Changing the landscape for Foreign FilmsHollywood has taken over cinemas around the world. That’s not a surprise, right?

There isn’t a place where you won’t find an American movie in the cinema. While American movies are the most popular they are truthfully not the only options available. There are other movies, that are sometimes better than the American movies, that are not getting the opportunity to be on the big screen. How can they be recognized if the audience doesn’t see them?

There are many interesting films (made by Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Brazilian, Russian, French, South Korean, and Japanese filmmakers,  just to name a few)  that are not shown around the world in movie theaters. Sure there are film festivals where they show them but truth is that they are not getting to a wider audience until the DVD release. Sometimes it’s just because of financial reasons (not enough distributors and sponsors and being unable to confront a big-budget movie) or not enough screens available for the film’s release.

One recent example is that of the 2017 Indian film “Bahubaali: the conclusion”.  While many movie watchers were impressed and surprised by the film, they didn’t even know that this was the sequel to 2015 “Bahubaali: the beginning” (which was also very impressive on both the cinematography and the storytelling). Neither the first nor the second installment were screened in many countries around the world, even though it was successful in the U.S. (which is strange for an unconventional foreign movie). So when there was so much buzz about Bahubaali and many people were curious to see it, well there was no movie to see.


How it started to change…

Fortunately, streaming services have really changed the landscape for filmmakers on a global scale. Providing more affordable options for them to make films and the beauty is that filmmakers around the world are included in this journey. How we can find original films from around the world to see.

And it’s not just old films but new films are being produced and released on streaming services. What is more impressive is the opportunity it creates for collaboration between filmmakers from around the world that come together to create art.


Still going to the Movies?

Going to the MoviesThe “cinematic experience” is something unique depending on the film we’re seeing but it’s being monopolized by only one type of cinema and it obstructs the audience’s way to see different styles of storytelling. Alternatives such as Netflix and Amazon are a blessing.

Their presence means competition for the film studios since they are creating original content themselves (even though these are not (yet) recognized yet by the Academy Awards). Having them in our home means having more choices to watch foreign films and expand our way of watching movies.


Be open-minded…

The truth is most of us are conditioned by Hollywood type of movies which are not always good. There are so many different movies out here with a different approach to directing, storytelling and cinematography. Streaming services became such a treat that even the giant “Disney” is planning to acquire its own streaming services.

So as you see there are changes happening on this distribution of content. We may not have access to everything but we have more access to foreign films than we had before and we should take advantage of this opportunity.

Have you ever watched a foreign film at home and wished you could have seen it on the big screen? If you have not seen a foreign film yet, will you consider watching them?

Don’t worry coming up in the next article we will discuss a few interesting foreign films to see:

5 Interesting Foreign Sci-Fi & Fantasy Films Vol.1

By Dira

Hi There! I am Dira. A Sci-Fi Fan who wishes to share the love for Sci-Fi. Whether you know about Sci-Fi or not, on SFM&TV you will find interesting material to explore. I'll be happy to share with you what I know and to learn from you as well.

10 thoughts on “Changing the landscape for Foreign Films”
  1. I agree when you say Netflix and Amazon are a blessing in terms of making it easy for everyone to watch foreign movies.
    I do it all the time and I like the Indian, Mexican and Brazilian ones.
    Unfortunately, in my opinion, there’s nothing like watching a movie at the theatre.
    Thanks for sharing your ideas on foreign films.

    1. Hi Eliane,

      It is true that watching a movie at a theater is an “experience” but cinema owners will have to think of something to upgrade that experience.
      It’s not only the streaming services that are competition but also the TV manufacturing companies. Years ago we were used to literally a small screen in the living room. Today that size has increased and it will eventually reach the theater size. If you can create the cinematic experience at home you will think twice about going to the cinema. However if there is something different that the theater offers I will definitely go. Thanks for commenting!

  2. I love foreign Sci-fi films or foreign films in general. They can really give some great perspective and a change from the Hollywood flavour.

    It’s funny how many of the best foreign films are then re-done on hollywood….but never have the same authenticity.

    I sometimes watch film festivals to get a feel of movies from different regions. Do you have any favourite foreign film festivals?

    1. Hi Vince,

      I agree with you that they can give great perspective.
      I have a different views on the remakes. Sometimes its good to see a story from a different perspective/culture since its not only Hollywood that is making remakes but other Film industries as well.
      I don’t have a favorite film festival. The thing is I get to know about the films through the film festivals but I don’t get to see all of them until they are available on DVD or streaming online.

  3. I can honastly say I haven’t watched any foriegn films that aren’t either American or British as I haven’t heard much about them up until now.
    Have you got a top 5 that you could recommend for me to watch including Bahubaali?

    1. Hi Matthew,

      I understand. Foreign films are not aggressively marketed as the American and British films (where they have a larger reach).
      For some people its the language barrier and not wanting to read subtitles but for me that’s not a problem at all. And sometimes I find it really annoying when its dubbed (like the Chinese movies for example). I’d rather see the original version with subtitles.
      Yes, I do have a few recommendations that I will write about in my next post. Don’t want to give away anything yet so stay tuned.
      Thanks a lot for stopping by!

  4. I can’t agree more: people need to start watching films in other languages…even if their native language isn’t English. one of my favorite foreign films from this year was a French horror films about cannibalism, Raw. I am super grateful for streaming services making good/obscure/foreign or films easily within reach. not always to get to them when you have to use a VPN in another country, though!

    1. Hi Penelope,

      Thanks for sharing your views!
      You are right, even though streaming services have made it easier to see foreign films at home, not everything from all countries is available. I hope this will change in the future.

  5. I love foreign films. Lately I have found several South Korean and Japanese movies that were very intense and great at story telling. The first time I found foreign films was in high school watching french movies, which have the best endings. The heroes don’t make it in time or there is some huge revelation at the end of the movie. What is your favorite foreign film so far?

    1. Hi Ariana,

      I was introduced to Chinese cinema first, later on, Indian and Soth Korean Cinema.
      It’s hard to name only one because I don’t have only one if we are talking about Cinema in general.
      If we are talking about Sci-Fi and Fantasy: Cronos is an interesting story I revised a lot, same as Snowpiercer and Wings of Desire and I recently was impressed with the Baahubali franchise. I have several posts on foreign films including these if you are interested to check them out, starting with Interesting Foreign Sci-Fi & Fantasy Films Vol.1

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