On Watching Across Borders: Transnational Film Cultures and Histories

To me, cinema is a transnational art: it is produced and consumed transnationally, and there are many factors in the way it is realised that are found at interstices outside of the film text — through investigation of distribution patterns, film festivals, diasporic channels, and in various environments online or on board of global airlines. I encourage watching across borders, keeping interest in cinema as it is made in various contexts of regions and continents.

I have pursued various aspects of the transnational approach over several decades, with my attention always primarily focused on the transnational dynamics of the cinematic process — be it as expressed regionally in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, or Asia, or be it as it plays out in transcontinental context or over time, bridging different political climates and settings. Here I am sharing some of the writing that I have done since the 1990s.

In my work on transnational cinema I was influenced by scholars and friends such as Ella Shohat and Robert Stam, Hamid Naficy, Jean-Michel Frodon, Mette Hjort, Lucia Nagib, Tim Bergfelder and others. I was privileged to find recognition from the Leverhulme Trust who funded my large project Dynamics of World Cinema, thus enabling research and publication into many of the issues of transnational film cultures that kept my interest.

There is more material that relates to this aspect of my work which I have not included here as it is pending permission. For example, my contributions to the special journal issue on the global presence of Indian cinema in South Asian Popular Culture (co-edited with Dimitris Eleftheriotis, 2006), the book CINEMA AT THE PERIPHERY (Wayne State UP, co-edited with Belen Vidal and David Martin-Jones, 2010), to the series of FILM FESTIVAL YEARBOOKS (St Andrews FIlm Studies, 2009-2015), from the New York journal CINEASTE (2013), and various other chapters published in books that have become property of large publishing corporations. Some of my writings on transnational cinema have been translated, and, where possible, appear in this site’s section on Translations. I have also given numerous talks — in Europe, North America and Asia — on matters of transnational film cultures and histories.

The material is copyrighted. Please make sure to reference appropriately if using it.

“Expanding Universe: from the Ethnic Foodstore to Blockbuster.” Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media, Vol. 41/Autumn 1999, 54-70.

“Displaced? Shifting Politics of Place and Itinerary,” Senses of Cinema, Issue 14, June 2001.

“Europe Enlarged: Bigger, Better, Sexier?”, Kamera, November 2003, 88-96.

“Transnational Film Studies,” In The Cinema Book, 3rd edition, Cook, Pam. (ed.). London: BFI, 2007. 508-509.

“Exile in Global Cinema” Afterword (2014)

“Film Festivals as Conduits for Parallel Cinema,” Celluloid (Dhaka), Vol. 36, issues 1 &2, 30 July 2015. 13 – 20.

“Choosing the Transnational,” Frames Cinema Journal, ‘Breaking Labels’, Issue 9, April 2016.

“One Must Watch Across Borders.” Dina Iordanova in interview with Svetlana Slapsak. Versopolis: European Review of Poetry, Books and Culture (Ljubljana).

‘Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media,’ Frames Media Journal, Issue 10, December 2016.

‘Global Film at Global Airlines,’ Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, V. Issue 14, pp. 74-93.

“The Professional Foreigner: Asen Balikci (1929-2019),’ Introduction to the Balikci retrospective. October, Sibiu: Astra Film Festival Catalogue, pp. 50-60.

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