Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


THE DISTRIBUTION, CIRCULATION AND RECEPTION OF CINEMA AND AUDIOVISUAL MEDIA
DISTRIBUZIONE, CIRCOLAZIONE E RICEZIONE DEL CINEMA E DEGLI AUDIOVISIVI

A.Y. Credits
2022/2023 6
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Dominic Francis Graham Holdaway To be confirmed at the beginning of the second semester.
Teaching in foreign languages
Course with optional materials in a foreign language English
This course is entirely taught in Italian. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Information, media and advertisement (L-20)
Curriculum: PERCORSO COMUNE
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The aim of this course is to study film and television from the perspective of distribution. From the Paramount Sentence in 1948 onward distribution has been the key nexus of control within the film industry: a gatekeeper that defines what makes it to the theatre and therefore what viewers can see, and under what economic terms. Beginning with this premise, the course aims to question (i) why distribution matters and (ii) how it works in the contemporary media scenario, focusing on the case of Italy. To do so, the course first investigates the key figures and process that define film and television distribution in its primary “windows” – the theatre and broadcast television. Subsequently, it also considers the subsequent arenas in which audiovisual media are distributed, foregrounding the concept of “circulation”. Finally, it aims to frame the broader impact of distribution for the audience, considering how circulation and reception can be interconnected.

Program

The themes that the course will address are as follows: 

  • Introduction to the concept of distribution
  • The history of distribution in the film industry
  • Distribution models in the contemporary scenario
  • The agents and gatekeepers of film distribution in Italy
  • National vs international distribution deals
  • Media windowing: beyond the theatre
  • Streaming and digital distribution
  • The concept of circulation
  • Film and TV reception studies: texts to audiences
  • Cultural analyses of reception today

Bridging Courses

N/a

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

1. Knowledge and understanding: students will develop understanding of the role played by distribution in the circulation of cinema and television, both in the theoretical context of media studies and in the applied context of contemporary distribution practices.

1.1. Students will gain this understanding through lesson participation and through discussion of the course's themes, guided by the lecturer.

2. Applying knowledge and understanding: knowledge of the theories and models of distribution can be applied to media products – retracing circulation trajectories – and to agents and organizations – studying their economic and industrial strategies, both of these in national and global contexts.

2.1. Students will gain this ability in lessons and in collective discussions, through the guided analysis of distribution trajectories and moreover through the possibility to carry out a small (optional) research project for the exam.

3. Making judgements: students will learn critical reflection within the context of the distribution and circulation of audiovisual media, at theoretical and empirical levels.

3.1. Students will gain the ability to make critical judgments through participation in discussions in class and debates with the lecturer and with their colleagues, through the theoretical trajectory of the course as well as through personal study.

4. Communication: students will learn to express themselves on the course’s themes, acquiring an appropriate, specialist vocabulary that can be applied to studying the distribution of film and TV.

4.1. They can develop this ability through class discussions and exchanges with colleagues, as well as the lecturer, as well as via the final oral exam.

5. Lifelong learning skills: students will learn to engage and interact with the various analytical fields connected to the course, including media economics and industrial strategies, as well as reception studies.

5.1. These abilities will be enabled through the use of various learning tools, allowing students, at the end of the course, to navigate autonomously in the field of media distribution.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

As well as lectures and discussions, the classes will work with a variety of different cross-media texts, including academic analyses, histories, specific media products and industry reports.


Teaching, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment

Teaching

Blended learning, lectures, seminars, analysis of case studies, analysis of audiovisual media content.

Attendance

Students should attend at least 75% of the lessons to take the exam as “attending students”.

Course books

A selection of the book: 

  • Cucco, Marco, Economia del film: industria, politiche, mercato (Roma: Carocci, 2020), only the following chapters: 2, 3, 4, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1 and 7.1.

And four articles: 

  • Avezzù, Giorgio, “Fratelli unici. Successo in sala e in televisione del cinema italiano”, in Imago: studi di cinema e media, 21:1, 2020, pp. 144-165.
  • Garofalo, Damiano, “Global Guadagnino. Strategie di circolazione e ricezione critica internazionale dei film di Luca Guadagnino”, in Cinergie, n.18 (2020), pp. 37-47 (link).
  • Lotz, Amanda D., “Media Circulation. Reconceptualizing Television Distribution and Exhibition”, in P. McDonald, C. Brannon Donoghue e T. Havens (eds), Digital Media Distribution. Portals, Platforms, Pipelines (New York: NYU Press, 2021) pp. 47-66.
  • Lovascio, Martina, “La vendita internazionale di film storici italiani tra anni Novanta e anni Duemila”, in Imago: studi di cinema e media, 21:1, 2020, pp. 95-111.

