Cinema-goers should look east

Wednesday 12 January 2011

The most exciting developments in world cinema over the past two decades have occurred in East Asian countries such as China, Japan and South Korea, say film experts. 

New research by the University of St Andrews suggests that the red carpet glamour of film festivals, traditionally associated with festivals like Cannes, is also thriving in East Asia.

Film Festivals and East Asia front coverIn a new publication, Film Festivals and East Asia (2011), experts from the University’s Centre for Film Studies chart the role of the East in cutting-edge developments in global film.

The editors, film scholars Professor Dina Iordanova and Dr Ruby Cheung, hope that their work will open up the debate on the importance of global film festivals.

Professor Iordanova, the leading expert on global film festivals, explained, “Films made in East Asia triumph at festivals around the globe. Booming film markets are attached to the most important film festivals in Hong Kong, Pusan, Tokyo and Shanghai.

“The West is only just beginning to wake up to the importance of these film festivals to global film distribution,” she said.

The publication brings together the work of high profile critics, academics, and festival practitioners based in various East Asian countries and in the West.  It includes chapters on how to select films for the American market and an examination of the oldest East Asian film festival, the Asia-Pacific Film Festival, which has been running since 1954.

The new volume follows two previous volumes by the editors, The Festival Circuit (2009) and Film Festivals and Imagined Communities (2010).

Some of the top ten film critics in the world have already reacted favourably to the new publication, which will be launched at events in Hong Kong and in Korea in the Spring.


Note to Editors

The researchers are available for interview:

Professor Dina Iordanova – Tel: 01334 462550, email [email protected]

Dr Ruby Cheung – Tel: 01334 462471, email [email protected]

About the editors

Dina Iordanova is the leading international specialist on global film festivals; she has published a series of volumes on subjects such as The Festival Circuit (2009), Film Festivals and Imagined Communities (2010) and now Film Festivals and East Asia (2011). She is Director of the Centre for Film Studies at the University of St Andrews in Scotland where she leads The Leverhulme Trust project ‘Dynamics of World Cinema’ (

Ruby Cheung is The Leverhulme Trust Research Associate at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. Her research interests include East Asian cinemas, diasporic film distribution, Chinese diasporic on-line fandom and film promotion. She co-edited Cinemas, Identities and Beyond (2009) and Film Festivals and Imagined Communities (2010). Her study on the Chinese-language epic and diasporic spectators appears in The Epic Film in World Culture (Routledge, 2011).

Film Festival Yearbook 3: Film Festivals and East Asia

Edited by Dina Iordanova and Ruby Cheung

St Andrews Film Studies, 2011;

ISBN: 978-0-9563730-3-8 (paperback) Price: £19.99 (UK)

‘The Film Festival Yearbook project represents a unique opportunity to study the multi-faceted phenomenon of film festivals. It focuses on both global networks and local practices and sheds new light on the artistic, economic and political issues that are currently reshaping the global cultural field.’
– Jean-Michel Frodon (Paris, Cahiers du cinema)

‘This new anthology captures the enthusiasm for East Asian cinema felt by film lovers and film professionals the world over.’
– Chris Fujiwara (Tokyo, Editor of Undercurrent, FIPRECSI)

‘A vital contribution to both Asian Film Studies and Film Festival Studies.’
– Chris Berry (Professor of Film & TV Studies, University of London)

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews

Contact Gayle Cook, Senior Communications Manager on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email [email protected]

Ref:  New territories 120111

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