Film Festival Studies (894P4)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

Film festivals emerged as a feature of film culture, broadly conceived, in the period between the two world wars: the Venice Film Festival, often pinpointed as the first formal festival, was founded in 1932. Nevertheless, it is only in the past decade that the study of festivals has emerged as an interdisciplinary subfield of Film Studies. This option aims to introduce students to this relatively new field, providing an overview of conceptual and methodological issues associated with the study of festivals. These may include: what are the historical roots of the film festival? What is the relationship of the festival to the contemporary film industry (e.g. as an alternative sites of exhibition, distribution, and production)? Where do festivals fit within the contemporary global cultural economy (e.g. in relation to city branding and tourism)? What new models of festivals have emerged from the expansion of events since the 1990s (e.g. the rise of the programmer, the growth of East Asia as a festival hub)? What is the relationship of festivals to contemporary cultural politics and alternative publics (e.g. the emergence of the activist film festival and the LGBTQ film festival)? What different methodological approaches might we take to the study of festivals (e.g. stakeholder, network, and discourse analysis; participant observation)? Brighton, the location of several events, is an excellent location in which to study this phenomenon. Depending on the timing of this course, opportunities may arise to visit festival sites as part of the course.



100%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay, Report)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 20 hours of contact time and about 280 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2022/23. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.