This chapter focuses on the theoretical conceptions that try to account for the complex dimensions of a festival ecosystem that comprises various stakeholders. It examines dynamics within the historical development of the global film festival phenomenon as it is embedded in larger shifts in culture, society, politics, and media industries. In order to understand the intricate interconnections of the festival world with its hierarchical tiers and parallel/sub-circuits, it is helpful to consider long-term historical developments. The significance of the interconnectedness of the circuit is not only recognized by scholars of festival studies and world cinema but also by distributors. The film festival model of an annual event was only established when film as a medium had already existed for nearly four decades. The Venice Film Festival started in 1932 under the umbrella of the Venice Biennale and the Edinburgh Film Festival as part of the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947.