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Author: Mahsa Salamati

Abstract

A study of the global flow of US-based svod s, and their absence or presence within domestic media ecosystems, allows us to move beyond universalist approaches in platform studies. Starting with an analysis of the politics of Netflix’s absence from Iran’s media landscape, this article studies the contribution of domestic svod s to the diversification of the Iranian movie culture. It argues that filtering Netflix in Iran is part of a long history of content regulation and the state’s plan to support local platforms. The dynamic informal circulation networks in Iran also pose challenges for foreign svod s.

Focusing on domestic platforms like Filimo, the article argues that they became part of a national project to battle piracy domestically. Iran’s laws as a non-signatory of international treaties on intellectual property, however, allow them to acquire foreign films through informal markets, situating these platforms in an ambiguous state in between formal and informal services.

In: Studies in World Cinema

Abstract

Within the last decade alone different distribution platforms have emerged in the Nigerian movie industry. One of the most notable and potent among these is Netflix. Employing Disruptive Innovation Theory (dit) as notional scaffolding, this article uses key informant interviews (kii) and focus group discussions (fgd) to examine what Netflix’s engagement in Nollywood means in terms of the viability of other distribution outlets. It investigates the ‘good, the bad and the ugly’ sides of the Nollywood-Netflix relationship from the Nigerian audience perspective to give an understanding that can contribute to Nollywood’s healthy expansion. The study argues that the emergence of Netflix leaves many Nollywood content creators (ncc s) begging for acceptance when their content is adjudged inconsequential. This must be creatively challenged and negotiated through ncc s and distributors using available technologies to improve production values, set up and collaboratively operate multiple online distribution platforms for the Nigerian audience’s satisfaction.

In: Studies in World Cinema

Abstract

This essay provides an analysis of the impact of Netflix on the African screen media sector, by focusing on the Nigerian film industry (Nollywood). It follows the invitation to study Netflix in specific socio-historical and national contexts that several scholars have formulated over the past few years as a way to respond to the complexity of the emerging landscape of internet-distributed television. In order to achieve this objective, the essay focuses on the impact of Netflix’s involvement on the production and distribution of Nigerian content, offering also a few insights on the equally important topic of Netflix’s impact on African audiences. The overall aim is to historicize Netflix’s intervention, detailing the phases of its involvement in Nigeria, its specificities in relation to the intervention of previous local and international actors in the field of content production and distribution (on both streaming and digital television networks), and the controversies its arrival triggers among film professionals in the largest African screen media industry.

In: Studies in World Cinema
In: Studies in World Cinema
Author: Matthew Marcus

Abstract

The mini-series Ethos (Bir Başkadır), produced by Netflix Turkey, was a critical and social media sensation, distinguished by its narrative and visual sophistication and its explicit engagement with contemporary social, cultural and political tensions. However, considered in light of larger questions about Netflix and streaming television in general, Ethos also provides a meta-commentary on contradictory aspects of streaming television, particularly those discussed by Ramon Lobato in his book Netflix Nations. In particular, Ethos self-consciously calls attention to ways in which it is simultaneously a local and transnational product. It also invites consideration of the divergent expectations and responses of its varied audiences, both in Turkey and abroad.

In: Studies in World Cinema
Author: Miya Treadwell

Abstract

In this article, I argue that recent Black American narratives on Netflix intersect with and can be understood through principles of world cinema. Black American narratives have long existed outside of the Hollywood conventions that often serve as a line of demarcation in world cinema scholarship. Building on Lúcia Nagib’s definition of world cinema () and her concept of realistic modes of production (2020a/2020b), I show how contemporary Black American narratives on Netflix are sustaining a diasporic perspective. Although originating in the US, its marginalized production and preoccupations with colonial dynamics or racial and geographical inequality help to regard this content as a mode of world cinema. Moreover, as In Our Mothers’ Gardens () and High on the Hog () demonstrate, these connections with world cinema have been intensified by Netflix’s production model.

Open Access
In: Studies in World Cinema

Abstract

The article analyzes the catalog, acts of curation, and promotional materials of the Romanian-based vod platform Cinepub (www.cinepub.ro). It also draws evidence from an interview conducted with the founder and manager of the platform, Lucian Georgescu. The analysis reveals the embedding of the service in the Romanian cinema culture, as well as in a global digital periphery. Some of the aspects that make Cinepub’s service stand out, the article argues, can be interpreted as responses to and reflections of its embedding. The broader question raised by my case study is to what extent and under what conditions vod s from the European periphery can become viable actors on present-day markets.

In: Studies in World Cinema

Abstract

This essay investigates the worldly parameters of the Netflix documentary genre. While Netflix on the surface communicates a rhetoric of a truly global vision for media production and circulation, data analysis shows that the documentary genre is still predominantly U.S. American. I use Raymond Williams’ 1975 caution that “genuinely open skies” would be almost impossible to materialize to interpret the implications of this in today’s global landscape. A close analysis of the 2019 Academy Award-winning documentary American Factory, a text that takes the cultural clash between the U.S. and China in the wake of globalization as its subject, reveals the geopolitical stakes of such documentary mediation and imbalance. Combining quantitative and qualitative readings ultimately offers a window onto the tensions between cultural imperialism and globalization in both form and content within the Netflix documentary genre.

In: Studies in World Cinema
Author: Amber Shields

Abstract

This article examines how through their competitive drive to expand in India’s rapidly growing market, the streaming services Netflix and Amazon Prime are contributing to a shift in the country’s media production and content by opening up the market to more women creators and consumers. Beginning by looking at production shifts, this article will then explore how these shifts are impacting content. Streaming series examined here will include Netflix’s Bombay Begums (Alankrita Shrivastava, 2021) and Masaba Masaba (Ashvini Yardi, 2020) and Amazon Prime’s Four More Shots Please! (Rangita Pritish Nandy, 2019–2020) and Made in Heaven (Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti, 2019). All these shows not only center on female protagonists, but are created, written, and directed by women. Just as the new possibilities of multiplex cinema impacted mainstream cinema as filmmakers crossed between the alternative and multiplex markets and the mainstream, this shift has the potential to have ramifications in further content creation and will be something to watch as the streaming service sector continues to grow in India.

In: Studies in World Cinema