20 Years of Ícaro spreading its wings: Ícaro International Film Festival

The global imaginary of Central America, encompassing Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama,[1] often relates to the subcontinent’s turbulent history and strategic geopolitical positioning. From succumbing to European imperial forces in the 15th century to the end of the Cold War and its aftermath, the southernmost isthmus of North America that connects […]

We need to talk about Indian Panorama: A report from the International Film Festival of India 2017

The enduring image from the 48th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), held from 20 to 28 November 2017, is of the actor Kannan Nayar angry, and waiting impatiently, outside the Inox multiplex complex in Panjim, Goa. He could be seen agitatedly talking to a group of people, to the media, and […]

Mobile cinema as an archive in motion: A Wall is a Screen and urban memories

Hundreds of people following a person with a megaphone through deserted city centres at night. A political demonstration? A secret society? No, this is A Wall is a Screen (AWIAS),[1] a mobile outdoor cinema, cinematic city walk, and pop-up film festival all in one, which – as its name suggests – uses walls of buildings […]

Topophilic tendencies at Birmingham’s Flatpack Film Festival

Described variously in the media over the years as ‘one of the most idiosyncratic film events in the UK’[1] and ‘willfully eclectic’,[2] the eleventh edition of Birmingham’s Flatpack Film Festival (Flatpack)[3] took place 4-9 April 2017.[4] Situated in the UK’s second city, Flatpack[5] has come to embody a specific representation of its home city that […]

Breaking down the tribes: Opening night films at Frameline and Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival

The opening night film for an LGBTQ film festival is a rare opportunity to bring all the members of the community together. As such, it is imperative for the films in this privileged position to resonate with audiences beyond merely having a gay or lesbian character. The queerness of the films of these festivals can […]

Fashion film festivals: Shifting perspectives on fashion in one of the world’s dirtiest industries

Fashion film festivals have quite suddenly mushroomed worldwide. After the establishment of the pioneering Fashion in Film Festival[1] in 2006 in London, the idea was picked up in Paris by fashion critic and blogger Diane Pernet, who founded A Shaded View On Fashion Film[2] in 2008. From then on, the fashion film festival concept has […]

Mapping the fashion film festival landscape: Fashion, film, and the digital age

The digital revolution and the reorganisation of the media environment have contributed to the emergence of new forms to communicate and to apprehend media. These mutations and technological evolutions have allowed renewed fashion imagery and enabled new forms of communicating fashion, making fashion films a relevant and widely broadcasted form. Forms of distribution move from […]

Current trends across three European human rights film festivals

Three major human rights film festivals (HRFFs) take place on the European continent annually in March. In 2017 the line-up was as follows: One World was held in Prague, Czech Republic from 6-15 March; the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH) in Geneva, Switzerland unfolded between 10-19 March; and Movies that Matter […]

Rethinking geolinguistic spaces: The San Sebastian Film Festival between Latin America and Europe

The San Sebastian Film Festival, also known as the Zinemaldia (‘the film festival’ in the Basque language), celebrated its 64th edition from 16-24 September 2016. The festival location in the Basque Country near the Spanish border with France has influenced its development since its inception in 1953. Modelled after the pioneering festivals Venice and Cannes, […]

Romanian and Hungarian film cultures at the Transilvania International Film Festival

An arguably late arrival in the film festival circuit (first organised in 2002), the Transilvania International Film Festival[1] has been a significant date on the FIAPF calendar since 2011. The medium-sized and competitive Romanian film festival has its focus on first and second feature films by filmmakers from virtually all around the globe while also […]

Films from Asia, attention around the world: 18th Far East Film Festival, Udine

Debuting in 1999, Udine’s Far East Film Festival is the only film festival in Europe dedicated to East Asian popular cinema. Over the course of its 18-year existence the festival has been recognised as one of the most prestigious for Asian cinema worldwide, renowned for showcasing a broad range of East Asian films, organising retrospectives, […]

Virtual futures and cinematic pasts at the 65th Melbourne International Film Festival

The annual Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) ranks among the oldest film festivals in the world. Launched in 1952 by enthusiasts seeking to watch films that were otherwise unavailable in Australia, MIFF emerged as one of the earliest examples of audience-driven film festivals in the world. From a modest program of 8 feature films and […]

How do film festivals work?: A conversation with Joshua Oppenheimer

Few documentary filmmakers have been as widely discussed in recent years as Joshua Oppenheimer. He burst onto the scene in 2012 with The Act of Killing, one of the more powerful feature-length debuts of any genre in recent memory. The documentary is about politically-motivated, state-sponsored killings in the 1960s in Indonesia and the residue of […]

Rediscovering Frantz Fanon at Scotland’s Africa in Motion film festival

The Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival was founded in 2006 by Lizelle Bisschoff as a solution to the marginalisation and under-representation of African films in the UK. Between 2006 and 2015 AiM screened over 5,000 films to a combined audience of 30,000 people in the UK.[1] Since 2006 AiM has been organised and managed […]

Human rights, film, and social change: Screening Rights Film Festival, Birmingham Centre for Film Studies

The inaugural Birmingham Screening Rights film festival screened its programme of 7 films in July 2015 over three days under the auspices of human rights in a region that houses some of England’s greatest ethnic diversity. The small number of films screened over such a short time might suggest that this did not constitute a […]