Australian SCREEN STORIES
ARE IMPORTANT TO AUSTRALIANS
Research undertaken in 2011 showed that in the previous three years, Australian television programs have accounted for all spots on the annual list of top 20 titles. Packed to the Rafters has been the highest-rating drama during this time, attracting approximately two million viewers on average per episode.1
For feature films, Screen Australia's 2011 Beyond the Box Office analysis of cumulative viewings shows that locally produced films released 2007–09 have been viewed by Australians over 100 million times across the whole first release lifecycle from cinema, to DVD/Blu-ray video, free-to-air and subscription television.2
Indicators such as these provide useful quantitative information about Australians' consumption of their own screen stories. However, more qualitative aspects – how they feel about these stories – are less easy to measure.
New research into attitudes
To better understand these less tangible aspects, Screen Australia commissioned original research that asked Australians about the importance they placed on Australian narrative screen content – feature films, television dramas and documentaries. The research surveyed 1,002 people aged over 14 years, weighted to be representative of the population in terms of age, gender and residential location.3
Overall, 91 per cent of people believed it was quite important or very important that Australia had a film and television industry producing local content. Just one per cent stated it was not important at all. The pattern was similar across all age groups. Even among people classified as 'low' consumers of Australian content, 87 per cent felt it was at least 'quite important'.
Out of 10 benefits of having a local film and television industry, the one identified as most important (cited by 21 per cent of respondents) was to make sure that Australian culture isn't overwhelmed by American culture on account of the amount of movies and TV series that Hollywood produces.
This was followed by recognition of the employment opportunities that the industry brings, as well as ensuring that Australia's stories and important events from the past are told and recorded, each nominated by 13 per cent of respondents.
79 per cent of people agreed (32 per cent strongly) that Australian stories are vital for contributing to our sense of Australian national identity; while 75 per cent agreed (35 per cent strongly) that they would miss the Australian film and television industry if it ceased to exist.
- Making sure that Australian culture isn't overwhelmed by American culture on account of the amount of movies and TV series that Hollywood produces (21%)
- The employment opportunities that the Australian film and TV industry brings (13%)
- Making sure that Australian stories and important events from the past are told and recorded (13%)
- Creating an ongoing record of Australian culture and events that will be available for future generations to access (12%)
- The creative opportunities that the Australian film and TV industry offers people (11%)
- To educate our children about Australian culture, our history and way of life (8%)
- The contribution that the Australian film and TV industry makes to the economy (7%)
- Having movies and TV shows that feature familiar Australian settings and locations that Australians can relate to (7%)
- The sense of national pride that comes from the success of Australian Movies, TV shows and actors overseas (5%)
- Having Australian mannerisms, like the Australian sense of humour, in movies and TV series (4%)
- I would miss Australian film and TV stories if they ceased to exist
- Australian stories are vital for contributing to our sense of Australian identity
- Australian film and TV stories are vital to show the rest of the world Australian culture
- Australian film and TV stories are vital for maintaining and building Australian culture
- I typically watch more Australian content than foreign content
Download the full report
1 Compiled by Screen Australia from OzTAM data; 5-city metro
2 Screen Australia, 'Beyond the Box Office: Understanding Audience in a Multi-screen World', April 2011
3 This sample size of 1,002 Australian residents is associated with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 per cent at the 95 per cent confidence interval. This means that for a result of 50 per cent, we can be 95 per cent confident that the actual result is between 46.9 per cent and 53.1 per cent