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From: JerryMaya's Detective Agency – Shadows of Valleby (LasseMajas detektivbyrå - Skuggor över Valleby). Photo: SF

Children's Reception of Swedish Film

That Swedish children’s film is of high quality, that the most common way children hear about films is word-of-mouth from friends, and that younger children prefer animated films to live-action films. These are some of the conclusions drawn in the report How Do Children Receive Swedish Film? produced by the Swedish Film Institute.

Knowledge of children’s film-viewing habits are becoming increasingly important for the film industry and children and adolescents are also a prioritised group in cultural policy. But knowledge of film viewing among children is very limited, although several of the most viewed Swedish films in cinemas in 2014 were children’s films. Therefore, the Swedish Film Institute commissioned the market research company YouGov to explore the different motifs to see films that dominate among children in Sweden today and the impact of specific films among children.

Some of the findings in the report:

• Children find Swedish children’s film to be of high quality. On the whole, Swedish children’s film has had a broad reach among children aged 6 to 14. The overwhelming majority, 88%, have seen at least one of the 18 Swedish films in the study. But half of the Swedish films have been watched by less than 10% of the respondents.

• Generally speaking, most children think the best thing about watching film is that it is exciting and makes them laugh. If more Swedish films for children were perceived as exciting and funny, the appeal of Swedish children’s film would probably increase.

• Based on the results of the survey, we have identified seven different audience profiles pertaining to different children’s attitudes towards film. We have named these profiles Thrill, Laughter, Tears, Company, Fantasy, Knowledge and Fear.

• The older children (10-14 years) have to a greater extent seen more films. Only three of the Swedish films have been seen to a greater extent by the younger children; Two of them are animated. There is a need for more films for children aged between 6 and 9. Animated films have great potential to attract this group, since younger children prefer animated films to live-action films.

• Of the films that have been seen by less than 10% of the respondents, most were seen to a greater extent by children aged between 10 and 14. Since friends comprise the most important source of information for this age group, efforts targeting this particular group ought to have the greatest effect. Reaching out to children aged 10-14 calls for innovative marketing, for example focusing on online search and social media.

• In total, audience profiles had an effect on who has seen the film for 9 out of the 18 Swedish films. Age had an effect in 15 cases, and gender in 1 case. The child’s consumption patterns had an effect in 5 cases. The level of household income had an impact in only 2 cases. The child’s home region has had no effect for any of the films. This means that age and audience profile are the most important parameters to consider when positioning Swedish films for children.