International film studies symposium "Film Festivals and Public Space"

  • 2018 september 26 09:30  VMU Aula Magna, Gimnazijos st. 7, Kaunas

The multiplication of film festivals around the world is a well established fact, but the significance of this development remains uncertain as the precise role of film festivals in the broader sphere of cultural and social production is not entirely self-evident, either historically or for the present day. Assessing their function in this wider context requires careful consideration of methodologies that go beyond the traditional auteurist, aesthetic or marketing frameworks.

The goal of this symposium is to have an exchange of ideas addressing geopolitical situatedness and political potentialities of both film festival and film festival research. How do film festivals participate in knowledge production? Can a film festival truly function as a democratic platform? What does it mean to have a film festival in a town like Kaunas or similar? Does today’s structure of funding and film circulation allow for the film festival as a form to evolve beyond the limitations posed by the neoliberal order? What potentialities, apart from city promotion internationally can such event activate? What are the possible strategies of audience engagement? What are possible conjunctures of film industry, film studies scholarship and audiences that could generate new visions for the future of film festivals?

9:30 – 10:00 Registration, coffee

10:00 – 10:45 Keynote presentation.
Dr. Masha Salazkina (Associate Professor in Film Studies, Concordia University Research Chair in Transnational Media Arts and Cultures)
“The Geopolitics of Alternative Histories of Film Festivals, Transnational Approaches”

10:45 – 11:45 Morning Panel
Dr. Alice O. Lovejoy (Associate Professor in Cultural Studies, University of Minnesota)
“Children, Universalism, and the Geopolitics of Film Festivals and Criticism”

Prof. Dr. Gintautas Mažeikis (Head of Department of Philosophy and Social Critique, Vytautas Magnus University)
“Manufacturing of Cinema Publicity and Making of Alternatives”

11:45 – 13:30 Lunch Break

13:30 – 14:30 Afternoon Panel
Barbara Wurm (Curator, Film Critic, and Film Historian, Researcher and Lecturer at Humboldt University)
„The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Film (Festival) Curator or: How to Define the Transnational“ 

Jason Fox (Lecturer, CUNY Hunter College)
"Ways of Organizing: The Politics of Documentary Film Festivals"

14:30 – 14:45 Coffee Break

14:45 – 15:45 Discussion
Participants: Dr. Masha Salazkina, Dr. Alice O. Lovejoy, Dr. Gintautas Mažeikis, Jason Fox, Barbara Wurm
Moderator: Ilona Jurkonytė

Kaunas International Film Festival

Partners and co-funders:
Concordia University
Vytautas Magnus University
U.S. Embassy in Lithuania
Embassy of Canada to Lithuania
Creative Europe MEDIA office in Lithuania
With the support of the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union

Registration: https://goo.gl/forms/j7eX3dFxxjjZHbnT2

Dr. Masha Salazkina
Masha Salazkina is Concordia University Research Chair in Transnational Media Arts and Cultures (Montreal, Canada).  Her work incorporates transnational approaches to film theory and cultural history, Marxism and Thirdwordlism. She is the author of In Excess: Sergei Eisenstein's Mexico (2009) and co-editor of Sound, Speech, Music in Soviet and Post-Soviet Cinema (2014) and Global Perspectives on Amateur Film History and Culture (forthcoming) .
Salazkina’s work has been published in Cinema Journal, October, Screen, Film History, Slavic Review, Framework, Canadian Journal of Film Studies, KinoKultura, and several edited volumes.
Her new book project traces a trajectory of the development of materialist film theory through the discourses of early Soviet cinema, to institutional film cultures of the 1930s-1950s Italy, and critical debates surrounding the emergence of New Latin American Cinemas. She is also leading a collaborative research project investigating a history of international festivals of Asian, African, and Latin American cinemas in the 1960s-70s.

Dr. Alice O. Lovejoy
Alice Lovejoy is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature and the Moving Image Studies Program at the University of Minnesota, and a former editor and critic at Film Comment magazine. Her 2015 book, Army Film and the Avant Garde: Cinema and Experiment in the Czechoslovak Military (Indiana University Press), was awarded the Modern Language Association’s 2018 Scaglione Prize for Studies in Slavic Languages and Literatures, and her essays have appeared in, among others, Screen, The Moving Image, and Slavic Review. She is completing a book tentatively entitled Tales of Militant Chemistry: A History of Raw Film Stock, and is at work on a book project examining postwar children’s film and television institutions.

Prof. Dr. Gintautas Mažeikis
Head of Department of Philosophy and Social Critique, Vytautas Magnus University. His research interests are analysis of contemporary social and political theories, postmodern political anthropology, research and analysis of propaganda and symbolic thinking, analysis and philosophical critique of creative industries. Mažeikis is active critical participant within the sphere of the civic, art, political, religious, and academic events.

Dr. Barbara Wurm
Curator, Film Critic, and Film Historian
Barbara Wurm is a slavist, film scholar, curator and critic. She worked and works as a programmer and consultant for various film festivals (Dok Leipzig, goEast, Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen) and cinema libraries (Vienna, Munich, Berlin). She is a researcher and teacher of Theory of History of Literature and Film for West European cultures, nonfiction film, soviet avant-garde and contemporary culture of Russia at the Institute of Slavistics at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Her articles are published in various magazines and newspapers, such as taz, Ray, EPD Film, Filmdienst, kinokultura, Kolik, senses of cinema and Sight and Sound. She has written many articles for scientific collections and has a dissertation on Soviet Kulturfilm of 1920s. She has compiled and published books on Dziga Vertov (2006, 2009), Herbert Rappaport (2008), on medial constitution of the political (2009), on partisan films (2010) and on the contemporary film in Russia (2010). Barbara was a jury member at the Kurzfilmtage (Oberhausen), Diagonale (Graz), Flahertiana (Perm') and Docu Days (Kiev). Last year she curated the retrospective "Hybrid Identities - Baltic Cinema/s" for the GoEast Filmfestival, Wiesbaden.

Jason Fox
Lecturer in Visual Arts Lewis Center for The Arts, Princeton University
Jason Fox is a filmmaker and professor based in New York. He has taught in the Graduate School of Cinema Studies at New York University, Vassar College, Cooper Union, and CUNY Hunter College. His award-winning work as a director, cinematographer, and editor has screened internationally in film festivals including Sundance, AFI Fest, and Venice, on broadcast television, and in gallery installation settings.  He has worked as a film programmer in conjunction with The American Museum of Natural History, The Flaherty Seminar, and the Museum of Modern Art, among other venues. He is a recipient of a Union Square Award for social justice, and he is also the founding editor of the peer-reviewed journal of documentary studies, World Records, published by UnionDocs in Brooklyn, NY.