Cinema in a small country : a comparative analysis of New Zealand and Scotland

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Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University; Kwan Fong Cultural Research and Development Programme, Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Lingnan University

Event Title

Dept. of Cultural Studies & KFCRD Cultural Studies Seminar Series & Cultural Magazine Series, 2004-05

Document Type

Public Seminar




4:30 p.m. -- 6:00 p.m.


AM201, Amenities Building, Lingnan University


The production and consumption of moving images are intrinsic to a global system of exchange in an international market dominated by American corporate interests and mainstream Hollywood product. At the same time, moving images remain intrinsic to questions of national identity and national projection. The problems of nurturing and sustaining a national cinema - particularly in small countries with a limited domestic audience and meagre resources for funding local production - are therefore considerable. Yet given Hollywood dominance, such national cinemas continue to survive and even occasionally seem to thrive. Moreover, in recent years a number of small nations have made their mark on the global cinematic stage in spite of the economic and cultural difficulties of sustaining an industry, cultivating audiences and engaging with the needs and complexities of specific national formations. By considering in a comparative analysis the development of cinema in Scotland and New Zealand as examples of contemporary ‘Small National Cinemas’, this seminar will address such key issues as the cultural importance of small national cinemas, their role in the on-going construction of a ‘national imagination’ in a changing world and the institutional challenges that need to be faced if they are to be nurtured and circulated.



Additional Information


Duncan Petrie is Professor of Film and Head of the Department of Film, Television and Media Studies at the University of Auckland. He previously worked at the University of Exeter, where he established the Bill Douglas Centre for the History of Cinema and Popular Culture, and the British Film Institute. Duncan's primary areas of research have been in British cinema history and Scottish Cinema/Culture. His books include Contemporary Scottish Fictions (Edinburgh University Press, 2004), Screening Scotland (BFI, 2000), The British Cinematographer (BFI, 1996) and Creativity and Constraint in the British Film Industry (Macmillan, 1991). From 2001-2003 he was a member of the Scottish Screen Lottery Panel, the main institutional funding body for film -making in Scotland. He is currently writing a book on New Zealand cinematography and is planning a major collection on Small National Cinemas with Mette Hjort.

Recommended Citation

Petrie, D. (2005, February 22). Cinema in a small country: A comparative analysis of New Zealand and Scotland [Video podcast]. Retrieved from http://commons.ln.edu.hk/videos/233