering a cosmopolitan attitude, in which migration is considered to be a fluid element of life rather than a fixed perception of cultural identity.
Despite the popularity of the concept of service quality in festival and event management, however, few studies have been carried out that focus on the effects of perceived service quality in a film festival context. In part, this is due to the fact that, traditionally, filmfestivals have not targeted the general public. Historically, the main audiences attending major filmfestivals were limited to film professionals such as directors, actors/actresses, film makers, and buyers. As the majority of attendees were stakeholders, there was little consideration for visitor service quality. Now, film festival managers eagerly seek general audiences and design themes to attract individuals with refined cinematic tastes who enthusiastically engage in these events (Mueller 2006). In addition to the lack of
specificities, and the benchmarking of a few established international filmfestivals by many small and medium-sized fledgling festivals and so on. As regards the implications of the relocation of the festival venues, the decision made by the Berlinale is seen in many respects as ideological and political in the sense that it has German reunification in mind as its underlying theme to signify a wider process of aesthetical and structural urban amelioration or gentrification. In contrast to this, the case for BIFF as a fledgling film festival tends to be closely associated with its decade-long restructuring and expansion due to chronic spatial limitations since its inception in 1996. In other words, filmfestivals in postwar Europe have a tendency to incorporate a wide range of activities and purposes ranging from cinematic marketing and filmic evaluation to training and education within the wider context of cultural diversity or heterogeneity (Harbord, 2002). With regard to the conditions which filmfestivals in Europe are based on and, specifically in relation to the Berlinale, Harbord argues that ‘[t]he festival context relies on the subsidized infrastructure of the locality, the state-supported museum, libraries, archives and educational institutions that condition the location of festivals (echoing de Hadeln’s comments on the relocation of the Berlin festival within walking distance of these institutions)’ (ibid.: 73). In parallel, a broad social transition started within South Korean society, from being authoritative to politically and culturally democratic, participatory and decentralized to a certain extent. The establishment of BIFF in 1996 was part of a “cultural movement” in sync with broader social changes during this period (Kim, 2005b; PIFF, 2005). In relation to their respective specific political and sociocultural contexts, the significance of public space in South Korean society seems to be relatively limited compared to Europe. Thus, BIFF Square in Busan tends not to be seen as a widely accessible space, since as a small portion of the Nampo-dong area it has been later symbolically and deliberately designated by the Busan metropolitan government as exclusively allocated and used for BIFF. Unlike the Berlinale, BIFF has been taking a dual approach in regard to its use of main festival locations. It utilised the Haeundae area (HUD) as one of its festival main venues – apart from the Nampo-dong area (NPD) – since its
The relationship between queer and feminist cinema, filmfestivals, and affect that I began tracing in the previous chapters and trace throughout the rest of this dissertation began with a chance encounter in the feminist archive. The first physical archives I visited were the herland film festival fonds held at the Glenbow Museum and Archives in Calgary. I had initially begun looking through these records not out of any interest in the festival itself; rather, I was more interested in finding trace evidence of Calgary’s queer film festival scene. Though my interest in queer filmfestivals on the Canadian prairies stems from my status as an insider to the region, I was a relative outsider to Calgary, having never properly visited the city until I went to the archives, and so I had no sense of the city’s queer community or its relationship with feminist activists. I suspected that given Calgary’s reputation as the heartland of conservatism that the queer and feminist communities would be small, and thus perhaps may have overlapped. But I underestimated just how deeply interested the two communities were in each other’s survival. Within the herland fonds I did not just find trace evidence of Calgary’s queer film festival scene—I found reams of paper that pointed to a deep and complex relationship between queer and feminist filmfestivals in Calgary. The evidence in these archives suggested that herland— and the feminist of colour film festival circuit in general—had a deep and lasting influence on the development of queer filmfestivals in the prairie region.
