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Creative Encounters Working Papers 14

Creative Encounters Working Papers 14

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Published by mkgnmgnmop
Creative Encounters Working Papers 14
Creative Encounters Working Papers 14

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Published by: mkgnmgnmop on Sep 01, 2013
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Creativity at Work:
Much Ado aboutNothing?Untangling the Impact ofEuropean Premier FilmFestivals
ByStephen Mezias Jesper Strandgaard PedersenSilviya SvejenovaCarmelo MazzaSeptember2008
Page 1 / 31 Creative Encounters Working Paper # 14
 
 
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Abstract
 This study seeks to untangle the impact of film festivals on the conception andaction of industry actors. This study puts forward the argument that filmfestivals, seen as instances of tournament rituals and field configuring events,play a role in bridging art and commerce. It examines three instances of aparticular tournament ritual, that of the three leading European premier filmfestivals, namely the Cannes Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, and theVenice International Film Festival, to untangle their role as mediators betweenart and commerce and their impact on the artistic classification system of thecinema field. For the purpose, it uses admissions data from 36 Europeancountries for the period of 1996 to 2005. It examines the impact of festivalparticipation and awards on admissions, and further artistic recognition ataward ceremonies in the US. Based on the results of our study we argue that,similarly to the classification of art forms, there is a status ordering oftournament rituals (i.e. film festivals) with regard to their ability to act as anexus of dichotomous categories for a particular cultural form (i.e. art andcommerce in the case of film).
Keyword
 Film festivals, field configuring events, artistic classification systems, artisticrecognition, commercial impact
Authors
Stephen MeziasStern School of Business, USA Jesper Strandgaard Pedersen (may be reached by e-mail at js.ioa@cbs.dk
)
 Copenhagen Business School, DenmarkSilviya SvejenovaESADE Business School, SpainCarmelo MazzaGrenoble Ecole de Management, France
We thank Jesper Schlamovitz and Mette Løth Frederiksen (Copenhagen Business School) and HelenaViladas (ESADE Business School) for their research assistance. An earlier version of this paper has beenpresented at the EGOS Colloquium, Vienna, 2007 and has benefited from inputs from the participants atSub-theme 24 ‘Journeys of creative entrepreneurs: Interaction among individuals, organizations andinstitutions in creative industries’
 
 
Page 3 / 31 Creative Encounters Working Paper # 14
Much Ado about Nothing?Untangling the Impact of European PremierFilm Festivals
Research in the sociology of culture has examined the characteristics of artisticclassification systems (DiMaggio, 1987). It has identified ideal types of culturalforms and defined boundaries that help cultivate dichotomies, for example,high or elite culture versus popular culture, highbrow versus lowbrow orsacred versus profane genres (Lamont & Fournier, 1992). Understandingculture as hierarchical has become both legitimate and widespread; high culturehas been considered superior to popular culture, and sacred genres viewed ashaving a higher status than those considered vulgar or profane genres (Crane,1992; DiMaggio, 1992).However, there is also recognition of the ambiguity and erosion ofdichotomized conceptions (DiMaggio, 1992). Culture is acknowledgedpluralistic, with fluid boundaries between the high and the popular (Crane,1992). Intermediate categories, such as
nobrow
- “the space between the familiarcategories of high and low culture” (Seabrook, 1999) - emerge. Hence, forms ofart not only elevate or loose their artistic status. They are also increasingly lessdichotomous and more continuous, as patrons and the artists they support“play with the boundaries between art and market, between the culture of theelite and the entertainments of the street” (DiMaggio, 1992: 47).Scholars in the production of culture perspective have sought to capture theway symbolic elements of culture move between dichotomous categories,arguing that culture is situational and capable of change (Peterson & Anand,2004). Impressionists came to prominence in the second half of the nineteenthcentury with the support of Parisian art dealers and critics (White & White,1965; Wijnberg & Gemser, 2000). In the Israeli art scene of the early twentiethcentury, different styles “vied for hegemony” (Greenfeld, 1989: 12). The profit-oriented cultural genre of film got valorised as art in the US in the 1950s and1960s (Baumann, 2001). Theatre, opera, and the dance also entered the highculture model (DiMaggio, 1992).Recent studies have acknowledged that an essential yet a largely neglectedmechanism for change to happen is that of tournament rituals, or field-configuring events (Lampel and Meyer, 2008); those trans-organizationalstructures such as the Grammy Awards depicted by Anand and Watson (2004)that influence field evolution. In addition to being a symbolic medium, theserituals also have a commercial impact on the success and careers of artists whoget rewarded (Anand and Watson, 2004). Although “there are hundreds of filmor music festivals, numerous events are designed to celebrate talent, andvarious award ceremonies, all of which receive a great deal of publicity”(Lampel, Shamsie & Lant, 2006: 301), their role in the production of culture

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