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Title: Branding Latin America : film festivals and the international circulation of Latin American films
Author: Isaza, Laura Rodriguez
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2012
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Despite receiving little academic attention throughout most of their history, film festivals have become the ‘natural’ background were most world cinema films are assessed both in terms of their artistic value and their potential for international consumption. Based on their cultural prestige, their crowd-gathering ability and hierarchical dynamics festivals create a multilayered filtering system that determines the varying artistic reputations of films and filmmakers as they travel from one event to another. However, the economic interests and geopolitical biases embedded in the Euro-American dominated system raise challenging questions about festivals’ criteria of artistic quality and supposedly objective ability to map world cinema. While festivals have become strategic regulators of world cinema traffic they affect both the commercial possibilities of individual Latin American films in global markets and the interpretive frameworks through which world cinema is assessed and understood. Using a theoretical framework drawn from the discipline of sociology of art, this research uses the concept of the ‘film festival world’ to analyse the international reception of Latin American cinemas as part of a cultural and industrial process of selection of the ‘best’ films from the region. First, it examines the film festival phenomenon in terms of its interaction with the global film industry and the marketing of film products for foreign audiences. Second, it analyses the international historical reception of key Latin American films from the expansion of the film festival circuit in the 1940s. Thirdly, it studies how contemporary films from the region continue to be assessed and interpreted across the film festival world in accordance with contingent notions of quality and well-established auteurist models. Thus, this thesis argues that the ‘Latin American cinema’ brand has been defined in close connection with the contingent ideas and practices of the film festival world, becoming an interpretive framework that enables the international positioning of cinemas from the region both as cultural artefacts and commercial products.
Supervisor: Nagib, L. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available