Marijke de Valck (Universiteit Utrecht - Amsterdam)
World Cinema emerged originally as a category for non-western cinemas, akin to World Music and World Literature. In this usage it carries the ambiguous connotation of a marketing label for Western consumption of cultural products that resist Western culture. The widespread adoption of the term in film studies has not precluded reservations about the term’s ability to capture the diversity in World Cinema and encompass all discourses put forward to make sense of them. Dennison and Lim’s qualification of World Cinema as a “theoretical problem” is frequently cited to point to the sheer impossibility of mapping the cinemas of the world, especially if both the world and its cinemas are in constant flux. Film festivals play a crucial role in the reconfigurations of local, regional, national and global relationships in the global film industries. It is through festivals that global flows of films are moderated. While film festivals are celebrated for their commitment to cultural diversity, they are also criticized for limiting filmmakers to certain parameters. In particular, festivals create demand for films that display a strong local or national identity, and satisfy audience cravings for exploring unfamiliar cultures (Nichols 1994). At the same time, festivals suggest there are universal standards to compare and understand the diversity in World Cinema. This presentation focuses on Latin-American cinema, which traditionally has a strong presence in European co-production markets, is well supported by festival funds and enjoys wide festival circulation. Research has pointed out how this system tends to favor Latin American cinema tailored to the Euro-U.S. art cinema model (Campos, 2015; Falicov 2010; Ross, 2011). In this presentation the case of Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajes), an Argentinean-Spanish co-production that premiered in Cannes, 2014, is seized to for a comparative analysis of the trajectories and imaginations of North-South festival encounters in Argentina, the Netherlands and Australia.