Remapping World Cinemas for the Digital Age

Remapping World Cinemas

Series Convenor: Paul Cooke

The aim of this Sadler Seminar is to explore the seismic shifts that have taken place in the global audio-visual sector in the second decade of the twenty-first century, as a result of changing global power relations on the one hand, and the acceleration of technological development on the other.

Focussing in particular on the film industry, the seminar series will draw together colleagues from across Leeds, major international scholars and key industry professions to explore how changes in the production, distribution and consumption of audio-visual texts reflect a series of broader economic, legal, political and cultural concerns. On a ‘macro’ level, these concerns range from the impact that the recent growth in the Chinese market has had not only on the global film economy but also on the aesthetics of the films that are being produced by Hollywood (which remains the largest film industry in financial terms), to the ways in which national governments increasingly use film as a tool for the generation of ‘soft power’ in order to gain a whole host of economic and political benefits.

On the ‘micro’ level, we will explore the rapid growth of ‘digital activism’ and the grass-roots production and consumption of digital films, along with the way individual producers of audio-visual content negotiate a multiplatform world to find an audience and to challenge the continuing hegemony of the West in the digital sphere. In the process, we will draw on latent synergies across Leeds to create a network of film, media, humanities, legal, business and international development scholars to develop a series of major funding applications to the AHRC, ESRC and Horizon 2020.

The series is also timed to tie in with the launch of a major new book series the Centre is editing with Routledge, Remapping World Cinemas.