The International Circulation of European Cinema in the Digital Age

The International Circulation of European Cinema in the Digital Age


No. 3/2018 - Edited by Damiano Garofalo, Dom Holdaway and Massimo Scaglioni

From a political-economic perspective, the global market is dominated still by major international cinemas: Hollywood in particular – whose major studios (20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., MGM, Sony) maintain control locally through national subsidiaries – but also Bollywood, Nollywood and the Chinese industry in certain regions. European productions, on the other hand, remain for the most part confined to national successes alone, with only few exceptions – such as Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis (Dany Boon 2008), The King’s Speech (Tom Hooper 2010) and, albeit to a lesser extent, Gomorra (Matteo Garrone 2008).

In the meantime, the influence of media convergence and the proliferation of digital platforms has demonstrated a series of content circulation strategies that differ to the classic windows of the distribution industry; strategies that have since become central to contemporary debates on film distribution. In academic studies, these mutations have contributed to broadening focus beyond theatrical distribution, in order to account for the circulation of films via alternative, formal or informal channels too (Tryon 2009; Iordanova and Cunningham 2012; Cunningham and Silver 2013). Some recent studies have emphasized in particular how contemporary research on film distribution can no longer exclude informal or non-linear circulation channels (Lobato 2012; Crisp 2015; Lobato and Thomas 2015).

With the aim of studying how this new technological context is changing current tendencies, and taking root in the “national interest research project” (PRIN 2015) on the international circulation of Italian cinema, the special issue No. 3/2018 will focus on the strategies and outcomes of European cinema distribution beyond national borders.

Proposals for the issue might address (but are not limited to) the following issues:

  • The international distribution and circulation of Italian cinema abroad: case studies
  • The circulation of European cinema in specific (European, international) contexts, through quantitative or big data analysis
  • The circulation of European cinema via international broadcasters and television channels
  • The Circulation of European cinema on digital platforms and in informal contexts (piracy, streaming, etc.)
  • The promotion and marketing of film products abroad
  • The institutional promotion policies of national cultures through cinema (cultural institutes, universities, consulates, film festivals, etc.)
  • New theoretical approaches and methodologies in distribution and circulation studies, applied to film


Crisp, V. 2015. Film Distribution in the Digital Age. Pirates and Professionals (London: Palgrave Macmillan)

Cunningham, S. and J. Silver (eds.). 2013. Screen Distribution and the New King-Kongs of the Online World (London: Palgrave MacMillan)

Iordanova, D. and S. Cunningham (eds.). 2012. Digital Disruption: Cinema Moves On-line (St Andrews: St Andrews Film Studies)

Lobato, R. 2012. Shadow Economies of Cinema (London: BFI, Palgrave)

Lobato, R. and J. Thomas. 2015. The Informal Media Economy (Cambridge and Malden: Polity Press)

Tryon, C. 2009. Reinventing Cinema: Movies in the Age of Media Convergence (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press).


Deadlines and Guidelines

Please send your abstract and a short biographical note to and by February 15, 2018. Abstracts should be from 300 to 400 words of length (either in English or Italian). All notifications of acceptance will be emailed no later than March 1, 2017.

If the proposal is accepted, the author(s) will be asked to submit the full article by June 1, 2018. Articles should be between 4,000-5,000 words in length (no more than 35,000 characters, spaces and notes included). Contributions will be sent to two reviewers in a double-blind procedure prior to the final publication decision.


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