Mila H. Whiteley '15, Gettysburg College

Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2015


Cinema & Media Studies


The Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Films (BIFFF) is a genre festival specializing in thriller, horror, science fiction and fantasy films. Started in 1983, with an initial audience of 32,650 for a festival of 60 films, by its most recent run in April 2015, 64,400 tickets were sold for a showing of 108 films (BIFFF Presentation 4-5; “Festival 2015” 2015). The almost doubling in audience attendance over the course of the BIFFF’s 33 year run emphasizes the manner in which the festival’s identity has become oriented towards a specific and passionate audience. Interestingly, as the festival’s audience engagement has increased, so too has its international identity, creating a unique place for the Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Film in the global festival sphere. On a local level Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Film can be seen as a cult event, differentiated from major festivals through its film selection and fandom focus; however, the festival’s proliferation of prizes and international networking demonstrates that even a genre festival is subject to the logic of proliferation described in James English’s landmark work The Economy of Prestige.


This paper was written for Professor Jim Udden's course, FILM 350- Film Festivals: Theory and Practice, Spring 2015.