. This article noted that regardless of the numerous forums that bring together filmmakers with distributors, the number of films shown at filmfestivals and subsequently picked for distribution is notably less each year. In this article we are told that Sundance, as well as its rival Slamdance, have found ways to not only make sure that their films are exhibited, but also that they carry on being screened during the year, taking full advantage of new technologies as well as their private funds. Hence Sundance’s first day offered the possibility of watching eight of its programmed shorts on YouTube; renting a couple of their feature films, plus another eight films would tour North America. But the most important innovation is the use of their own cable channel to broadcast these films during the year. With 400 entries that make it into the programme and thousands of others that get sent in for consideration, the channel slots would be easily covered throughout the rest of the year. For its part, in 2010 Slamdance struck a deal with Microsoft to use two of their platforms, Xbox and Zune, to screen VOD versions of the films included in their festival programme (Video On Demand allows televisions to stream their content in real time to view, or you can download with a computer, digital video recorder or portable media player for viewing at any time).
As one of the first critical studies of filmfestivals, Bill Nichols' article "Global Image Consumption in the Age of Late Capitalism" takes up a central concern of film festival research, the local/global dynamics: "Never only or purely local, festival films nonetheless circulate, in large part, with a cachet of locally inscribed difference and globally ascribed commonality. They both attest to the uniqueness of different cultures and specific filmmakers and affirm the underlying qualities of an 'international cinema'" (Nichols 1994: 68). Media anthropologist Daniel Dayan introduced a second recurring theme in his study of the Sundance Film Festival: the engagement of distinctive groups with diverse interests. He described the festival as a set of divergent performances (by filmmakers, distributors, festival organizers, journalists, the audience etc.) and argues it is not limited to visual display, but above all a "verbal architecture" that is "made up of different versions, relaying different voices, relying on difference sources of legitimacy" (Dayan 2000: 52). Several studies have attempted to make festivals' versatility understandable. Julian Stringer (2003) explored filmfestivals as institutions, festival nations, festival cities, festival films and festival communities in his dissertation, developing theoretical approaches to fit each new angle. Kenneth Turan (2002, section 1) and Marijke de Valck (2007) tackled the diverse festival phenomenon with case studies that respectively take geopolitical, business and cultural/aesthetic perspectives. Thomas Elsaesser (2005) and Janet Harbord (2002, section 3) offer valuable insights into festivals' temporal and spatial dimensions. Other threads running through all festival theories include the festival network as alternative distribution system, core-periphery relations, festival programming as agenda setting, value addition and distinction, spectacle, and the festival as media event.
In 2007 I was a programmer, and therefore involved for two years in developing the thematics of what we would screen. I was also in charge of a sex-positive program and I delivered a film-clip lecture titled ‘Trans Erotixxx Retrospective’, which was sold out. I was completely overwhelmed with how much people wanted to talk about these issues. In 2011 I was introducing trans porn for the new festival TranScreen – things just got more and more explicit. I became a kind of spokesper- son for issues of sex-positivity in the trans* community. In 2011 I also defended my thesis, 2 just a few weeks after the festival. So it really has been a kind of biannual
However, when this overview of the global production was weak or not convincing, the festival organisers and their selection for the main competition were heavily criticised; the creation of the Semaine de la Critique, a sidebar of the festival programmed and organised by international critics, is one of the most captivating reactions to the disappointment with the main competition. Such view of the main competition led to the redesigning of the festival, whose architecture enjoyed the addition of a further sidebar, the Directors’ Fortnight (Ostrowska, “Inventing Arthouse”; Thévanin). The changes in the nature of the event were always to do with the galvanising power of certain pockets of the festival community—be it critics, directors or programmers. For this reason, it is important to look into the nature of the community which is formed in the non-place of the Riviera first, and then that of the festival. Augé emphasises the solitary nature of the experience of those visiting a non-place and the relative anonymity it offers, which results in the formation of temporary identities. For Augé, “a person entering the space of non-place is relieved of his usual determinants. He becomes no more than what he does or experiences in the role of passenger, customer or driver” (101). The “contractual relations” are being formed by the “instructions of use” of the non-place (96, 101). Accordingly, many of the accounts of the Riviera include descriptions of the communities of foreigners, which were formed there for a period of few months, as well as descriptions of their activities—which were mostly concerned with leisure, parties and excursions into the countryside. There are some poignant remarks about the fragility of this community, which is seasonal and reconstitutes itself every year—often without some of the members who passed away, usually due to tuberculosis. The Riviera is not just the place of leisure, then, but also the place of death, with cemeteries being mentioned as a tourist attraction of Menton and also of Cannes. However, even death is made utopic and almost bearable with the remarks like “what’s to die more than to fall asleep among the flowers during this continuous fest of natural elements” (Liégeard 273). Jean Vigo notes the importance of cemeteries in his film À propos de Nice (1930), as does Varda in Du côté de la côte. In À propos de Nice, the images of the street carnival are juxtaposed with those of cemeteries, bringing together the entire spectrum of the extreme experiences present in the Riviera—ranging from exuberant eroticism and carnal pleasure to the postmortem marble renditions of the Riviera inhabitants dotting the cemeteries.
