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National cinemas are structurally marginal, fragile and dependent on outside help. What value, if any, does a national cinema ha - Essay Example

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Where Do Movies Come From? Even though movies are the most potent transmitters of national culture, only two countries in the world have self-sustaining movie industries: the US and India. Other countries must subsidize their film industry in order to sustain it…
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National cinemas are structurally marginal, fragile and dependent on outside help. What value, if any, does a national cinema ha
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National cinemas are structurally marginal, fragile and dependent on outside help. What value, if any, does a national cinema ha

Download file to see previous pages... Everyone benefits from a lively national film industry, from those who are involved in making the movies to those who watch and even society as a whole, since ideas are transmitted from films to viewers to people around them. One very clear indication of the importance of financial support is the case of Alberta, Canada. In 1973 Alberta created its own provincial film board to encourage Alberta film productions at the advice of the National Film Board. The other provinces immediately followed the success of this plan, so Canada had both a National and Provincial film funding in each province, and it was important, because Canada’s regions are all different. The ethnic and national heritage of different regions stems from different waves of immigration plus the added cultures of the First nations People. Despite its phenomenal success until 1996, Ralph Klein went on a cost cutting spree and cut out the funding in 1996. The Alberta film industry went from a very successful $150-million in 1995 to $50-million by 1997 (FRASER, 2011). 2/3s of the production moved to British Columbia. Even the Alberta and national governments lost money on this deal, since the Alberta industry had created more tax income then the cost of the funding. Once the funding dried up the talent followed the industry move to BC. “Film is capable of both painting and shaping society.”(Bellucci, 2010) It is a well researched conclusion that film that records aspects of any conflict feeds an “us vs them” perception and tends to become a symbol of culture and create an “ethos of conflict” (Benziman, 2013). This can have an interactively reciprocal effect on how the different factions perceive the conflict, and on the culture as a whole. "The conflict shapes national identity, while changes in national identity influence the course of the conflict." (Bar-Tal, Raviv, Raviv, and Dgani-Hirsh 2009; Bar-tal 2010) So movies that depict present or past conflicts change how they are viewed and how the participants feel about themselves and others. The conflict does not have to be armed, or even serious, but just its existence and the acknowledgement of the differences and the perceptions of one being superior effects the national attitudes. This changes the “National Narrative” of the countries involved, which, in turn changes future history. Because the EU was created to encourage fair trade without tariffs. Any state subsidy or tax benefits essentially breaks this rule. However, because of the perceived need for support of cultural activities in the member states, the European Union introduced the Maastricht Treaty. It allows member states to support independent films important to their cultures. The idea was to allow member states to support non-commercial film making as long as trade and economies were not directly affected. However, some problems developed when defining what kinds of films would qualify. France and the UK were the main dissenters. France considers all film to be cultural and necessary, so wants to support all film, even commercial productions. The creation of a definition of “difficult films” for beginning enterprises, whach are considered worthy of support, was not enough for them. The UK adopted a very detailed definition of a “difficult film” using the possibility of profit, the size of the target audience and the popularity of the subject matter as criteria. Basically, the idea was to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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