Film fans and film fandom do not amount to quite the same thing: one can be a fan of a particular film, genre, actor, or director, but still not participate in the social organizations, interactions, and gatherings of "fandom." Being a fan is, at least in the first instance, a matter of appreciating particular films, and being affectively or emotionally invested in them. Fans are often individuals who are not in contact with other people sharing their emotional attachments to specific films or stars. Although being a "lone" fan of specific films or genres may not necessarily involve actual face-to-face communication with other fans, film buffs frequently imagine themselves as part of an extended fan community, along with absent but like-minded fans. Commercially published magazines help with this process of community building, enabling individual fans to sustain their sense of being part of a group even when they are not directly in touch with other fans.
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