Lights, cameras and bad actions

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Beyond the glitz and glamour, film festivals are imbued with controversy and chaos, reveals a new book.

Dr Alex Fischer’s new work on film festival management, Sustainable Projections: Concepts in Film Festival Management, explores how such events are far from the sleek and sexy image they project.

Dr Fischer, an experienced film festival organiser and film-maker, is a former research co-ordinator at the University’s Centre for Film Studies.

As budgets tighten, film festival organisers worldwide are facing increasingly difficult managerial decisions, the author suggests.

Whether it is rethinking niche programming or seeking new funding streams, the book reveals that actions taken by film festival chiefs to keep from falling behind today will have repercussions well into the future.

The book also strikes an optimistic note, pointing to new festivals whose emergence is a triumphant example of how a logical organisational structure and some creative managerial solutions can become the means through which a sustainable film festival framework is developed.

The new book, published by St Andrews Film Studies (a publishing house set up by academics at the University of St Andrews) digs deep into the precarious and intuitive business of film festival organisation.

This book aims not to be a ‘how to’ guide or a DIY manual, but rather, a resource that strives to present film festival operation in a manner that makes it clear, concise and understandable, and in a way that can contribute to an event’s sustainability.

Dr Fischer said: “A dead film festival is not a pretty sight. The office lies in tatters with half-written reports and first draft thank you letters hastily cut and pasted from pre-existing documents; rolled up posters stand in corners and packets of promotional T-shirts lie mouldering on the paper-strewn carpet.

“An eerie funereal atmosphere pervades the space. Here is a life cut tragically short, its full potential never reached. Had things only been different it would still be here with us today.”

The first study of its kind, Sustainable Projections presents a fresh angle on the economic, political and social aspects of film festivals. Utilising pragmatic analysis and insider knowledge this book is a must read for those involved in, attracted to or interested in saving a film festival from itself.

Sustainable Projections is the first book in a new series Films Need Festivals, Festivals Need Films, edited by Professor Dina Iordanova, Director of the Centre for Film Studies at the University.

A launch event for the new book will take place at Dundee Contemporary Arts, Nethergate, Dundee, on Friday 8 February at 7pm, in the meeting room. The author will be present, and will sign copies to be sold at a special discounted price on the day.

Note to Editors

Both author and publisher are available for further queries:

Alex Fischer is available on 07837386096 or at  [email protected].

Professor Dina Iordanova, series editor, is available today on 01333 450 995/ 0772 422573.

St Andrews Film Studies is a publishing house formed in 2009 at the University of St Andrews, which has already established itself as the world leader in scholarship on film festivals with the acclaimed  Film Festival Yearbook series.

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews

Contact Fiona MacLeod on 01334 462108 / 0771 414 0559.

Ref: (festivals 05/02/13)

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