Our second annual The Power of Film fundraiser event is tomorrow, June 2nd, celebrating what we value most: film’s unique power to unite the community and inspire social action.

“Liyana:” 2017 Festival Best in Show

As we prepare for this event highlighting the important work of the Bend Spay & Neuter Project, we’ve been asking ourselves if cinema can change the world (see our recent blog story where we showcased a short list of independent films that tackle real issues), and now, we are exploring the notion if filmmakers struggle to achieve a balance between engaging audiences with real-world problems while striving to also still entertain. And, if filmgoers want to just be entertained or be exposed to new ways of thinking while being entertained.

The 2018 Summer’s First Blockbuster

According to Bloomberg, movie theater attendance in the US in 2017 fell to its lowest point since 1992, and can partly be attributed to a very poor turnout during the summer blockbuster season. There are other factors at play with streaming services provided by Netflix, HBO Go and Amazon, but as producers of independent film screenings, we are questioning if blockbuster films are not cutting it at the box office or with moviegoers alike. Hollywood may push for more blockbuster films but real-world stories connect with and take audiences somewhere different and new.

Ok, we admit, it may be asking a little much to think that a film can change the world, but perhaps what it can do is open a viewer’s mind to an experience outside his or her own and set the viewer on a path toward a broader understanding.

We want to know what you think:

  1. I go to films mostly to be entertained?
  2. I go to films to be exposed to real-life issues? Or,
  3. Both: it’s a balance.