ISSN: 2241-6692


Balkan Cinema on the Crossroads: From Nitrate to Digital

Belgrade, Serbia: 11-13 June, 2017


Following on from the first International Conference on Balkan Cinema that took place in Athens in 2015, Balkan Cinema on the Crossroads: From Nitrate to Digital aims to explore the trajectory of Balkan cinema from the early nitrate days to the contemporary digital era, by highlighting connections, similarities and comparable patterns across the cinemas of the region. With few exceptions, linguistic and political differences have usually led to nation-based approaches to the cinemas of the region. This series of conferences aims to develop transnational scholarship, transcend Balkanism and exoticism, and offer critical explorations of historical and contemporary manifestations of South Eastern European cinemas. The ambition is both to enlighten the past by proposing new ways of examining the region’s cinema history; and to build foundations for future cross-cultural collaborations and mutual prospects.

This 2nd International Conference on Balkan Cinema will focus on exploring the crossroads between early cinema productions and contemporary digital cinema in the region, with the aim to question the presence and/or absence of connections and similarities between the two historical periods in terms of trajectories (movement of films and filmmakers), hybrids (transmediality and interculturality of the medium), geopolitical positioning (periphery versus centre, Balkans and Europe), technology (nitrate to digital, archives, digitisation, access to film technology), and exhibition contexts (fairground, screenings in cafes and online film festivals - transitory and fragmented manner of film reception). The Balkans as an imaginary and constructed political, social, economic and geographical space, itself constitutes an interwoven patchwork of cultures, ethnicities, languages and artistic practices, while its borders are continuously shifting to include or exclude certain nations. Its East-West crossroads positioning has allowed it to become a space of migration, hybridity and interculturality of people, ideas and objects throughout history and today. In this sense, the hybridity, intermediality, and transnationality of early cinema and digital cinema should be examined within the parameters of the Balkans as a concept in new and productive ways for future film studies scholarship. To understand whether film can be a tool for uniting two seemingly irreconcilable time periods, the conference will take place during the Nitrate Film Festival (Belgrade) to celebrate the “then” through screenings of archival early cinema, and the “now” through screenings of contemporary films from the online film festival altcineAction!.

The Balkan Cinema conference series aims to build a transnational community of scholars working on the cinemas of the Balkans, South/Eastern Europe, the border and neighbouring region as Central Europe or Near East, works of diaspora or communities in exile in a time span from early cinema on nitrate stock to contemporary digital cinema made across new media and multiple platforms.

The conference welcomes papers on film history, technology, style, genres, periodization as well as contemporary works on digital textuality, philosophy and ontology of cinema and film studies research in relation to cultural studies and media archaeology. Proposals tying the aforementioned themes to Balkan cinema(s) will be favoured.

A range of possible themes for conference papers includes, but is not limited to:

  • From avant-garde to modernism and postmodernism
  • Nitrate legacy: research and preservation
  • Digitalising moving images in the Balkans
  • Balkan genres and styles
  • Intertextuality and transmediality of the past, present and future
  • Transnational and national approaches to film studies in the region
  • Exhibition practices: from showground entertainment to online film festivals
  • Connections between premodern and postmodern cinema ideologies
  • Representing/deconstructing “the nation” on screen
  • Cultural memory and Balkan cinema
  • Rediscovering early cinema through the digital
  • Reading and re-writing film histories
  • Co-productions, film markets and film circulation across borders
  • Archives/film institutions in the Balkans

Keynote speakers

Conference language: English

Presentation time: 20 minutes

Proposal submission deadline: January 25th, 2017

Admission notification date: February 20th, 2017

Proposal length: 250 words + short CV (Abstract proposals, names, affiliations and short CVs should be sent as ONE Word document) to the address

Registration: 30€ (university faculty)—15€ (students and unaffiliated researchers). Free and open to the public.

Contact & Submissions

Organized by

With the support of

Programme Committee

  • Prof. Nevena Daković (PhD, Faculty of Dramatic Arts, University of Arts, Belgrade)
  • Dr Ana Grgić (Balkan Cultural Centre)
  • Prof. Marian Tutui (PhD, Hyperion University)
  • Dr Gergana Doncheva (Institute of Balkan Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)