The International Circulation of National Cinemas and Audiovisual Content

Apr 10, 2019

Catholic University of Milan

French director Agnes Varda with a perched cat posing in front of Dogman’s poster in Cork, Ireland.

The International Circulation of National Cinemas and Audiovisual Content: The Challenge of Convergence and Multiplatform Distribution in the European Context

Catholic University of Milan | 17-18 September, 2019


Conference organized by Massimo Scaglioni, Emiliano Morreale, Paolo Noto 

Organizing Committee: Paola Brembilla, Damiano Garofalo, Luca Peretti, Elena Prati 

Confirmed keynote speaker: Jennifer Holt (UC Santa Barbara)

Jennifer Holt is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies and a Fellow with the Center for Democracy & Technology in Washington, D.C. Her courses at UCSB include Media Criticism, Media Historiography, Television History, Media Industries, and The Future of Media. She is the author of Empires of Entertainment and the co-editor of Distribution Revolution; Connected Viewing: Selling, Streaming & Sharing Media in the Digital Age; and Media Industries: History, Theory, Method. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies including Cinema Journal, Journal of Information Policy, Moving Data, and Signal Traffic: Critical Studies of Media Infrastructures. She is also a co-founder of the Media Industries journal. Her current book project, Cloud Policy: Regulating Digital Freedom is a legal and cultural history of infrastructure policies related to digital media distribution, storage, and access.

A second keynote speaker will be announced soon.

Call for papers

As one of the main outcomes of the “CInCIt: The International Circulation of Italian Cinema” research project, financed by the Italian Ministry for Universities and Higher Education (MIUR) under the auspices of the ‘PRIN 2015’ scheme, this conference aims to focus on the circulation and distribution of cinema and audiovisual content in the European contexts in a comparative way. Given the recent mutations of the film industry and distribution technology in the digital age, there are clear lines and trajectories that divide the European countries in terms of their ability to circulate their media products – and with them a specific image of a culture – across the continent.

The research carried out within the CInCIt project has highlighted some of Italian cinema’s directions of transformation and adaptation from a transnational perspective, which could be verified by means of a comparison with other European contexts. The case studies that the research group has analyzed, in part available on, reveal already three findings: that over the last decade the international pathways for film circulation have undergone change (involving, in the Italian case, the reduction of exports towards traditionally welcoming countries, such as France); that some traditionally strong  areas of European production (middlebrow art cinema, for instance) struggle to exploit the new system of distribution windows and above all to access over-the-top platforms; and that new geographical clusters for circulation are emerging (the North-European market, for example, but less obviously also a Mediterranean circuit for the distribution of comedies).

Considering the increasing importance of digitization and streaming culture in audiovisual media consumption, i.e. the most important and visible driver of these transformations, patterns of distribution and circulation quickly become urgent issues in Film and Media studies. The European media and creative industries vary in their ability to circulate both inside and outside national borders: it is important to understand both these different trajectories in depth, and the potential of the various politics of sustainability for different national cinemas abroad.

Possible proposals are invited in (but not limited to) the four main following areas:

  • The challenges and opportunities of film distribution: from film festivals to the movie theaters crisis;
  • National cinemas and transnational circulation;
  • Circulation practices and new technologies: OTT platforms, streaming and on-demand offerings, informal and piracy practices of video consumption;
  • European series and their global visibility and success.

We invite abstracts for 20-minute presentations. Abstracts should be between 250-300 words in length and should be accompanied by a brief biographical note. The deadline for submissions is 10 April 2019. Accepted papers will be confirmed by 30 April 2019. The official language of the conference is English. Please send abstracts to

Scientific Committee: Luca Barra, Giulia Carluccio, Marco Cucco, Ruggero Eugeni, Michele Fadda, Mariagrazia Fanchi, David Forgacs, Massimo Locatelli, Giacomo Manzoli, Catherine O’Rawe, Marta Perrotta, Dana Renga,Tomaso Subini, Daniela Treveri Gennari.