Cannes’ Best Screenplay Award: A Study on the Social Construction of Meaning and Value

Moreno, Dolores (2016) Cannes’ Best Screenplay Award: A Study on the Social Construction of Meaning and Value. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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In studying Cannes’ Best Screenplay award my aim was to better understand the prestige and the meaning making processes that surround the Festival de Cannes. To conduct this research on how awards perform the cultural identity of film festivals, I applied Pierre Bourdieu’s theories on capital, culture, art and distinction (1984, 1993, 1996, and more) together with reception studies and film festival theories. Accordingly, the festival’s prestige is regarded as socially sustained and giving out several awards strengthens and organises its “collective network” (Marijke De Valck 2007). Simultaneously, reinforcing Cannes’ prestige and its identity values secures the position and influence of those same social agents in the economies, cultures and geopolitics of cinema. In my research I examine a set period, from 2006 to 2014, in order to connect the tensions that cut through the Festival de Cannes back to wider frames of reference and back to concrete contexts which are relevant to our understanding of how and why certain films win awards while others are overlooked. Given that film festivals attach symbolic capital (Pierre Bourdieu 1979) and contribute to the construction of films as cultural products (Janet Harbord 2002), this study provides increased knowledge of the broader ramifications that film festival awards have for industrial and cultural dimensions of filmmaking.
The Festival de Cannes can be seen as a network constructed brand that generates symbolic capital and reifies meaning making possibilities (adding to the works of Julian Stringer 2003a, Liz Czach 2004, Thomas Elsasser 2005, Rosalind Galt 2010, Cindy Wong 2011, Dorota Ostrowska 2016, and others). In this light, Cannes’ Best Screenplay Award serves to reinforce certain cinema values that the Festival de Cannes brand is associated with: diversity, reflecting the world we live in and, paradoxically, also authorship.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
Depositing User: Bruce Beckett
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2018 13:42
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2018 13:42


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