Episodic volunteer management at festivals: The case of Valletta Film Festival, Valetta, Malta
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Dickson, L. (2018) Episodic volunteer management at festivals: The case of Valletta Film Festival, Valetta, Malta. In: Stevenson, D., ed. Managing Organisational Success in the Arts. Oxford: Routledge.
A film festival now opens every 36 hours somewhere in the world (Archibald and Miller, 2011, p. 249). As argued elsewhere (Dickson, 2017a), the extraordinary rate at which the number of festivals has increased signals a growing appetite for consuming film in event contexts and points to the increasing importance of multi-layered events in an experience-led economy. Likewise, over the last five years, there has been mounting interest in film festivals as objects of study by film and media scholars who consider them crucial sites for understanding film economies, politics and cultures. While film festivals have been considered through a variety of lenses and conceptualisations – imagined as religious orders (Bazin, 1955/2009), geopolitical networks (de Valck, 2007), open systems (Fischer, 2013), public spheres (Wong, 2016) and social constructions (Dayan, 2000), within this growing body of work there appears to be common agreement that film festivals are both exhibition circuits for the film industry and channels for cultural exchange. In this regard, film festivals oscillate between commercial, cultural and aesthetic agendas as “unique institution[s], which straddle art, commerce and governance” (Rhyne, 2009, p. 10).