The public influence the entertainment they get, and we should use this to promote films that give a voice to people who are usually denied a platform to share their opinion.
The popular belief is that, films that are independently produced have a small audience and so they don’t get a lot of exposure, but with on-demand streaming platforms and crowdfunding, the public can now directly influence the film industry, making sure these films get made, and find an audience.
Now and again, we get films which would normally be thought to lack mass appeal, that are then given the opportunity to break this wall of expectations that block them from getting a fair shot. And they defy those expectations. This was the case of Tomorrow, an inspiring documentary about people around the world taking action to transition to a more sustainable society. The film was in big part funded through public’s donations on a crowd-funding platform called Kisskissbankbank. Tomorrow received unexpected success, went on to win awards and was distributed in 27 countries – moving and inspiring audiences worldwide.
Streaming platforms such as Netflix have also started funding their own films and documentaries, based on what their customers watch – hence giving us another cheap way of stating clearly what genres we want to support.
As members of the public, we can give independent filmmakers their fair chance, and influence what subjects are brought to the spotlight by the film industry. Films are like everything that’s bought and sold, it depends on demand and supply. However, often in any market place, acceptance is taken as sufficient to demand. But by using crowdfunding platforms to support independent films, and telling streaming platforms what kind of films we want to see, we can concretely influence what films are being made.
To ensure that new perspectives are being given a chance to be shared and also for consumers to get the chance to experience new types of film, we need to utilise this influence. By moving away from passive acceptance to active demands, we can do this.
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