The argument that festivals are an important moment of community and being together in a physical sense resonates strongly through this project. Copyright with its ascetic system of rivalrous private rights has little to contribute here. On the other hand, it has an evident influence on the nature and function of arts festivals. As argued in Working Paper 2, the categories of copyright protected works have a relationship of constitution and authorisation with the generally accepted definition of the “arts”, which (amongst other things) resonates in the way in which festivals describe themselves – so that festivals typically identify themselves as filmfestivals, musical festivals, theatre festivals and so on, even if in fact empirical research reveals that almost no festivals confine themselves to only one form of “artistic” output. 191 In these circumstances it would be tempting (and much easier) to treat festivals as being just like any other form of distribution of copyright protected works. Turan, for example, argues that filmfestivals, at least, are an alternative form of distribution for films that have failed to find the usual commercial outlets for distribution. 192 This observation might also hold good for music festivals given that there are particular constraints on commercial distribution in both the film and music industries, which have been produced by the copyright system. 193 Like all constraints, these are likely to produce a drive for alternative means of fulfilling desire. However, limiting our understanding of festivals to being merely another means of distribution is really limiting our understanding of the nature of arts festivals and their social, political and economic significance.
Theoretical sampling seeks cases that are likely to replicate or extend emergent theory (Eisenhardt & Graebner, 2007). Differing approaches were used to identify and contact organisers. The Association of Festival Organisers (AFO) provided introductions to their members. Of these Festivals A, B and D (Fig 5) consented to the research. Festival G was approached via their marketing agency, E via a music conference whereas C and F were approached directly using details from public domain sources. Having identified the organisers, further respondents were recruited using the snowballing technique, as had previous studies into festivals (Lena, 2011) and social considerations (Young et al, 2010). All respondents herein were adults.
Eid ul Fitr, which is one of the major festivals of the Muslims celebrated in all over India and other Muslims countries of the world. In the northern part of India, this festival is celebrated with much enthusiasm. The Muslim culture in its purest form can be experienced during this time. The date of Eid-Ul-Fitr is generally decided on the basis of viewing crescent moon according to the Muslim calendar. It marks the end of Ramadan- the fasting season of the Muslims through celebration and feast.
Malaysia, a multiethnic and multi-religious society in Southeast Asia, has a population of 27.7 million comprising three major ethnicities, consisting of 67% Malays/Bumiputras, 24.7% Chinese, and 7.4% Indians along with many smaller minority groups. The Federal Constitution of Malaysia declares Islam as the official religion, but guarantees religious freedom. Malaysian observes a number of celebrations according to the religious faith of its people. The Malays celebrate their Muslim festivals such as Aidil Fitri and Aidil Adha. The Chinese in Malaysia celebrate festivals like Chinese New Year and Chap Goh Mei where cultural celebrations such as the lion dances and Chingay procession take place. For the Hindus, apart from the Deepavali celebration, the festival of light, the Thaipusam is a celebration where more than one million people flock to Batu Caves. While in East Malaysia, the grandest celebration is Tadau Keamatan in Sabah, and Gawai Dayak in Sarawak. Both celebrations are of significance as the occasion to mark rice harvesting season. The paper attempts to highlight the celebrations of the major ethnics groups in Malaysia and depicts real experiences of individuals of each group to show that it accommodates the differences in culture and religious belief.