Film Festivals as Cosmopolitan Assemblages: A Case Study in Diasporic Cocreation
Abstract: In this article, I seek to explore the use and development of the notion of cosmopolitanism within the context of film festivals. I will examine the specific case study of the Leicester Asian Film Festival from the perspective of an insider—as a Film Programmer and Associate Director of the event. The questions that I intend to answer are: what happens to our understanding of film festivals when we frame it through discourses of cosmopolitanism and borders and, conversely, what happens to our understanding of cosmopolitanism when we frame it through film festival studies? Accordingly, I will place cosmopolitanism in conversation with the developing literature on film festival studies. The aim is to offer an idea of film festivals as “cosmopolitan assemblage”, within a frame of fluidity, exchangeability and multiple functionalities (Deleuze and Guattari). In developing this concept, I will draw on Ulf Hannerz’s use of the term cosmopolitanism that includes being open to and involved with otherness. The aim is to theorise the idea of festivals as borders, and inspire new forms of consciousness and cultural competency applied to film festival programming.