This chapter explores the history of film festivals and the variety of theoretical and methodological frameworks that we can employ to help us understand them. It describes the issue of film festival programming. The chapter considers the increasingly important role that festivals play in facilitating the production of motion pictures and consider the praxis of film festivals. It explains how the appeal of creative labor is complicated by the intensity of the work, its precariousness, and the positive and negative affect associated with the job. There are inevitably many aspects of film festival practice that are left unremarked, for instance, other scholars have previously examined the practice of film festivals from the perspective of organizational studies. There is perhaps no more fertile site in media studies than the contemporary film festival for considering the interaction of theory and practice.