Film Festival

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Film Festival


a screening and creative competition of works of cinematic art.

Film festivals are held in order to provide exposure for the best films and cinematographic trends and to promote cooperation and the exchange of experience among cinematographers. There are festivals of feature films, newsreels and documentaries, popular-scientific and educational films, and animated cartoons. The festivals last a day, a week, ten days, or a month or run as part of a series; the name of the festival often reflects this status. Festivals are arranged for domestic films and for the best film works of other countries. Festivals of national films are held abroad as well. The types and number of film festivals are growing. There are amateur film festivals as well as festivals of films made by professional directors.

Festivals of the cinematic art of the Union republics and thematic shows associated with major sociopolitical events or significant dates in the history of the country have become popular in the USSR. The All-Union Film Festival, which exhibits films made in the studios of all the Union republics, has been held since 1958.

The first International Film Festival was held in Venice in 1932. The first film festival held in Moscow was organized in 1935. International film screenings have become extremely popular since the latter 1940’s. They are held in many of the countries of Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Africa and in Australia. Sometimes international film festivals are organized as part of music or theater festivals, World’s Fairs, and democratic youth and student festivals. Generally the best films and their makers receive awards, prizes, or diplomas.

The International Association of Producers (founded in 1933), one of the purposes of which is the maintenance of festival regulations, has established several classes of international film festivals, based on significance. Class A includes the festivals in Venice (established in 1932), Cannes (1946), Karlovy Vary (1950), West Berlin (1951), San Sebastian (1953), and Moscow (1959). One of the largest exhibitions of world cinema is the International Film Festival in Moscow, held every other year with the motto “For humanism in cinema art, for peace and friendship among nations.” Feature, documentary, popular-scientific, and children’s films are entered in the competition.

The organization and nature of film festivals in the capitalist countries are influenced by the commercial interests of the film monopolies. The festivals of socialist countries, on the other hand, are screenings of progressive cinema, an affirmation of humanism, peace, and friendship among peoples. Soviet films gain numerous victories, winning the hearts of audiences with the truthfulness of their depiction of life and with their consummate craftsmanship.


Iurenev, R. Na mezhdunarodnykh kinofestivaliakh. Moscow, 1959.
Kino i vremia: Biulleten’, issue 2, books 1–2. Moscow, 1962–63.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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