Film Festivals
Cinema and Cultural Exchange

Mar Diestro-Dópido

Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures 18


1 May 2021  •  240pp

ISBN: 978-1-781887-05-9 (hardback)  •  RRP £80, $110, €95

ISBN: 978-1-781883-99-0 (paperback, 21 December 2023  )

ISBN: 978-1-781884-00-3 (JSTOR ebook)

Access online: Books@JSTOR


In addition to its original library hardback edition, this title is now on sale in the new student-priced Legenda paperback range.

Film festivals, once seen as only a matter for journalism, are increasingly a subject of attention within scholarly film studies. They are, as Mar Diestro-Dópido argues, not only of cultural value in themselves but also sites of cinematic, artistic, social, political and economic exchange. Three fasci­nating case studies develop this argument beyond the habitual focus of critics and academics on Western film festivals: the Buenos Aires Festival de Cine Independiente, known as BAFICI, in Argentina; the BFI London Film Festival in the UK; and the San Sebastián International Film Festival in Spain. Extensive interviews with the teams responsible for programming bring into the public domain the views and motivations of those who shape film festivals, creating a unique body of material for future scholars to draw on.

Mar Diestro-Dópido is a film academic, researcher and regular contributor to the BFI Sight & Sound magazine, and an experienced arts and media translator. Her publications include a BFI Modern Classic on Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth. Her doctoral research, on which this book is built, won the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland’s prize for the best new thesis of 2015.


  • ‘A detailed account of the myriad aspects of film festivals and their cultural import both within and beyond the field of film studies. The book will be of interest to scholars and students of film, film festivals, film cultures, with specific relevance to those working in the fields of Basque, Spanish, Argentine, and British film and these related contexts.’ — Fiona Noble, Bulletin of Spanish Visual Studies 7.1, 141-42 (full text online)
  • ‘The key strength of Diestro-Dópido’s book lies in her ability to critically address the intricacies that shape film festivals by focusing on ‘the point of view of the communities that constitute the festival cosmos: organizers, funders, filmmakers, producers, critics, directors, programmers, guests, educational bodies, and more’. This book will be, therefore, an essential text for students and scholars of film festivals, as well as for those involved in running film festivals. It makes a unique contribution to the fields of Spanish screen studies and film festival studies alike due Diestro-Dópido’s original methodological and theoretical approach, close access to the main practitioners in the field and its focus on overlooked film festivals.’ — Jara Fernández Meneses, Studies in Spanish and Latin American Cinemas 19, June 2022, 264-66 (full text online)


Introduction: ‘History Doesn’t Record Reality But Constructs It As the Object of Its Discourse’
Mar Diestro-Dópido
Chapter 1 Bafici, Buenos Aires Festival Internacional De Cine Independiente: the Festival As International Platform
Mar Diestro-Dópido
Chapter 2 Festival De San Sebastián/donostia Zinemaldia/international Film Festival: A Film Festival of Contrasts
Mar Diestro-Dópido
Chapter 3 the Bfi London Film Festival: A Public Festival of Festivals
Mar Diestro-Dópido
Conclusion: the End of Festivals?
Mar Diestro-Dópido
Mar Diestro-Dópido
Mar Diestro-Dópido

Bibliography entry:

Diestro-Dópido, Mar, Film Festivals: Cinema and Cultural Exchange, Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures, 18 (Legenda, 2021)

First footnote reference: 35 Mar Diestro-Dópido, Film Festivals: Cinema and Cultural Exchange, Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures, 18 (Legenda, 2021), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Diestro-Dópido, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Diestro-Dópido, Mar. 2021. Film Festivals: Cinema and Cultural Exchange, Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures, 18 (Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Diestro-Dópido 2021: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Diestro-Dópido 2021: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

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