Film Festivals

The details
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
03 May 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

Film festivals have traditionally been global phenomena and played a pivotal role in the film industry ecosystem. In the 21st century, and due to the rise of digital technologies and telecommunications, festivals have become even more important to numerous independent filmmakers who seek routes of distribution (and self-distribution) of their films. The module offers a historical and contemporary examination of the multifaceted role of film festivals in validating, exhibiting and distributing as well as in the process of canonisation of film. While it explores established A-list festivals (such as Cannes, Venice, BFI LFF, Locarno), it also looks at ‘smaller’, niche festivals (such as London Asian Film Festival, and London Migration Film Festival) whose number and impact have increased over the years.

Through a dynamic combination of lectures, seminars, presentations, group projects, masterclasses, field trips and the organisation of a one-day film festival at the Colchester campus, the module will equip students with advanced knowledge of the key roles involved in producing film festivals (directors, curators, juries, audiences, filmmakers). Students who are filmmakers will also gain an understanding of the necessary steps that need to be followed before they get their films screened at festivals as well as of the ways they may capitalise on such opportunities to progress their careers within the film industry.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To provide a historical and contemporary understanding of the role of film festivals within the film industry ecosystem

  • To equip students with in-depth knowledge of the workings of and individual roles involved in film festivals

  • Through the organisation of a film festival, to equip students with fundamental skills in film programming and organising film festivals

  • To provide students who are filmmakers an understanding of the processes involved in participating in a film festival as a filmmaker.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will have:

  1. The ability to critically evaluate the ways in which film festivals function within the film industry ecosystem

  2. A critical understanding of the workings of and individual roles involved in film festivals

  3. An ability to orally present a film festival proposal

  4. An ability to curate a film festival programme as a team

  5. The skills and knowledge to develop and organise a one-day film festival as a team

  6. An ability to reflect on their individual role within the process of producing and delivering the one-day film festival.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Weekly schedule:

Weeks 2-11

  • two-hour lectorial or Masterclass or half-day Field Trip or Project Supervision
  • Screening (apart from weeks 9 and 10)
  • Reading

Weeks 6-11

  • two-hour tutorials

The lectorials will involve a variety of methods and materials – e.g. lectures, group discussions, research-based exercises, etc. – which will allow all students to actively participate in class. All the activities of the module (apart from the field trips) will be accessible by students who study online, providing therefore equal opportunities for participation in class.

In the tutorials (all students in one class), students will be receiving guidance as they develop the organisation and delivery of a film festival on campus (assignment 2).


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Film Festival (Group), Including a 2000-word festival programme and Production Log  08/12/2023  40% 
Coursework   Individual Portfolio (1,500 words)  12/01/2024  40% 
Practical   Participation mark    5% 
Practical   Film Festival presentation (group)  10/11/2023  15% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Tasos Giapoutzis, email:



External examiner

Dr Andrew Birtwistle
Canterbury Christ Church University
Reader in Film and Sound
Available via Moodle
Of 28 hours, 28 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information

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