The Cannes Film Festival is in full swing and research from Mastercard, official partner of the festival, provided evidence on the power of the cinematic voice as almost four in five people in the UK (77 percent) said films have changed their view on cultural issues.
Respondents from the UK further said films have influenced their views on important topics, including climate change (41 percent), racial equality (39 percent) and women’s rights (22 percent).
Mastercard stated that post pandemic, the average person in the UK is spending over 186 hours – or 7.5 days – a year in front of the big screen or smaller screen at home. Two in five (39 percent) people in Europe said they have a greater interest now in cinema than pre-pandemic and 61 percent value experiences like going to the cinema more than material possessions. Overall, movies have changed the way two in five Brits (42 percent) see the world.
While four in five (88 percent) Brits watch films for pure entertainment, 41 percent said they watch films to learn more about the world. Other common reasons for the cinema include: to find inspiration (34 percent), help process life lessons (30 percent) and stay on top of worldwide affairs and trends (24 percent).
Over half (53 percent) of the respondents said they have learnt about a societal issue they were previously unaware of through the power of film, with one in four (26 percent) revealing they have supported a social cause after watching a film on the subject.
Almost half of movie-goers (45 percent) claimed to leave the cinema feeling more inspired than when they entered and a further 45 percent cited film as more impactful than books when it comes to conveying important messages in an impactful way.
Films shaping people’s attitudes
Film Historian, Professor Ian Christie, commenting on the research, said there’s no question that films have shaped people’s attitudes to the world around them for over a hundred years – especially the world beyond their immediate experience.
This influence, Professor Ian Christie said, has sometimes been controversial, but it’s also been real and hugely pervasive, compared with the impact of other media. The Film Historian indicated that most often, it has probably been beneficial, supporting and encouraging, as well as creating greater awareness of different lives.
“If we look back at a film like Philadelphia, we can clearly see that the [Tom] Hanks classic educated people and de-stigmatized HIV and AIDS. In 2018, Black Panther became a global cultural phenomenon by breaking new ground in representation both on and off the screen. Films like these will change attitudes for generations to come and their impact, over time, will be immeasurable on society”.Professor Ian Christie
Agnes Woolrich, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, UK & Ireland, at Mastercard added that the findings of the survey reaffirmed the power that cinema has to inspire, educate and tell stories in a way that allows “us to see life through different lenses”.
Mastercard’s long-standing partnership with the Cannes Film Festival, Agnes Woolrich said, has provided “us an ongoing opportunity to connect with consumers around a passion that enriches, entertains and offers meaningful experiences beyond the box office”.