Lead researchers:  Dr Stuart Richards and Dr Jess Pacella

In-person film festival experiences have faced uncertain futures since the spread of COVID-19. Snap-lockdowns, unclear and rapidly changing rules to public density allowances in theatres, distribution and challenges of “working-from-home” have become prominent issues to creative and cultural workers employed within the film festival ecosystem.

In this project, we interviewed film festival directors, organisers and workers within Australia that were working in the film festival sector during 2020. Participants were all mid-career, having at least 5 years of employment experience within the film festival ecosystem (directors, programmers and content creators) as well as having experience in other adjacent cultural and creative work.

The results in this study highlight common concerns of the legacy precarity has on professional and creative practice for those engaged in creative and cultural work, but also of unusual and unexpected opportunities for creativity and new film festival delivery beyond the dominant mode of in-theatre only experience pre-COVID-19.