Every day a festival day! – under this motto the network of the Berlin Filmfestival Festiwelt since 2009 has been presenting the diverse film festival landscape of more than 70 film festivals in Berlin alone. Without a doubt, this remarkable variety of film festivals testifies to their high attractiveness in a modern, colorful, lively metropolis. The high number of festivals in a state with many rural areas like Bavaria, on the other hand, proves that film festivals as a film-cultural highlight have likewise become indispensable in the countryside. It would therefore be all the more important for cultural policy, and even more so for film and media policy, to pay more attention to film festivals and their potential. At the same time, it would be more than urgent for the public sector to collect data on the sector and provide differentiated analyses as a basis for political decisions. To date, however, only 7 film festivals of a sector comprising around 450 film festivals in 2021 are taken into account in the analyses of Kino-Sonderformen of the German Federal Film Board (FFA).
This is a desideratum that is unfortunately also encountered throughout Europe and worldwide. The only exception is Harry van Vliet’s extensive research on the entire festival scene in the Netherlands and on various aspects of the film festival landscape with its 186 actors (as of 2018). Of particular value here is his recent book publication Festivals & Beleving with analyses of his 10 years of research on the (film) festival sector. In addition, the study commissioned by the film festival association Associazione Festival Italiani di Cinema (AFIC) for the first time in 2021 provides information on 142 festivals in Italy and their implemented event concepts as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Not least as a necessary prerequisite for further studies, Tanja C. Krainhöfer therefore laid the foundation for an analysis of the German film festival landscape in 2013. Since then, the team has been conducting annual descriptive and comparative analyses of the film festival sector by systematically collecting master data on individual film festivals and surveying a limited catalog of characteristics. Initially in collaboration with Konrad Schreiber and since 2017 with Tobias H. Petri, curated data sets for basic statistics such as start-ups and cumulative growth are thus developed.