The Transnational Reception of European Film: Consolidating European Identity?

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper




ConferenceEdinburgh International Film Audiences Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
Conference date(s)30/03/1731/03/17
Internet address

Publication details

DatePublished - 30 Mar 2017
Original languageEnglish


This paper examines how European audiences engage with films from other European countries. It draws on the findings of a survey of 4,500 respondents in 10 EU countries and focus groups involving 120 participants in Germany, Italy, Bulgaria and the UK. Previous research on the transnational reception of the media (e.g. Liebes and Katz 1993) suggests that global media texts are received in different ways by audiences in different countries. However, the evidence presented in this paper suggests that the transnational reception of European film is somewhat different. While some of the responses to the European films examined in our focus groups were specific to the country where the groups took place, others were broadly similar regardless of national context. These transnational responses may be partly explained by the fact the European films tend to appeal to a similar demographic – the university-educated, cosmopolitan middle-classes. As such, although engagement with European film is low (only 14% of Europeans regularly watch films from other European countries, according to our survey data), it nevertheless seems to indicate a deeper process of convergence within European society – the formation of a transnational European community who, despite differences of nationality, share very similar values, tastes and lifestyle.

    Research areas

  • Audiences, European cinema, European identity

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