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I’ve just come back from pulling a 34-tonne mobile cinema on foot across Scotland. More film festivals should be like this one

By Mark Cousins   September 2009

Just as the growth of music festivals is changing the culture and business model of popular music, so the ongoing expansion of the festival circuit is reconfiguring film culture. Film festivals began in the 1940s as trade fairs, before diversifying into shop windows for the industry, training events and film think tanks. This shapeshifting was necessary but, as I’ve said before (Widescreen, January 2009) it hasn’t gone far enough. Too many film festivals are the same: a main competition of new films, a sidebar retrospective, a shorts programme and so on. Their directors need to realise they can innovate with…

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