Research Questions

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)

  1. What are the venue-based viewing figures for specialised films in selected English regions?
  2. What are the socio-cultural profiles of those audiences?
  3. With what sorts of specialised films do audiences engage, and how does this relate to actual provision?
  4. How do digital platforms feature in film viewing in those same regions?
  5. 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?
  6. 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)

  1. How do audiences construct meanings through the stories and narratives of specialised films?
  2. How do regional audiences engage with specialised films in relation to their own lived experiences?
  3. In what ways do audiences respond to formal and thematic components of specialised films?
  4. What narrative resources for interpreting film do regional film audiences have and do they share them?
  5. 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)

  1. What is the range of specialised film venues and events within overall regional film provision?
  2. How do they operate in terms of programming, marketing, and audience development?
  3. How important are specific venues to the formation of audiences for specialised films?
  4. How do digital platforms feature in the venue and event-based film experience?
  5. 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)

  1. How do policies and industry practices shape the development of regional audiences?
  2. How many specialised films are produced and made available to UK audiences, under what conditions?
  3. What is the potential and realised market for specialised films?
  4. What are the patterns of theatrical distribution and exhibition of specialised films in English regions?
  5. How do digital platforms feature in film distribution at the regional level?
  6. How do distributors and aggregators define specialised film and decide which films to distribute?