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Film and Media Festivals Scholarly Interest Group (Founded 2011)
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I. Mission Statement
With the first known film festival in 1898 Monaco, film festivals have served an important role in film culture nearly from the very origin of cinema itself. In recent years the area of film festival studies has been rapidly growing, with academic attention given to festivals and their relation to cinephilia, canon formation, distribution, identity, social movements, and so on. Just as new publications in the area have been making their way into scholarly journals and conferences, new courses on exhibition and festivals are beginning to be offered at universities around the world.
While members of the international Film Festival Research Network (FFRN, with 162 members to its listserv) have been successful in organizing panels and workshops dedicated to film festival research, there is no formal presence in SCMS, even though many members of FFRN are also members of SCMS. FFRN has formed a SIG, the Film Festival Research Work Group (approximately 36 participants, with many more attending panels and workshops), within the European Network for Cinema and Media Studies (NECS ), which has been instrumental in organizing panels and workshops at the annual NECS conferences. While NECS is appropriate for scholars based in Europe, we would like to extend this highly productive initiative to SCMS which would have a much greater international scope. Formal recognition at SCMS as a SIG would provide members, and those interested in becoming members, the opportunity to convene to talk, debate issues of methodology and theoretical frameworks, and develop projects together in a more organized manner.
The Scholarly Interest Group that we envision would provide a place where the internationally and institutionally diverse scholars interested in film and media festivals could meet one another, share ideas and resources, and collaborate. As an emerging area of study, it is important for our members to find the time and place to meet together conveniently to discuss the state of not only research but also the challenge of publishing. We believe that the SCMS conference is the ideal arena through which to bring scholars together to share, cooperate, and educate both the larger field and ourselves. We envision the Film and Media Festival Interest Group as a crucial node that would facilitate discussion, enable the sharing of resources, and allow us to reach out to other scholars and students interested in working in this growing area.

The mission of the group consists of two main objectives:
1) To provide a forum in which scholars of film festivals can discuss their work, organize panels and workshops for each year's conference, and work together to accomplish the goals and objectives of the group;
2) To schedule a yearly meeting at the SCMS conference where we can convene to discuss and formulate specific programs and plans relevant to our focus on film festivals.

Goals and Objectives:
1) To work with the Executive Committee and each year's Conference Program Committee as a source of expertise concerning the emerging area of film festival studies;
2) To support Cinema Journal and other publications and to encourage their inclusion of scholarship concerning film and/or other types of media festivals;
3) To work with other SCMS groups whose themes may occasionally intersect with the study of film and/or other types of media festivals;
4) To take on special projects, such as specially designated panels, joint conferences, plenary participation, or workshops;
5) To build on the work that several of our members, under the supervision of Dr. Marijke de Valck and Skadi Loist, have already done, e.g. the compilation of the online bibliography of publications on film festivals
( ). We wish to create a scholarly website dedicated to a wide range of aspects relevant to scholars in the area, which would include the existing online bibliography. Initial steps have been taken towards this goal with but significant parts of the site remain to be built.

III. Bylaws

1) The members of the Film and Media Festival Interest Group shall be members in good standing of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.
2) Two members from the Group shall serve as Co-Chairs for staggered terms of three years each. The Co-Chairs shall be elected at the Group’s first meeting in March of 2011, and since this will be the first meeting and the terms are staggered, one member will run for a three-year term and the second will run for a two-year term. All subsequent terms will be for three years.
3) The Co-Chairs shall submit a request every year to the Program Committee of the SCMS conference for a time and space to meet, as well as funding to support relevant programming (in response to the annual call made by the Committee to SIGs).
4) At all meetings of the Group, ten members shall constitute a quorum for transaction of business. The vote of the majority of members present at a meeting at which a quorum is present constitutes the action of the Group.
5) When issues are submitted to the members of the Group for vote via e-mail, the members shall have seven business days to respond. The subject line of the e-mail shall contain the word "vote” to alert the members to act.
6) Action on behalf of the Group may be taken without a meeting if a majority of the members of the Group provide consent by writing or by e-mail. The written consents shall be filed with the minutes of the next meeting
Ger Zielinski - Founder
Contacts: (updated 2/18/20)

Beth Tsai, Co-Chair

Jonathan Petrychyn, Co-Chair
Matt St. John, Graduate Student Representative


Contact Us

Society for Cinema and Media Studies
640 Parrington Oval
Wallace Old Science Hall, Room 300
Norman, OK 73019
(405) 325-8075