Film Audience Movements and Migrations: Across Borders and Screens

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A film camera pointing at a person

Who this event is for

  • Everyone




The aim of this international conference is to identify the dynamics of audiences, not purely in terms of their preferred film texts, but also with regard to the context of their movie-viewing habits and experiences.

The event takes place at a vital moment in time when physical mobility, competition in the exhibition business and opportunities for access of audiovisual products through new technologies are all rising exponentially. It, moreover, aims to explore not only the contemporary environment of fluctuation but also the historical and future contexts for peoples’ movement (local, national and international) and their relation to filmic screens.

As the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) estimates, there are currently over 250 million international migrants around the world (UN DESA 2017). A similarly prominent trend is the worldwide drive towards urbanisation. The movement of people towards cities has accelerated in the past forty years with predictions estimating that by 2030 nearly five billion (61%) of the world’s 8.1 billion people will live in cities (UN DESA 2014). Spanning many decades, these demographic changes and processes, combined with political and economic shifts, undoubtedly influence the way cultural goods are produced, disseminated, accessed and consumed.

In line with this observation, the online statistics, market research and business intelligence portal, Statista, predicted consistent rise in cinema admissions (to just under nine billion worldwide in 2018) and Video-on-Demand (VoD) user penetration (up to 28% of the total world population by 2023). In addition, according to the entertainment trade magazine Variety, media piracy is still prominent.

Worldwide, users made a total of 300 billion visits to internet piracy sites in 2017, even though film-related piracy, in particular, was reportedly facing a certain decline (Spangler 2018). These statistics point towards an ever-changing and complex landscape of cross-cultural interactions, film distribution, engagement and consumption. Understanding audience dynamics within the (inter-)national public structures and private spheres of communication proves essential in keeping pace with and attempting to predict the most recent developments in the industry.

The conference provides a unique forum for new and topical scholarly research in the field as well as the opportunity to share research and know-how from a multitude of (inter-)national perspectives, initiating future collaborations across borders, disciplines and sectors. As a result, the event features a mixture of pre-programmed and open entries from emerging scholars, projects and practitioners, linked to the proposed topic. The programme covers a variety of methodological approaches, historical periods and physical locations in examining distribution, exhibition and engagement practices, taking place on communal, national and international levels.

The event features experts across academia (including sociology, history, media, communication and culture, film and television studies) and industry (media businesses, cultural institutions and government bodies) with the aim to uncover the driving economic, cultural and political factors, prompting changes in film consumption and exhibition.

The event is free to attend and appropriate for current and prospective students, academics, professionals and practitioners. Interested members of the general public are also welcome.

For more details, please contact the organisers.