2021 Guidelines to Submit a Film

Submission deadline: April 30, 2021 (11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time)

Submission Portal   Call for Papers - downloadable pdf


The 2021 ACR Conference Film Festival will continue the tradition of advancing videographic consumer research. We invite films that address the audiovisual character of consumer research phenomena or innovative film-based approaches that advance the field in new directions, but also submissions outside of these themes. 

Submissions. Two types of submissions are invited: 

Stand-alone films: These films are complete, self-standing research projects. To see examples of films, please take a look at the variety of structures and approaches characterizing recent award winners: 

  • Thomas Stenger (2019) won Judges’ Choice Videography award for "Spot - Conquering the Public Space - Ethnography of a Spatial Practice: Downhill Longboarding" - trailer: https://vimeo.com/366754591
  • Takeshi Mitsui (2019) won Best First-Time Videography award for "Zakka: Uncategorized Culture of Uncategorized Goods, An Oral History of Uncategorized Man" - trailer: https://vimeo.com/355934258
  • Michelle Renee Nelson, Yanyun (Mia) Wang, Kathy Tian, Gail Ferguson, Rachel Powell, and Candice Wray, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA (2018) won Best Videography award for “Teaching Consumer Resistance in Jamaica: Subvertising in Action” – trailer: https://vimeo.com/291221474

Films with commentary (up to 1000 words): The textual commentary piece adds to, comments, and enriches the videography element with academic references. This format allows for maximum flexibility in terms of combining text and video in novel ways. Authors will record a formal 5-10-minute presentation before or after the film screening that sheds light on the commentary element. The commentary element is not published in the ACR Proceedings. 


Recommended length for film festival submissions considered for the track is up to 20 minutes (due to track presentation format). However, shorter and also longer (up to 50-minutes long) submissions are also welcomed, but their acceptance requires outstanding videographic quality. 

To increase the probability that submissions are original and distinctive, authors are advised to visit the ACR website http://www.acrwebsite.org/go/acrfilms and look through the film section (2007-2020) to see what research has been presented. Please not that films submitted should be new and not have been presented in any prior ACR film festival, including regional ones.

Extra care should be taken by authors to avoid copyright infringement: https://www.desktop-documentaries.com/copyright-issues.html 

Films should be uploaded onto Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/) and allocated password access:

1. The link and password should be provided as required in the submission process. 
2. NOTE: Please make sure to remove all (written) author information from the submission and its credits to guarantee anonymous review. 

Authors are required to submit a Structured Abstract of up to 300 words (1,000 words in the films with commentary category), which will be published in the ACR Proceedings, using the following headings and guidelines:

1. Intended Contribution to Knowledge: What is the specific gap in knowledge and research question(s) the film seeks to answer? What is the unique perspective taken? 
2. Literature Foundations: To which body of consumer research literature does the film contribute? On which frameworks, ideas, concepts and/or theories does it rely? 
3. Research Method: What methodological and analytical procedure was followed? What is the specific research and/or videography-making context (discuss when relevant)?
4. Findings and implications: What knowledge, explanations, concepts, theories, methodological considerations, results and/or experiential insights does the film contribute to the above research domain? 
5. Key References: List up to 6 key references (articles, videographies etc.) NOTE: Although authors are asked to supply a structured abstract, they should NOT assume they must use this structure for their film. Of course, they may do so, but typically films should adopt structures that optimize the specific story they are aiming to tell.

Submissions will be evaluated on: a) contribution to knowledge on consumer research topics; b) timeliness and topicality; c) theatrical or dramatic qualities; d) production values, including using new experimental videography production techniques; and e) ethical conduct. 

To aid in ensuring your film is well-received by the reviewers, consider the following points: 

Is there a compelling reason for using videography to present the research? Having videographic data does not necessarily mean a film can/should be made. Consider the narrative, rationale and time needed to express your results via videographic methods.

Creativity in presentation of research. Films do not need to follow the standard academic structure with research questions, methodology, discussion, etc. But there does still have to be a clear link back to consumer research. In addition to the traditional documentary films, filmmakers could consider submitting animations, fictional films, and experimental films.

Multiple data sources and research paradigms are encouraged. Films often lend themselves to qualitative methods; however, this is not to say that other methodologies are not welcome. 

Consider reading Belk et al.'s 2018 piece on using videography to develop marketing knowledge: Russell W. Belk, Marylouise Caldwell, Timothy M. Devinney, Giana M. Eckhardt, Paul Henry, Robert Kozinets & Emmanuella Plakoyiannaki (2018) Envisioning consumers: how videography can contribute to marketing knowledge, Journal of Marketing Management, 34:5-6, 432-458, DOI: 10.1080/0267257X.2017.1377754

Authors will be informed if their film has been accepted by mid-June, 2021. Author(s) may need to modify their films in line with recommendations of the Film Festival co-chairs (and often the reviewers) and provide a description of the way they addressed (or not) the comments. Authors whose work is accepted should also submit a short trailer (1-2 minutes), the modified version of the film, and the modified written components by Thursday, August 19, 2021, before 23:59 EST. The trailer should not be password protected and should be available for public viewing via a Vimeo link, which should be emailed to Film Chairs Finola Kerrigan (f.kerrigan@fashion.arts.ac.uk) and Eric Li (eric.li@ubc.ca). Trailers will be linked to and screened on the conference website alongside the structured abstract to promote awareness and engage the ACR community. An author can only submit (or be a co-author) on up to two films in the Film Festival. This approach is intended to encourage authors to submit their highest quality work.

Accepted Films to be Accessible through the ACR Website
All authors are asked to agree to make their films accessible through the Film Section of the Association for Consumer Research website as well as the conference website. At the end of the structured abstract (or commentary where applicable), which will be published on the ACR website, a link on Vimeo to the film should be provided so that each film can be viewed without using a password, OR an email address should be supplied so that the person wanting to view a film can contact the lead filmmaker and request a link. Prompt responding to such requests will increase the number of high-quality consumer research films accessible to interested scholars and beyond. 

Films will be available for viewing the week prior to the conference. Live 75-minute discussion forums for films will be scheduled during the conference.  At least one author of each accepted film must be present during their live session at ACR to address questions and participate in discussion.

Film Festival related questions should be directed to the Film FestivalCo-Chairs: Finola Kerrigan (f.kerrigan@fashion.arts.ac.uk) or Eric Li (eric.li@ubc.ca). Please include “ACR FILM FESTIVAL” in the subject line.


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