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Festival Skills – Short Written and Non Written Forms. Communication and Audience Development

The second of three blocks of the Asian Cinema Education International Journalism and Film Criticism Course focused on journalistic skills which are essential for film festivals organisers.

At the moment the webinars can be watched without registration.

Participation in the course is free of charge. All webinars are conducted in English only – this is the working language of the whole course.

Festival skills - course info

Festivals play an important role in the life cycle of a film but are equally important for film critics. New talents find an audience there, like-minded people from different places meet. Not only is it a place for film critics and journalists to broaden their horizons, but they often also work for festivals, e.g. with the press office or as editors.

The course focuses on a number of different aspects related to both these sides. We look at how to conduct interviews, how to cover a festival, the challenges of online film criticism. But as festivals can be a daunting place, especially on a first visit, we also go into the practical side of things. While working at a festival, the tasks that journalists take up can be very varied, from writing press releases, promotional texts, or texts for the website to introducing films and even making video essays. The course explores all these in detail and teaches how to find one’s audience both as a film critic and as the festival itself.

List of films for your reference
  • “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)
  • “Princess Mononoke” (Hayao Miyazaki 1997)
  • “A Sun” (Chung Mong-hong, 2019)
  • “Tokyo Story” (Yasujirō Ozu, 1953)
  • “Goodbye Dragon Inn” (Tsai Ming-liang 2003)
  • “Burning” (Lee Chang-Dong, 2018)
  • “Ash Is Purest White” (Jia Zhangke, 2018)
  • “So Long My Son” (Wang Xiaoshuai, 2019)
  • “Hanagatami” (Nobuhiko Obayashi, 2017)
  • “Made In Hong Kong” (Fruit Chan, 1997)

Assignment for registered participants

Depending on whether you prefer speaking in front of the camera or writing, choose one of the tasks:

  • Imagine you are announcing a film at a film festival. Prepare a short speech, record it and send us the video. The speech should not be longer than 5 minutes. The content is the most important part of the task, the technical aspect of the recording is secondary.
  • Write a press release for one of the festivals (Five Flavours Asian Film Festival, CAMERA JAPAN Festival, Udine Far East Film Festival, Helsinki Cine Aasia) based on information from the website. You can also write a press release announcing the release of a film to be released in your country.

The assignment should be based on one of the films from the reference list. If you want to write about another film, contact our expert first.
Deadline for submitting the course assignments: November 15, 2021

Course experts


Nancy Fornoville

Studied Film and Visual Culture at the University of Antwerp. She worked as a producer on short animation, such as Mind My Mind (2019, Floor Adams) and Cycle (Sophie Olga de Jong & Sytske Kok, 2018). Before becoming a producer, she worked on big projects for online media and mobile applications. Apart from a broad knowledge of animation she specializes in Asian cinema and works for the CAMERA JAPAN film festival and writes as a freelancer for Asian Movie Pulse. As of 2020, she is the festival director and co-curator for Electric Shadows Asian Film Festival.


Panos Kotzathanasis

A film critic and reviewer specialising in East Asian Cinema. He is the owner and administrator of Asian Movie Pulse, one of the biggest portals dealing with Asian cinema. He is a frequent writer in Hancinema, Taste of Cinema, and his texts can also be found in a number of other publications including SIRP in Estonia, Film.sk in Slovakia, Asian Dialogue in the UK, Cinefil in Japan and Filmbuff in India. Since 2019, he cooperates with Thessaloniki Cinematheque in Greece, curating various tributes, including one to Fruit Chan and one to contemporary Asian cinema.


Marcin Krasnowolski

Freelance journalist, film scholar, and Five Flavours Asian Film Festiwal programmer. Author of many articles about Asian cinema. His interests include films from Korea, Hong Kong, and China, and the flow of inspirations between Asian and non-Asian cinemas. He also works in international TV production.


Eija Niskanen

Eija Niskanen holds an MA from the University of Jyväskylä (Finland), where she majored in art education and wrote her MA thesis on Akira Kurosawa, and an MA in Critical Studies in Film and Television from UCLA. She has compiled industrial research reports on Japanese film and anime industry, written articles on film festival research and Japanese anime for academic publications, and teaches Asian cinema and animation at the University of Helsinki. She is one of the founders of Helsinki International Film Festival and Helsinki Cine Aasia, and works as the programming director for the latter.


Questions? Please contact us!


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