From Celluloid to Streaming: Conservation and Circulation of Small Cinemas

deadline for submissions: 
April 30, 2021
full name / name of organization:

From Celluloid to Streaming: Conservation and Circulation of Small Cinemas
12th edition of the Small Cinemas Conference
Santiago de Compostela October 28-29, 2021

Keynote Speakers:Mette Hjort is Chair Professor of Humanities and Dean of Arts at the Hong Kong Baptist University, Affiliate Professor of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Washington, and Visiting Professor of Cultural Industries at the University of South Wales.

Elena Neira is lecturer in the degree of Communication Studies in the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, and member of the research group GAME. She also teaches Audiovisual Distribution in the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya.

The flow of globalization has renewed the debate on center-periphery inequalities. The irruption of new technologies for distributing, consuming and archiving cinema pose a challenge to small cinemas already fighting for a place in traditional screening venues and events. Small cinema products are now part of the Video on Demand gigantic catalogues. The so-called algorithm culture perpetuates the unbalance between big and small industries.
In this conference, we propose to analyze if the algorithm could be a death sentence for small cinemas or could instead bring new opportunities. Should small cinemas look for visibility by using tags related to popular genres or use smallness or periphery as tags themselves are relevant questions for the survival of small productions. Could small cinemas create a niche in the bag of Video on Demand (VoD)? Could they be independent from cinema venues or film festivals? Are there any existing dissemination models to follow? As online distribution redefines and makes peripheries visible rather than merge them with the center (Szczepanik et al., 2020), the presence and success of small films could inspire new models of distribution, particularly as a result of Covid-19 conditions.
The conservation of small cinemas is also a relevant issue when films vanish into an increasingly saturated market. Access to films is indispensable for drawing a visual imaginary which is part of the nation as imagined community (Anderson, 1983). In the last years, some public or collaborative initiatives gathered films in minority languages, movies difficult to trace and endangered visual materials for posting on the Internet, where they are or can be transformed and appropriated by users.

Suggested topics:
-The flow center/periphery in post-globalization and small cinemas.
-Effectiveness of public policies for the circulation of small cinemas.
-Digital market regulations and their effect on small cinemas.
-Exceptions to the rule: successful cases of small cinemas circulation on the international market.
-The festival circuit and the positioning of small cinemas.
-Looking for a ‘natural’ audience of small cinemas.
-The impact of Video on Demand on small cinemas.
-Algorithms, audiences and small cinemas.
-The impact of Covid-19 on the circulation/dissemination of small cinemas.
-The preservation of small cinemas as part of the immaterial cultural heritage.
-Archives and small cinemas. Avoiding the invisibility of small and peripheral cultures.

Submission deadline: a 300-word proposal should be submitted by April 30, 2021
Conference Committee Response: June 30, 2021
Upon acceptance of proposals, a short abstract and bio are due: July 15, 2021

Please submit your proposal via the website or at:

Mode of participation: Blended model (On site + Streaming)

Conference fee: 50€ general  / 25€ students, unemployed


Anderson, Benedict (1983). Imagined communities. Reflections on the origins and spread of nationalism. London: Verso.

Szczepanik, P., Zahrádka, P., Macek, J., Stepan, P. (Eds.) (2020). Digital peripheries. The online circulation of audiovisual content from the small market perspective. New York: Springer.