Audiences, key issue for Film Victoria

According to Film Victoria CEO Sandra Sdraulig, this week’s Arresting Audiences summit is only the first of many initiatives to help the screen industry better identify and serve its audience.

“We want to ensure that the summit becomes an ongoing engagement with the audience issue. We will update our audience research information in an ongoing capacity, so we will continue with this subject,” Sdraulig told Encore.

Sdraulig said the event was “almost sold out”, with at least 200 participants registered for the summit – which will be held in Melbourne’s Rendezvous Hotel on September 23 and 24.

The Film Victoria executive said the agency looked at “who was talking about audiences – locally and internationally –  and what were they saying” to develop the Arresting Audiences program.

“We have commissioned research through Roy Morgan so it’s quite an eclectic range of information– including audience perception and attitudes, audience testing, audience demographics, movie marketing, television programming, social media, business and financial planning, distribution models and TV script development.

“We also conducted in-house analysis of box office and genre, and that helped inform and shape the summit’s sessions,” said Sdraulig.

The results of the research commissioned by Film Victoria will be first revealed to those who attend Arresting Audiences this week. Attendees will receive a ‘toolkit’ which will provide a historical snapshot of how Australian films have performed, as well as insights into programming strategies and some of the audience data available in this country.

“It’s going to be an important and valuable takeaway,” said Sdraulig.

While research is not the agency’s main objective, Sdraulig pointed out that Film Victoria is the only state agency that has a research capacity.

“We identify what level of audience is engaging with our product. In the last financial year, there were 73 million views of Film Victoria-supported product. Recently, we’ve looked quite intensely at this, and it’s certainly been part of our research agenda over the last few years,” she said.

The Small Screens, Big Connections session will discuss the use of new platforms to capture audiences, showcasing successful social media campaigns. When asked whether this focus on digital platforms is ironic considering the recent demise of a number of Film Victoria digital media programs, Sdraulig’s answer is a resounding “no”.

“Not at all, she said,” she said. “We’ve reinforced our commitment to the digital sector. We’re still allocating more resources than any other screen agency in Australia, and we will announce, in due course, new programs as well. We continue to be engage with the digital sector, be supportive and look at ways that we can grow it.”

The program is available here.


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