Much Ado about Nothing? Untangling the Impact of European Premier Film Festivals

Stephen Mezias, Jesper Strandgaard Pedersen, Silvija Svejenova, Carmelo Mazza

Publikation: Working paperForskning

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This study seeks to untangle the impact of film festivals on the conception and action of industry actors. This study puts forward the argument that film festivals, seen as instances of tournament rituals and field configuring events, play a role in bridging art and commerce. It examines three instances of a particular tournament ritual, that of the three leading European premier film festivals, namely the Cannes Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, and the Venice International Film Festival, to untangle their role as mediators between art and commerce and their impact on the artistic classification system of the cinema field. For the purpose, it uses admissions data from 36 European countries for the period of 1996 to 2005. It examines the impact of festival participation and awards on admissions, and further artistic recognition at award ceremonies in the US. Based on the results of our study we argue that, similarly to the classification of art forms, there is a status ordering of tournament rituals (i.e. film festivals) with regard to their ability to act as a nexus of dichotomous categories for a particular cultural form (i.e. art and commerce in the case of film).
Udgiverimagine.. CBS
Antal sider29
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2008
NavnCreative Encounters Working Paper


  • Film festivals
  • Field configuring events
  • Artistic classification systems
  • Artistic recognition
  • Commercial impact