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.