Hollywood may be the dominant cultural force, but in the past decade there’s been an exciting renaissance in world cinema, as filmmakers find powerful new ways to push and redefine the boundaries of the film itself
Award-winning American Documentary Film Maker and Director of Photography Jeremy Sicotte talks to us about World Cinema, and how it's changed over the past decade.
What is world cinema?
World cinema is a term that refers to films from around the world, and typically encompasses films from countries not traditionally viewed as Hollywood film centers. Over the last ten years, this type of filmmaking has continued to evolve, with new forms of storytelling emerging.
A Decade of Growth
The current state of world cinema is a very different one than it was 10 years ago. At that time, there were few festivals dedicated to showcasing films from across the globe, and even fewer films broke through into mainstream distribution. We've seen incredible growth in interest in world cinema over that time period, with many more festivals popping up and films like The Lives of Others becoming household names.
Where can you see the world cinema?
Jeremy Sicotte says One of the most exciting developments in the world of cinema is that more and more films from across the globe are being showcased to viewers. The Cannes Film Festival, for instance, began accepting submissions from countries outside Europe in 2004. This was significant because it helped level the playing field for emerging film industries as well as filmmakers who were interested in exploring different perspectives from their own cultures. Nowadays, with so many festivals worldwide, it’s easy to see new or recent films from around the world at a screening near you. If you’re not sure where to start your search, there are countless resources online that can help you find a festival or event near you!
Why is it essential to support world cinema?
World cinema is an integral part of our culture and society. The films that are produced in countries all around the world are a source of pride for people living there. Supporting films from around the globe is important because it helps to introduce people to different cultures and points of view. It's also important because films from other countries often tell stories that are ignored by Hollywood, or that Hollywood tells poorly. This creates a need for films from other parts of the world to be supported so they can continue telling their stories with cultural accuracy and nuance.
The real change in world cinema is not only emerging from more places now but also changing in form. Now we have documentaries about festivals made by people who are not actually filmmakers; so there's no scriptwriting involved. There's a lot more video game making where you're trying to make movies or create stories out of games. So it changes form very quickly and it becomes hard for me even to define what world cinema means anymore because some directors will make their own versions of something they've seen elsewhere just by filming themselves doing it.