The power of film festivals

Monday 30 September 2013

The Film Festival Reader coverA new book, edited by an academic at the University of St Andrews, offers to blow the lid on the truth about film festivals.

Professor Dina Iordanova, an expert in film festivals around the world, has overseen publication of The Film Festival Reader, an anthology of the latest thinking on festivals.

Contributors include world-renowned film festival scholars and practitioners such as director Mark Cousins and Edinburgh International Film Festival Art Director, Chris Fujiwara. The book features writing by popular authors such as Le Monde’s former critic Jean-Michel Frodon, Toronto’s Sean Farnel, Vienna Film Festival’s programmer Mark Peranson, San Francisco’s Ruby Rich, and Nick Roddick, aka. Sight and Sound’s Mr Busy.

Key topics include how important film festivals are in the context of wider film culture. Are they tools of power and prestige which can make or break a film, or do they actually close off diverse cinema to the wider public while professing to celebrate it?

Other key questions in the book ask: what constitutes the key features, and who are the key stakeholders, of a film festival? What, if anything, is wrong with the concept of ‘festival films’ and what makes a film festival good or bad?

Professor Dina IordanovaProfessor Iordanova, of the University’s School of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies, said: “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 seminal texts that have fostered the thinking on festivals so far.”

The Film Festival Reader, edited by Professor Dina Iordanova, is published by St Andrews Film Studies Publishing House.

Note to Editors

Professor Dina Iordanova, editor, is available on: 01334 467474 or at [email protected]

Dr Stefanie Van de Peer, editorial assistant, St Andrews Film Studies Publishing House is available at [email protected]

More information on the book.

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews

Contact the office on 01334 462530.

Ref: Film reader 11013

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