Chapter 4: Film festivals and world cinema

“Chapter 4 addresses the most salient feature of world cinema after the 1980s: the global boom and influence of international film festivals, which have become one of the biggest growth industries. The diversity and expansion of film festivals are as daunting as their multidimensional role in shaping world cinema. Film festivals have consolidated the one marginal role of art cinema into one of the strongest and most influential modes of filmmaking. While the chapter acknowledges the complicated web of functions performed by film festivals, our emphasis is on the crucial role that festivals have played in the production of knowledge that guides our understanding of world cinema. This chapter explores the ways in which festivals are not only exhibition and distribution platforms, but play an active role in shaping the very landscape of world cinema, and by implication our understanding of it” (Deshpande and Mazaj 12).

“All levels of film cultures, from local and regional to international, have witnessed an incredible proliferation of film festivals since the 1980s, and they have become one of the biggest growth industries… The genesis of film festivals can be outlined in three phases: in their first, post-Second World War phase, festivals were funded by the state, served as important vehicles for national identity, and were largely motivated by political and ideological interests; in their second attempt to extricate themselves from political and commercial interests, and reinvested themselves as sites that provide support to and nurture cinema as high art; in their third, globalized phase (since the 1980s), festivals proliferate around the globe, diversify in their function, and form a complex global festival network” (105).



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