Dina Iordanova

9781908437082 (paperback)
9781908437099 (hardback)

£17.99 (paperback), 250 pages
£39.99 (hardback), 250 pages

St Andrews Film Studies, 2013


The Film Festival Reader

What is the importance of film festivals in the context of film culture at large? What logic reigns within the film festival galaxy? Are film festivals tools of power and prestige that make or break the fate of a film? Or do they effectively seal diverse and unique cinema from the wider public whilst simultaneously professing to celebrate it? What are the key features and who are the key stakeholders of the film festival? What, if anything, is wrong with the concept of ‘festival films’? What makes a good film festival good or a bad one bad?

It is these and other questions that are raised and treated in the classic texts included in this collection. Festivals, for so long a key component of film culture, have been ignored in film studies scholarship that is still dominated by textual approaches. They were neither consistently discussed in the public domain nor were they included in teaching related to film history. This is now rapidly changing. Nowadays, we see a proliferation of concrete and general studies on film festivals and the emergence of a fuller understanding of the actual dynamics of film culture. It is in this context that we offer a representative anthology that collects some of the important texts that have fostered the thinking on festivals so far.


Mark Cousins; Daniel Dayan; Marijke de Valck; Thomas Elsaessser; Sean Farnel; Jean-Michel Frodon; Chris Fujiwara; Janet Harbord; Dina Iordanova; Bill Nichols; Abé Mark Nornes; Mark Peranson; Ragan Rhyne; B. Ruby Rich; Nick Roddick; Julian Stringer; Paul Willemen.


Table of Contents



A Note on Language and Referencing


Introduction - Dina Iordanova



On Pesaro (1981 & 1984) - Paul Willemen

Global Image Consumption in the Age of Late Capitalism (1994) - Bill Nichols

Looking for Sundance. The Social Construction of a Film Festival (2000) - Daniel Dayan

Regarding Film Festivals: Introduction (2003) - Julian Stringer

Film Festival Networks: The New Topographies of Cinema in Europe (2005) - Thomas Elsaesser

Film Festivals: Successful or Safe? (2007) - Marijke de Valck

The Film Festival Circuit (2009) - Dina Iordanova

Film Festivals – Time-Event (2009) - Janet Harbord

Film Festival Circuits and Stakeholders (2009) - Ragan Rhyne

Asian Film Festivals, Translation and the International Film Festival Short Circuit (2011) - Abé Mark Nornes



Why Do Film Festivals Matter? (2003-2004) - B. Ruby Rich

Widescreen on Film Festivals (2006) Film Festival Form: A Manifesto (2012) - Mark Cousins

Coming to a Server near You: The Film Festival in the Age of Digital Reproduction (2005-2012)  - Nick Roddick

First You Get the Power, Then You Get the Money: Two Models of Film Festivals (2009) - Mark Peranson

The Cinema Planet (2010) - Jean-Michel Frodon

On Film Festivals (2010) - Chris Fujiwara

Towards a Filmmaker’s Bill of Rights for Festivals (2012) - Sean Farnel


While most published commentary on film festivals consists of either glorified press releases or a series of capsule reviews, The Film Festival Reader offers rigorous, analytical assessments of the festival scene. At a time when festivals have become an increasingly vital component of film culture, this book will be of enormous use to both students and professionals.

Richard Porton - Editor, Cineaste Magazine