When the place speaks : an analysis of the use of venues and locations in the international film festival circuit
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This thesis examines how film festival venues participate in shaping broader film cultures. It proposes an approach to studying film festivals that is founded on looking at their physical spaces instead of merely focusing on the social space of film festivals. The physical sites, as essential and tangible elements and practices of film festivals (and ones entangled with questions of capital and power), play an essential role in representing films, presenting places, and navigating audiences. As such, they open up a productive route for understanding how festivals shape film cultures. Two major case studies – the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) and the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) – are analysed in this thesis, along with a case study of SIFF and IFFR during the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival venue is approached in terms of three key considerations in three layers: the geographical locations of film festivals, urban space and film festivals, and event sites of film festivals. This research contributes to the field of film festival studies and engages with the broader field of film cultures by highlighting the role of festival venues in presenting film cultures and drawing attention to the material basis of the global film festival circuit. Given the tremendous impact of film festivals' locations and venues – as material and physical features of festivals – on local and global film cultures, I argue that film festivals' venues should be examined in relation to the festivals' intangible formations. It can help us further understand how film festivals have been shaped by the political economy relating to location and how they occupy urban space and engage with the diversity of exhibition practices and space.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2028-06-21
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Restricted until 21st June 2028
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