The principal research question that the Project sought to address was: How do audiences engage with and form in different ways around specialised films in English regions? To address this, several attendant questions were addressed within four core research themes:
Research Theme 1: Regional specialised film consumption
(led by Prof. Bridgette Wessels)
- What are the venue-based viewing figures for specialised films in selected English regions?
- What are the socio-cultural profiles of those audiences?
- With what sorts of specialised films do audiences engage, and how does this relate to actual provision?
- How do digital platforms feature in film viewing in those same regions?
- Do audiences in particular regions have a sense of belonging to, or identifying with, a specific regional film provision? If so, do they have a sense of a regional film culture?
- Do the Film Hubs play a role in promoting such identities?
Research Theme 2: The meaning of specialised film for regional audiences
(led by Dr. David Forrest)
- How do audiences construct meanings through the stories and narratives of specialised films?
- How do regional audiences engage with specialised films in relation to their own lived experiences?
- In what ways do audiences respond to formal and thematic components of specialised films?
- What narrative resources for interpreting film do regional film audiences have and do they share them?
- What role do marketing, reviews, and promotional material play in enabling audiences to make sense of specialised films?
Research Theme 3: Place, venue and events
(led by Prof. Simeon Yates)
- What is the range of specialised film venues and events within overall regional film provision?
- How do they operate in terms of programming, marketing, and audience development?
- How important are specific venues to the formation of audiences for specialised films?
- How do digital platforms feature in the venue and event-based film experience?
- What is the relevance of film events such as film festivals and talks for regional audiences?
Research Theme 4: Policy and industry
(led by Prof. Andrew Higson)
- How do policies and industry practices shape the development of regional audiences?
- How many specialised films are produced and made available to UK audiences, under what conditions?
- What is the potential and realised market for specialised films?
- What are the patterns of theatrical distribution and exhibition of specialised films in English regions?
- How do digital platforms feature in film distribution at the regional level?
- How do distributors and aggregators define specialised film and decide which films to distribute?