CUDAN@ NECS 2022 Conference

When: 2022-06-23 11:00-12:45 (Tallinn time)
Where: National University of Theatre and Film, Bucharest, Romania


Abstract – CUDAN Senior Research Fellows Vejune Zemaityte and Andres Karjus will give a talk co-authored with Ulrike Rohn (Tallinn University), Indrek Ibrus (Tallinn University), and CUDAN ERA Chair Maximilian Schich at the European Network for Cinema and Media Studies (NECS) conference.

A cultural data analysis of the international film festival participation network

The festival circuit forms an organic part of the film industry system, characterised by complex network structures of individuals, companies, and events (Loist, 2016). Festivals create cultural value by advancing filmmakers and films via inclusion into programming, and have an agenda-setting effect within the discourse of film culture, acting as media events (de Valck, 2007). However, due to the limited availability of comprehensive programming data that would extend national jurisdictions, the international film festival circuit has been rarely studied using data-driven methods (but cf. Loist, 2017-2022).

In this context, our work builds on our access to data from Cinando, an online platform operated by Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes. The platform services film festivals and their associated markets by facilitating global film industry operations, including rights sales and investments, as well as business-to-business VOD viewing. It relies on a large, relational database listing information on professionals, companies, festivals, and associated films. Based on this, we study the bipartite network of film–festival participation during 2014-2020. Over the six-year period, 64,607 films are traced across 33,542 festival events, amounting to a total of 159,156 film–festival observations.

We examine the creation of public value in the hierarchy of international film festivals, ranging from top-tier events such as Cannes to specialized festivals like Sheffield DocFest. Adopting a cultural data analytics approach, we combine the perspectives and methods of film and creative industry studies, data science, network analysis, and innovation and media economics. We elucidate the structure of the international film festival participation network, including clusters and overlaps in programming, to distinguish specific groups of festivals in terms of the public value added to the broader film industry, as well as their roles in the careers of filmmakers from specific origins and the life cycles of films produced on certain budget levels.

Keywords Film festivals, public value, network analysis, cultural data analytics

Key bibliographical references

  • Cinando. (2022). Retrieved on 2022-01-31 from
  • Loist, S. (2016). The film festival circuit: Networks, hierarchies, and circulation. In M. de Valck, B. Kredell, and S. Loist (Eds.), Film Festivals: History, Theory, Method, Practice (pp. 67-82). Routledge.
  • Loist, S. (2017-2022). Film Circulation on the International Film Festival Network. Retrieved on 2022-01-31 from
  • de Valck, M. (2007). Film Festivals: From European Geopolitics to Global Cinephilia. Amsterdam University Press.

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