Creative Economies Africa

Mapping Film Festivals in South Africa: the impact of COVID-19

Mapping Film Festivals in South Africa: the impact of COVID-19

AHSCE South Africa commissioned the research project “Mapping Film Festivals in South Africa: the impact of COVID-19” as part of their support to knowledge development in the creative economies and fostering collaborations between academic researchers and practitioners.

The project builds on the extensive expertise of Rhodes University researchers Fiona Drummond, Delon Tarentaal and Jen Snowball. In the past two years, the research team have been involved in an international collaborative project (funded by the AHRC in UK) entitled Future Festivals South Africa: Possibilities for the Age of Covid-19 in partnership with  King’s College London (UK). The project mapped and followed the processes of adaption and innovation taking place across South Africa arts festivals during the Covid-19 pandemic, across periods of lockdown and restrictions. The final report from the project can be read here. Building on the expertise and knowledge from this project, the researchers were able to undertake further data collection and, instead of focusing on arts festival, mapped adaption and responses across South African film festivals. Beyond the importance of this research for the knowledge and input it can offer to the AHSCE South Africa Hub, the project also can provide a significant input directly into another of the AHSCE South Africa Hub creative voucher scheme projects: “FFASA: towards the establishment of a film festival association in South Africa”, led by Lindi Ndebele-Koka and Sithembiso Mphehle.

The project offers an excellent opportunity for the Rhodes University researcher to discuss their mapping with Ms Lindi Ndebele-Koka, who has amazing experience and knowledge of the field. The project findings have the potential to contribute to the establishment of the FFSA and make it an association aware of the changes and impact that Covid-19 has had on the sector.

About the researchers

Fiona Drummond is a PhD candidate in economics at Rhodes University, South Africa. She won medals for her Honours and Masters research awarded by the Economics Society of South Africa. Her interdisciplinary research applies geographic methods to study creative economies. Her research interests include creative labour markets, mapping creative economies and creative tourism.

Jen Snowball is Professor of Economics at Rhodes University, South Africa. She is also the Chief Research Strategist at the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO). Her research interests in cultural economics include the impact and value of culture festivals, cultural economy mapping studies, employment in the cultural and creative industries, and international trade in cultural goods and services in emerging markets.

Delon Tarentaal is Lecturer of Economics at Rhodes University, South Africa. He specialises in mathematical economics and quantitative finance. His research interests include automation of portfolio management via recurrent and artificial neural networks as well as cultural economics focusing on the video gaming industry.   

The report Future Festivals South Africa: Lessons from the Age of Covid-19, A policy report, can be download here.

Please cite as: Comunian, R, Drummond , F, Gross, J, Snowball, J & Tarentaal, D 2023, Future Festivals South Africa: Lessons from the Age of Covid-19, A policy report. King’s College London (London) and Rhodes University (Grahamstown).