There’s no hiding the fact that when Australian films are released in Australian cinemas, they are very rarely popular or successful – films such as Australia and Happy Feet are some exceptions, yet there is an underlying cringe factor when watching an Australian film with Australian actors with ridiculous over the top accents which make the Australian audience uncomfortable. I for one am not the biggest fan of Australian films, particularly those which stereotype and over-exaggerate Australian culture (Hint: Wolf Creek).
So with these factors considered, its no wonder the our film industry is suffering. If you take a look at any successful Aussie actor, they’re either living in America, starring in American films and/or putting on American accents in the films they’re in. Australians love their home grown tv shows like the popular Offspring and Master Chef Australia and our Music industry is also increasingly popular given the number of festivals held in Australia each year. So why then, do we avoid going to watch Australian films? CEO of Screen Australia, Graeme Mason, has said that “Australians are clearly wanting to watch Australian content because they are watching it on television, and people offshore are celebrating our films and filmmakers, but there’s a disconnect getting them to the audience. It’s baffling to all of us.”
The statistic’s for Australia’s share of the box office show that in 2013, Australian films only shared 3.5% of the total Australian Box Office. As well as this, in 2013 Australia only released 23 films in comparison to America’s 183 released. It’s no surprise that the Australian Film Industry is struggling and without the support of local Australian’s consuming and viewing future films, it may see the industry in great struggle for future years.
In order to attempt to draw some information and answers as to why Australian films are not popular amongst Australians it is important to devise a qualitative form of research from the public. When thinking about the different types of research methods that would be appropriate, the most relevant possible approach I came up with was to create project that focuses on Australian audience of 18-25 year olds, analysing their approach to Australian films through a survey based on past information on the popularity of Australian films. By analysing this information and current trends of Australian cinema attendance of people in this age group, this information can be used to create a Website with the information readily available and promote up and coming Australian films and other information in order to boost involvement and support. This website could also be used for potential crowd-sourced funding, as research shows that people are still consuming these Australian films, whether or not they actually go to the cinema to watch them, there are still being watched.
News.com.au. 2014. Local audiences snub Australian filmmakers yet Hollywood loves them. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/movies/local-audiences-snub-australian-filmmakers-yet-hollywood-loves-them/story-fnk853hr-1227057559133. [Accessed 23 September 14].
Screen Australia. 2014. Australian Content: Box Office. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/research/statistics/australianshare.aspx. [Accessed 25 September 14].