The Political Economy of Local Cinema: A Critical Introduction
Bergillos, I. (2020). “The political economy of participatory community cinemas: CineCiutat as a standpoint of resistance” in Anne Rajala, Daniel Lindblom & Matteo Stocchetti (Eds.) The Political Economy of Local Cinema: A Critical Introduction, pp. 41 - 57, Berlin: Peter Lang.
In line with recent research from political economy of communication that has dealt with alternatives to dominant corporations and power structures, this chapter approaches resistance in local cinema and presents the case study of CineCiutat in Mallorca, Spain. It illustrates the role of community theatres in local cinema. As exhibitors of independent art-house films, as headquarters of film festivals or as promoters of local talent, but also as sites for meaningful participation and opposition to the commercial logics of the media industries. Through observation, document review and interviews with the management team, volunteers and members of the community, this text explains the early success of this unexpected project. The pioneering initiative of CineCiutat represents an alternative to the established norms and practices of film exhibitors. The challenges and opportunities set by digitalization raise contradictions and ambivalences of an industry in transition. This case study introduces some of the tensions and participatory initiatives that shape the practices of the community of volunteers and professionals that manage the cinema and advances some issues for the future of this participatory theatre, a key agent of local cinema in Mallorca.