1.1 What is the cultural value of film?
When it comes to public expenditure or assistance in the arena of arts and culture, including film, policy-makers need to be able to measure and articulate the ‘value’ of their intervention. As you just saw in Activity 1, David Throsby's definition of value encompasses cultural value.
In the UK, the British Film Institute (BFI), and its predecessor the UK Film Council, have published a number of reports on the economic and cultural value of film. The 2015 report on economic impact found that film contributed £3.67 billion to the UK economy. Studies on cultural impact have shown how films, apart from being popular leisure activities, carry powerful personal and political messages for viewers, give new insights into other cultures, and help reflect our own cultural identity back to ourselves.
If you're interested in finding out more about this from the BFI, and reading about about why governments might want to support film and similar creative endeavours, these links are in the Further Reading section at the end of the week. Any week of the course with relevant further resources will have an appendix collating links and references that you may like to use to extend your learning.