Film festival as an event part 2

Film festivals should be programed for festivalgoers as a program that disrupts everyday schedules, on the one hand, the program should produce its own relationship to time (the temporary), it create its liveness and/or live on the other, as liveness is one of the main reasons why people would choose a event instead of a recorded document.Personally, liveness of an event consist of three facets, first of all, participation, audiences should have the feeling that everything in the festival is prepared for them. Next, interactivity appears in the immersive film-viewing experience, which brings audiences closer to the film. The third one is multi-sensory experience, unlike the recorded medium which audiences can only watch and hear, people are able to perceive the event through striking visual sense, various sense of hearing (including people’s whisper), or even taste sense (i.e. the food or drinks offered in an event). All of these generates a more real live event.

When a film festival became a spectacle, audiences are more likely to build up the expectation of the event, which replaced the expectation of the everyday. Film festival creates an atmosphere that makes them as ‘independent space’ which refers to both temporal and spatial dimensions­­ the temporal dimensions has been discussed previously, the spatial dimensions connect festivals to the specificity of sites. The meaning of a film festival is inseparable from its particular location or the site became a quintessential sign of film festival. ‘Film festival both utilize and re-inflect the meaning of a particular site in an endless feedback loop to the extent that the topography of a place is changed to suit the needs of a festival’, (Harbor, 2009) for example, the new infrastructure of Berlin Film Festival in 2000 and the relocation of the Pusan Film Festival across the city. This impact on the physical design of a place reveals the cultural and economic implication of film festivals. Without Cannes Film Festival, Cannes would be less famous than it is today, thanks to Locarno International Film Festival, increasing people have heard about this city, film festival collected people’s attention into a specific city precisely in a set of time, bring convergence effect to the city. This is the real influence of the festival towards a city.

In so doing, film festivals in the specific region enabled the emergence of a cultural brand, furthermore, successful film festivals are able to bring derivative benefit. During the festival, visitors flow rate increase rapidly,stimulating the consumptions in catering, shopping and accommodation etc. Cannes again as an example, not only owned the Cannes Film Festival as a city label, but also made the site as a world-known tourism city. Additionally, if a festival appears once annually on the cyclical wheel if civic life, it plays its own part in another kind of rotation: the distribution of films. Film festival is one of the most dynamic forces on cinematic, the world’s famous festivals are all promoting the development of cinema with its own influence. From the audiences’ point of view, film festivals provide with us the chance to watch a classic film and a non-theatrical film on screen, which should be the most significant meaning to us audiences.



Iordanova, D., 2013. The film festival reader, p127-134

Armstrong, Richard, 2004. Janet Harbord Film Cultures. Metro Magazine, (139), p.198.

Lotringer, S. & Virilio, Paul, 2005. The accident of art, New York: Semiotext(e). p95-110

Valck,, 2007. Film festivals : from European geopolitics to global cinephilia, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. P133-161

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