N.b. an alternative bibliography is available in English, to be agreed with the lecturer

Assessment

Assessment for the course will consist in an individual oral exam. It will also be possible to undertake a piece of coursework during the course, the evaluation of which – together with the oral exam – will be specified precisely during the course.

In the oral examination, students must demonstrate a fundamental understanding of the course’s content through the study of the assigned texts. The exam aims to assess both learning of the course content on behalf of the students as well as their ability to express themselves, make argument and apply what they have learned.

Grading:

Excellent grades will be given for a good critical perspective and in-depth knowledge; the ability to link the main subjects addressed during the course; the expert use of appropriate language and terminology.

Good grades will be given for good mnemonic knowledge of the course content; a relatively good critical perspective and the ability to connect its themes; the use of an appropriate language.

Sufficient grades will be given for minimal knowledge of the course’s themes and the presence of some gaps in understanding; the use of an inappropriate language.

Low grades will be given for difficulty in understanding the course's topics; notable gaps in knowledge; the use of a clearly inappropriate language.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students

Teaching

Independent study, analysis of case studies, analysis of audiovisual media content.

Course books

A selection of the book: 

  • Cucco, Marco, Economia del film: industria, politiche, mercato (Roma: Carocci, 2020), only the following chapters: 2, 3, 4, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1 and 7.1.

And four articles: 

  • Avezzù, Giorgio, “Fratelli unici. Successo in sala e in televisione del cinema italiano”, in Imago: studi di cinema e media, 21:1, 2020, pp. 144-165.
  • Garofalo, Damiano, “Global Guadagnino. Strategie di circolazione e ricezione critica internazionale dei film di Luca Guadagnino”, in Cinergie, n.18 (2020), pp. 37-47 (link).
  • Lotz, Amanda D., “Media Circulation. Reconceptualizing Television Distribution and Exhibition”, in P. McDonald, C. Brannon Donoghue e T. Havens (eds), Digital Media Distribution. Portals, Platforms, Pipelines (New York: NYU Press, 2021) pp. 47-66.
  • Lovascio, Martina, “La vendita internazionale di film storici italiani tra anni Novanta e anni Duemila”, in Imago: studi di cinema e media, 21:1, 2020, pp. 95-111.

Non-attending students must also prepare one volume from the following list:

  • Damiano Garofalo, Andrea Minuz e Emiliano Morreale (a cura di), Dossier/numero speciale, “La distribuzione cinematografica in Italia: storie, ricerche, metodologie”, della rivista Imago: studi di cinema e media, 21:1, 2020. N.b. non c’è bisogno di preparare i saggi nella sezione “Saggi” o “Recensioni”, solo quelli del “Dossier”, come descritto su questo sito
  • Ramon Lobato, Shadow Economies of Cinema: Mapping Informal Distribution (London: BFI, 2012)
  • Paul McDonald, Courtney Brannon Donoghue e Timothy Havens (eds Digital Media Distribution. Portals, Platforms, Pipelines (New York: NYU Press, 2021), limitatamente alla sezione 1 “Conceptualizing distribution and circulation” (capitoli 1-6)
  • Chuck Tryon, Cultura On Demand: Distribuzione digitale e futuro dei film (Roma: Minimum fax, 2017), also available in the original English version: On-Demand Culture: Digital Delivery and the Future of Movies (New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 2013).

N.b. an alternative bibliography is available in English, to be agreed with the lecturer.

Assessment

Assessment for the course will consist in an individual oral exam. Students must demonstrate a fundamental understanding of the course's content through the study of the assigned texts. The exam aims to assess both learning of the course content on behalf of the students as well as their ability to express themselves, make argument and apply what they have learned.

Grading:

Excellent grades will be given for a good critical perspective and in-depth knowledge; the ability to link the main subjects addressed during the course; the expert use of appropriate language and terminology.

Good grades will be given for good mnemonic knowledge of the course content; a relatively good critical perspective and the ability to connect its themes; the use of an appropriate language.

Sufficient grades will be given for minimal knowledge of the course’s themes and the presence of some gaps in understanding, as well as the use of an inappropriate language.

Low grades will be given for difficulty in understanding the course's topics; notable gaps in knowledge; the use of a clearly inappropriate language.

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