The significance of film festival for a creative city

There are several elements for a city to become a creative city. The creative and cultural practices, such as holding cultural fairs and events, building cultural creative clusters, establishing creative districts, promoting cultural creative industries etc., constantly conducted by cities and policy-makers to get attention and financial supports locally and globally (Markusen 2010 cited in Wiktor-Mach & Radwański 2014, p. 8). It is worth noting that the launch of creative and cultural fairs, for example, the film festival, is the strategy using by cities to improve their international reputation and status.

Shanghai as a re-emerging global city has faced much pressure in competition with cities within and outside china (O’Connor 2012 cited in Karvelyte 2018, p. 9). The competition forces Shanghai to employ a blunt of strategies to advance its international status and global influences. Practices like launching promotion campaigns, launching activities and fairs, establishing landmarks and cultural facilities have been put into agenda since the 1990s around Shanghai (Zou 1996; Wu 2000 cited in Karvelyte 2018, p. 9). This mode of “culture-led urban development” has become the centre of urban regeneration and emphasized the cultural consideration toward cities’ development. Since the significant roles of culture and creativity have been increasingly heighten in the competitive environment, cities try to develop creative and artistic practices and adopt creative city policies to be more attractive for investors, businesses, skilled employees and tourists and the accumulate capital (Karvelyte 2018, p. 4).

Shanghai International Film Festival was launched at the year of 1993, then becoming the significant representation of the culture of Shanghai. SIFF as a valuable venue has absorbed businesses, investors around the world, contributing to the creation and production of Chinese movie, promoting the development of film industry. There are fierce competitions among film industry inside and outside of our nation. Despite of that, the consideration of telling films stories to people without the division of countries, nations and positions, and ensuring them fully understand the films that are selected and presented on the screen has become an import point required by the film transaction market.

It should be noted that the presentation of film festival annually has also been the strategy for cities to elevate their international status and become an international city with highly international influences. In terms of this, the film festivals are equipped with high cultural meanings required by the construction of city image and branding. That is to say, such events and fairs as creative and cultural practices empower cities great potential in the urban regeneration process in the competitive context and then push cities’ development and elevate their global status.


Wiktor-Mach, D, Radwański, P 2014, Тhe idea of creative city/Тhe urban policy debate, e-book, European Scientific Institute, ESI, Viewed 28 July 2018,

Karvelyte, K 2018, Shifting meanings in changing contexts: the role of the creative city in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei, International Journal of Cultural Policy, Viewed 28 July 2018, DOI: 10.1080/10286632.2018.1479748

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