Film: Clapboard Jungle
Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash
Film is an amazing art form that allows us to comment on our current realities and create new worlds. We can use it to tell our own stories and reflect on our changing culture and it can be used to promote and spread one particular viewpoint.
Film is also big business for those who can access funding, which includes many of the people featured in Clapboard Jungle. While editing and technical equipment is becoming less and less expensive, it is getting more and more difficult for films to find funding and get distributed.
There is still a heavy cultural bias in film funding. In 2019 for example, the 8 top earning film studios were all based in the United States (link). Together they earned more than US$38 billion. You can see their top earning films here.
We think that those big studios make some great films, but so too do filmmakers from other parts of the globe. So too do indigenous filmmakers, black filmmakers, female filmmakers, disabled filmmakers and those sharing a different view of the world - most of whom struggle to get funded. We stand lose so much when only one perspective is presented to us.
So what can you do to support different voices and still enjoy amazing films?
1. Watch a wide variety of films! Make an effort to find films from Aotearoa-New Zealand and around the world that provide new perspectives. Look out for those films at your local cinemas or film societies, check out the offerings at your local library, or find them from an online source such as Kanopy, Docplay, Vimeo, or Journeyman.
2. Support local filmmakers! You can do this by watching their films, telling others about their films, helping fund their films, or inviting them to screen their films for your group or organisation.
3. Be aware of whose view of the world you are watching. What do you know about the people who made the film, who funded it? How does it portray different groups of people? Whose view of the world are you being presented with?
4. Make films! Even if you're not interested in making a blockbuster, you can capture important heritage on film for future generations. Films are a great way to capture family and social history - they preserve voices, can show us how people used different tools and equipment, and show us how they dressed and interacted with each other.. Look out for courses near you or search online for hints and tips.