Toward Decolonized Film Festival Worlds

Lindiwe Dovey*, Estrella Sendra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter is in part a manifesto and in part an engagement with the thinking and practice already re-shaping film festivals in this era of decolonization and Covid-19. We take as a starting point and analyze the provocative docu-fiction film titled Film Festival Film (dir. Perivi Katjavivi and Mpumelelo Mcata, 2019, South Africa) which raises myriad, difficult, and enduring questions about film festivals and contemporary film culture. Reading the provocations of this film alongside our own respective research into and work with film festivals and film curation (mostly in relation to African filmmaking), we then put ourselves into conversation with 22 film festival curators and filmmakers around the world who have shared their experiences with us, as well as with recent decolonial theorizing (by, e.g., Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Mignolo and Walsh). The chapter grapples with questions such as what does decolonization mean in relation to contemporary film culture? What would decolonized film festival worlds look like? And what have film practitioners learned from their work during the Covid-19 pandemic that might help us to collectively realize those worlds? In this way, we try to chart the significant work being done by many people to build more inclusive, sustainable, decolonized film cultures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Film Festivals in the Pandemic Era and After
EditorsMarijke de Valck, Antoine Damiens
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages290
ISBN (Electronic)ISBN 978-3-031-14171-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-14170-6
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2023


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