HOYTS, the biggest cinema in Australia, and there are hundreds of films can be released per year. Photo: Miao Zhang
A lacking of funding and a large amount of overseas film being imported in Australia are behind a crisis in the local film market, cinema experts say.
Figures from Screen Australia’s ‘Films Screened’ audit which takes place annually show local films made up around 6 per cent of all films released in Australia last year.
That’s decrease from a 32 year average of 9 per cent.
Dr Janice Loreck, film and television lecturer at Monash University, said overseas films do threaten the local film industry to some extent and overseas movies make it hard for Australian films to compete with for ‘cinema-goers’ dollars.
“American films are very dominant worldwide, particularly in English-speaking nations, and the United States produces far more films than Australia each year, and they have much higher production and marketing budgets,” she said.
Screen Australia found that while the number of US made films imported into Australia has fallen since 2007, US made films earned more than eighty per cent of domestic box office revenue in 2015.
“Cultural cringe” also lead to the dominance of overseas films in Australia, Dr Loreck said.
She believed the Australian film market, under the stress of overseas films, was not in great shape, but pointed out that” Australia had lots of excellent filmmakers, and lots of good films get released each year.
But, she said, “Australian audiences have claimed that they do not enjoy Australian films, finding them boring or inferior to other national cinemas.”
She said the federal government should work to support Australian filmmakers and help them promote their work.
Increased funding from government agencies and providing money for marketing Australian films would help the development of Australian film market, she said.
US and Asian films made up the largest number of films released in Australia, from 1985 to 2015.
Of these imported movies released in Australia, US films make up 36 per cent and Asian films make up 28 per cent.
In the top 50 films from 1985 to 2015 released in Australia, there were only three films produced locally, the best ranking of which was Crocodile Dundee (1986) at the number ten.
Jane, a 32 year old who has volunteered with the Melbourne International Film Festival for 2 years, said she enjoyed both Australian films and overseas films. She said both movie industries had excellent artists working in them.
“Australian films give us an opportunity to tell our own stories, and to develop our own styles, themes and aesthetics onscreen”, she said.
She thought the federal government really need to do “something” for supporting the Australian market.
“Money can be one of the most important things, but engaging the local audiences also is very important for the development of local market,” she said.
Press the link to watch the vox pop: https://vimeo.com/188099005