Archive for 2018

[Previous message][Next message][Back to index]

[ecrea] Call for Papers: Film Funding for Latin American cinemas

Mon Jan 22 15:56:15 GMT 2018


*Deadline: February 28th, 2018*


*Latin America/Spain/Europe:*

*Economic and Aesthetic Perspectives on Film Funding for Latin American cinemas since the 1990s*

*International Symposium, hosted by Paris-Sorbonne University, June 12-13,** 2018^*

New research within the field of film studies in recent years has focused on the globalization of film production, funding and circulation. The low cost of digital technology has also furthered cinema’s reach in circulation and production output. Additionally, transnational cinema scholarship has focused more specifically on the production and circulation of “world cinemas” and their aesthetics. Moreover, film festival studies has recently examined the role of film festivals themselves as producers, which in addition to exhibiting festival films, are also producing them as part of their programming. The common factor to all of these production initiatives is that practically all European and Latin American productions rely massively on state support, without which it would be extremely difficult for them to be produced and distributed at all.

Since the mid 1990s, France and Europe were the main players in the battles for cultural “exception” and later “diversity,” which has resulted in the creation of film funds aimed at supporting “Global South” or “world cinemas.” From the French and European point of view, the purpose of these funds is in part of a larger strategy to make Europe a symbol of resistance against US liberal hegemony.

The issues at stake are at once diplomatic, cultural and economic. For one, there are lobbying efforts to make the UNESCO Convention prevail over the WTO’s more commercial approach to conceptualizing cultural industries. This underscores the cultural value of these funds: they work to position Europe as an alternative center in the face of US domination and they give it a prestige capable of making it a ‘Land of Refuge’ on an international level. At the same time, it should be noted that the Latin American countries that benefited the most from these supports are also those that developed (for the first time in history in some cases) funding supports for national filmmaking in Latin America. This is why it is necessary to discuss two dimensions of institutional support to Latin American cinema: on an international (European) level and on a national one. On an international level, Europe has much to gain in terms of a positive diplomatic image, especially when the films supported by these funds gain critical success and festival attention that underline their “quality” which helps to position them within an “auteur cinema” genre considered as the counterpoint of the more commercial Hollywood cinema. Finally, from an economic point of view, these funds also play a significant role: though their loans are generally modest (with some exceptions), they lead to relative success at the box office and improve European cinema exports on the screens of the beneficiary countries. The question of this visibility of the European-support of Latin American cinema is fundamental, and involves asking to what extent the European stamp of approval is part of their critical and/or box office success.

In sum, Latin American art house film production maintains close relations with European film industries, and is one of the main beneficiaries of these funds that might be seen as a defense against the US hegemony on the continent. The purpose of this conference is to interrogate the relationship between European institutions (national as well as at local level) and Latin American cinemas, on the following topics:

*- Economics and financing**:*this angle will look at the impact of Latin American and European institutional support on film producing through case studies that will show if there is, from a budgetary point of view, a predominant kind of art house cinema. Conversely,  scholars may argue that these funds nurture a form of diversity within production formats, supporting low budget as well as more expensive films. These studies will be viewed within the production context of each country: it will also be necessary to consider to what extent and to what proportion these funds contribute to support emerging cinemas versus the more established  film industries, that relies on significant public support at a local or regional level. The diplomatic angle will be examined in comparing some Global North countries which utilize different cultural policies and stipluations for these funds. Papers can also include a study of the hierarchies that are invariably set up between Global North policies and Global South beneficiaries: how restrictive are these funds, and what is at stake for both parties?

*- Circulation and distribution**:*If film fund support is key in maintaining  Global South diversity in film production, the problem of its distribution is of equal importance. Indeed, most films, once produced, have had the greatest difficulty in finding their audiences. Public television support as well as the role of film festivals as a key site for global circulation of Latin American cinema will be examined. Investigations of theatrical distribution of these films are welcomed, both in Europe as well as in Latin America, in order to see how films  have circulated in different periods of time from both quantitative (number of theaters and weeks) and qualitative (type of theaters and circuits they access on both sides of the Atlantic) angles. Furthermore, other digital distribution platforms such as online, through initiatives which encourage legal downloads alongside piracy platforms, cine-clubs, cultural institutions and universities shall be also considered here.

*- Critical and Public Reception**:*film reception studies, from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives will be viewed in comparative perspective. We will observe the number of spectators and of critical reviews for films in Europe as well as in Latin America, in order to analyze the (im)balances that can occur regarding their broadcasting in general. In addition, we will study the way these films are critically received in the popular press in order to understand the possible differing views that emerge depending on their reception. The European critical discourses which either laud the films unproblematically, or conversely, use age-worn stereotypes about Latin America will be a central topic of discussion in this thematic approach in which films are understood at both ends of the production and distribution chain.

*- aesthetic**:*This topic will focus on narrative content. Thus, just as we shall examine  film production formats supported by these funds, we shall look at their content from an aesthetic as well as a thematic perspective, in order to assess the reality of the “diversity” that these mechanisms are supposed to support; that is, against the commercial dynamics symbolized by  Hollywood productions. We shall here examine aesthetic, thematic, narrative and ideological categories in order to think about the capacity to impose or at least foster certain forms and topics that is often attributed to these funds. We shall work to demonstrate to what extent they contribute (or not) to produce and broadcast some standard tropes that the European imaginary considers to be contemporary Latin America. That is stereotypes often limited to a series of sensational or exploitative clichés (drug trade and violence, poverty and social and economic crisis), based on an aesthetic that is associated with the typical “festival film” (sequence shots, slow narratives, scarce dialogues).

*Scientific Committee:*

Nancy Berthier, Josetxo Cerdán de los Arcos, Tamara Falicov, Marina Moguillansky, Deborah Shaw, Ana Vinuela

*Organizing Committee:*

Julie Amiot-Guillouet, Alejandro Izquierdo, Sergi Ramos Alquezar

Proposals shall be sent (title and 200-word abstract) by *February 28th, 2018 *to:

(julie.amiot-guillouet /at/ <mailto:(julie.amiot-guillouet /at/>

(sergi.ramos-alquezar /at/ <mailto:(sergi.ramos-alquezar /at/>

(aleazur /at/ <mailto:(aleazur /at/>

This mailing list is a free service offered by Nico Carpentier. Please
use it responsibly and wisely.
To subscribe or unsubscribe, please visit
Before sending a posting request, please always read the guidelines at
To contact the mailing list manager:
Email: (nico.carpentier /at/

[Previous message][Next message][Back to index]