Doc festivals & cultural exchange

Festival translations: documentary production and cultural exchange within Europe [paper] 29.06.2013

Screen Conference 2013. Glasgow, Scotland, University of Glasgow, 28-30 June, 2013.
Panel: Film Festivals II

Keywords: documentary, film festivals, cultural exchange, production
Palabras clave: documental, festivales de cine, intercambio cultural, producción


In the last twenty years, a network of festivals specializing in documentary film has spread around the globe. From being a showcase for films, these festivals have shifted to multi-level events in which the convergence of industry interests with distribution networks offers a new arena for the production of creative documentary films.

In this context, the development of documentary projects has been conditioned by the cultural hierarchies within Europe, where northern and western production companies and public televisions networks invest in films at the develpment stage, in a process of searching for universal topics for international audiences.

In this paper I will analyze the cultural and economic dynamics which are played through festival agendas in order to understand the influence of these events as spaces of cultural exchange, not only between films and audiences, but also between filmmakers and producers.

Taking the trajectory of the Polish-German co-production Rabbit à la Berlin (Królik po Berlinsku, Bartek Konopka, 2009) as a case study, I will focus on the influence of the cultural interactions which take place during the different production stages to reflect on the various powers which shape the contents and aesthetics of the films throughout their career to achieve an international distribution.

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