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Intersections of Film and Television in the Baltic Sea Region: Past and Present

Until very recently, the scholarship concentrating on moving images has typically regarded cinema and television as two separate fields of study, each with its own evolutionary biographies, industrial mechanics, institutional spaces, aesthetics and methodologies of inquiry. Even more – the relationship between cinema and television has often been imagined and defined as one of rivalry, running in parallel and engaging in battles over the attention of the audiences. However, the developments witnessed in particular during the era that followed the so-called digital turn, shaped by rapidly intensifying media convergence, are increasingly calling into question the legitimacy of such an academic specialism. Digital technologies, especially coupled with the unprecedented conditions of life brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, continue to transform the way moving images are produced, distributed and consumed, regardless of their ‘disciplinary’ designation. These allegedly new encounters between the two screen territories compel us to revisit their historical trajectories and to perhaps rethink their divergence and disparity.

The 7th Baltic Sea Region Film History Conference will provide a platform for investigating the long and ongoing relationship of film and television of the Baltic Sea countries in the broadest of terms and spatio-temporal perspective. The possible avenues of study include institutional, industrial, aesthetic, historic, political and philosophical dimensions, for example:

  •     technological inventions and advancements and their cultural, economic and political implications;

  •     fiscal politics and cultural policy (e.g. various models of funding);

  •     institutional frame- and networks;

  •     flows of crew and talent;

  •     materiality, medium specificity and technical convergence;

  •     cultural and aesthetic patterns, conventions and shifts;

  •     changing landscapes of distribution, exhibition and consumption;

  •     representations of the two media as cultural technologies;

  •     archival afterlives.


In addition to academic inquiries we encourage submissions that explore and present experiences ‘from the field’, past and present – by policy-makers, institutional stakeholders, industrial and creative figures, as well as archivists safeguarding and re-activating the heritage, as part of the conference will be held in collaboration with TV Beats Forum, the industry strand of the Black Nights Film Festival tackling the drama series business. The 2021 edition of TV Beats Forum will present the point of view of professionals on convergences and differences between film and series creation. Over two days, directors, producers and other creatives will share their thoughts and experience in order to find an answer, among other topics discussed, to the ultimate question: ‘Is there any difference between film and series anymore?’


Furthermore, we welcome suggestions of titles to be included in a film programme that will accompany the conference during the 2021 edition of the Black Nights Film Festival.


The talks should run 20 minutes, followed by discussion.


Please send the abstract of your paper (up to 500 words), a short bio and suggested titles for programming to Dr Eva Näripea ( by

5 April 2021. All inquiries should be addressed to the same.


The proposals will be considered by an international panel of experts. The authors of the submissions will be notified of the results by 15 April and the programme of the conference will be finalised in early May.


There is no conference fee and the organisers will provide the accommodation during the conference, but each participant should make their own travel arrangements to Tallinn. In case travelling should prove to be impossible or difficult at the time of the conference, the event will take place in a virtual, or hybrid, form.

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