Evolving Festival Dynamics: The Quest For Relevance

Being relevant to their communities is often essential to film festival development. In their search for relevance, film festivals are increasingly embracing various activities. Though this approach has many advantages, the growing complexity of film festivals also poses a new challenge: How do you efficiently manage such a complex film festival?

The Power of Relevance

The need to remain relevant often stems from the festival’s mission to show a critical window into contemporary society. Beyond that, relevance is a powerful tool for attracting new audiences, which can be crucial for a festival’s survival. Additionally, relevance is frequently a prerequisite for funding from various institutions. As a result, festivals go beyond merely showing films for a short period. They develop in multiple directions and embrace new activities, thus becoming more complex as they serve broader community roles for a wider audience. Expanding activities range from empowering learning, new partnerships or preserving cinema heritage.

Expanding Festival Accessibility

Festivals broaden their reach with year-round programs, making them accessible to a wide audience throughout the year. Examples include organising year-round themed screenings, collaborations with local cinemas and cultural institutions, travelling film programs, and interdisciplinary events. Collaboration between festivals and cinemas is often seen as mutually beneficial, as festivals can reach a larger audience, and cinemas support the festivals year-round.

Empowering Learning Through Festivals

Education increasingly plays a crucial role in the mission of modern film festivals. By creating educational programs, workshops, and seminars, festivals offer a platform for learning and discovery. These may include film programs for schools, workshops on filmmaking, or even seminars on specialised topics for film industry students. This extends the festival’s reach to schools, universities, and community centres.

Preserving Cinema Heritage

Many festivals have built their own film collections and actively preserve and restore rare and historically significant films. By screening these films and making them accessible to a broad audience, festivals promote greater understanding and appreciation of cinema history. Furthermore, by archiving, restoring and curating films, festivals preserve cultural heritage that might otherwise be lost to future generations.

Preserving film heritage

Rewards and Challenges for Your Festival

The advantages of expanding festival activities are clear and promising. Doing so increases your relevance to larger audiences and makes you more attractive to sponsors and funding. Additionally, you contribute to strengthening the industry. 

Expanding the range of activities makes festival management more complex, often requiring more work from the same team. Fiona Festival software can help you with this. This platform is specifically designed to make organising festival activities like those mentioned in this article easier and faster.
We would love to talk to you about this. Book a meeting to see how Fiona Festival can help you manage complexity.

Share this post on your social media


Who is Fiona?


At Fiona, we love tech and film festivals. That is why our film festival clients love Fiona’s film festival management software: designed to be effective, user-friendly, and easy to use.  We are constantly adding new features and learning from our trusted film festival partners. Meanwhile, we stay updated on new technologies to keep Fiona the best film festival management software.

About The Author

Peter Goldman
YOU are creative, AI is not


Stay updated about the latest developments in Fiona and the film industry. Subscribe here!

Follow @fionafestival
Get updates on Fiona and the industry