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Home > Culture > Feature Film Diversity Accueil

 Feature Film Diversity 

Measuring the diversity of feature films


What do the offerings of the local cinema hall or multiplex tell us about cultural diversity in the 21st century? According to new data from the UIS, the choices movie-goers make at the box office, as well as the language of film production, can provide a glimpse of the diversity of one of the most vibrant cultural industries.


At one end of the spectrum lies India, home of the world’s most prolific film industry, but no single language dominates it. In 2011, 16% of films were produced in Hindi. Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Bengali held the remaining shares, making India the most diverse country for language of production.


Language of Production in Feature Films, 2011


In South Africa, English was the dominant language (59%), followed by Afrikaner (32%), while African languages such as Zulu represented only 5% of production.


The Arab States and sub-Saharan African regions showed the least language diversity in film production. However, this is partly due to the lack of data about movies released on DVD. In Nigeria 75% of films are produced in local languages, such as Yoruba, Hausa and Bini.


Another important indicator of diversity is the origin of the top 10 films in a country. UIS data confirm the dominance of films from the United States among the Top 10 list in countries around the world. In the United States in 2012, 80% of films in the top 10 were produced in the country (the remaining 20% were U.S. co-productions). However, this was also the case in Argentina, Australia, Canada and Ireland, and with small exceptions, for the entire region of Latin America and the Caribbean.


In most countries, the share of audiences viewing national films is low. However, there are some outliers. In the Republic of Korea, more than one-half of the audience share watched nationally-produced movies. A screen quota system ensures a place for nationally-produced films in the domestic market.


In general, data produced by the UIS show that audiences remain divided in their preferences. However, there are pockets of dynamism were movie-goers will opt to see a film that more closely reflects their own culture.


For more data and analysis, please download the fact sheet on Feature Film Diversity.


Data from all 100 countries that participated in the 2012 Cinema Survey will be released in June 2013.


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