Every day somewhere in the world a film festival is taking place. Film festivals now number in the thousands. So what accounts for this explosion in festivals? In this course we will examine the film festival phenomenon in a global context. From the red carpet of A-list festivals such as Cannes, Berlin and Toronto to smaller local festivals (Dedfest, Rainbow Visions, amongst others) we will compare festival mandates and themes, programming strategies, and issues of film exhibition and distribution. (Students interested in an optional field trip to the Toronto International Film Festival should enrol early for details).