Film Credit Crunch: Can the Economic Crisis Actually Be Good for Cinema?

After the Wall Street crash of 1929, cinema admissions jumped 58% on the previous year and history has shown a similar reaction in most times of economic downturn ever since. Predictably, revenue and cinema attendance increased in 2008, and the current economic crisis seems to have fuelled audiences with the understandable desire to escape and be entertained. But will these tough times inevitably lead to a deluge of studio blockbusters to feed the desire for escapism or will we see the emergence of new and exciting talent who find frugal ways of making their creative voices heard? Films that were made in the past two years might have benefited from the surge in audience numbers, but the situation for films needing funding now is getting pretty tough. Will the rise in ticket prices see a gradual migration of audiences to online and home-cinema, causing those industries to emerge as the victors of the recession? Time Out's Film Editor Dave Calhoun discusses this multi-faceted subject from a wide range of perspectives with US Indie Filmmaker Joe Swanberg (Alexander the Last), Clare Wise (head of international production for Universal and Focus Features), UK Producer Finola Dwyer, Sally Caplan from the UK Film Council and Justin Marciano from innovative distribution company Revolver Entertainment.

Timothy Smith



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