Working Group Economic Geography

International film festivals as engines for revitalizing local economies? Case-studies of Berlin and Busan from a multi-scalar institutional perspective

In the past two decades, the number of film festivals has been increasing. Recently, more than 3,500 film festivals take place worldwide.
European annual film festivals have over 70 year’s history. Berlin film festival is well known for its European Film Market (EFM) which links between the film industry and various artists systematically. Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) started in 1996 and is annually held in Haeundai-Gu, Busan. Despite its relatively short history, it has become one of the most influential film festivals in Asia.
As a research topic, however, the impact of film festivals on boosting local economies has received little attention within regional and urban studies. Moreover, the role of the cultural events and activities on local economies is often neglected. Little is also known about the role of multi-scalar mediators, who keep the balance of power among diverse actors with different interests and help the cooperation and coordination among them for the success of the international film festival. Although recently much research in regional studies has been done on a similar phenomenon, namely trade fairs, the focus of that strand of research has been on trade fairs as so-called temporary clusters. The focus of this research instead will be on the role of international annual events, film festivals, on boosting or revitalizing local economy.

Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) - German-Korean Partnership Program (GEnKO)