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Abstract

This article examines the choices made by Norwegian distribution companies during three key phases of cinema lockdown and reopening in 2020. Though the article mainly aims to chronicle this particular moment in time I find that Norwegian and Scandinavian VOD-services acted differently than international services and that, while distributor companies used several different strategies in the face of sudden change, no one was close to recouping the losses from the lack of ordinary cinematic exhibition.

Abstract

The article discusses some developments in the audio- visual media industry in Germany that became apparent during the pandemic. Tendencies in the production, distribution and consumption of film, television and streaming are examined. While streaming platforms and linear television are becoming more important, cinemas are facing some problems.

Abstract

The release of Ilya Khrzhanovsky’s megalomaniacal cinematic project DAU coincided with the global Covid-19 pandemic. With festivals postponed and public screenings no longer possible, Khrzhanovsky moved his project online, integrating the unprecedented experience of the global lockdown and quarantine into the cinematic universe of DAU. Using the concept of heterotopia devised by French philosopher Michel Foucault, this paper examines the ways in which self-isolation altered the conditions of spatio-temporal engagement with DAU. Ultimately, the paper presents an original theoretical model of heterotopic cinema to demonstrate that confinement is precisely what allows Khrzhanovskiy’s artistic method to fully function.

Abstract

The main purpose of this paper was to explore the media image of the COVID-19 pandemic through the perspective of Polish media polarisation. In order to achieve this, a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the content of covers from 10 socio-political magazines, representing different ideological inclinations [left-wing, liberal, conservative, right-wing and Catholic] was conducted between January and June 2020. The study focused not only on the scale to which the coronavirus appeared on the covers, but also on the textual and visual representation of it. Additionally, the contexts in which COVID-19 appeared were analysed. As it turned out, apart from the medical context, the pandemic was mostly presented through political, social, economic and religious perspectives, of which the first was the most visibly connected with polarising media content, indicating clear links between the ideological bias of the magazines and the ways they described reality.

Abstract

In the digital game industry, micro-transactions (MTXs) have been introduced as a new vehicle for profit generation. MTXs are small sum payments for additional virtual content beyond the content players obtain through game-play and progression, which impose new structural limitations and opportunities for game participation on the players. This article explores the perspectives of players on corporate commodification strategies of gameplay. The empirical work consists of semi-structured focus group interviews of players and interviews of podcast hosts. All informants are players of various online games.

By adopting Sayer’s (2004, 2007, 2017) concept of moral economy and de Certeau’s (2011) concept of tactics in everyday life, this study draws two conclusions. First, virtual items and goods obtained through in-game activities or MTXs are a means to communicate skill level, taste, and experience between players as a fundamental part of the moral economy of establishing fair ground for competition. With regard to MTXs, players distinguish among three levels in which agency is maintained or limited. Second, players negotiate these models of commodification and agency limitation in ambivalent ways, both resisting and embracing economic values in the moral economy of play. Furthermore, because of this negotiation, players are generally concerned about the invasive nature of economic values taking priority over the values that guide the practices of play. In other words, there is a moral concern regarding how norms and values in play are compromised or overridden by outside economic pressures.

Abstract

This essay discusses the global context of public communication during COVID-19, as well as some specific lessons learned from public service media (PSM), specifically from the Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yleisradio, Yle). We address the role of PSM as a national information channel during crises and as a sustainable element in the media system, points to the need to understand its role beyond news and to develop new interactive alternatives to global platforms, and calls for PSM organisations to address its audience – not as consumers – but as people with needs for information, entertainment, learning and meaningful interactions.

Abstract

This essay will examine the role of publicly-funded film funds in small nations during the pandemic. Organisation like Det Danske Filminstitut, Hrvatski Audiovizualni Centar, Screen Scotland and Screen Ireland exist to support filmmakers in the realisation of their creative vision, to aid the circulation of national cultural resources and to provide audiences with the opportunity to access a diverse array of films. In small nations they are often the primary source of funding to the sector and so play a key role in building the capacity and international visibility of the nation and its film output.

This contribution to the special issue will identify trends in the funding and support provided by these organisations during the crisis; for instance, in adjusting their funding strategies, but also in their advocacy efforts with those beyond the film sector to secure financial support measures for the sector. It identifies future roles for film funds including redistributing limited public funds, supporting creative labour markets that are sustainable and equitable, and communicating the message to international productions, potential co-producers and investors that the country and its sector is open for business. I conclude by also reflecting on the long-term threats that these bodies may themselves face in the coming years as a result of economic and political transformations that are occurring today.

Abstract

This article presents a case study of Lockdown, an anthology series developed by two production companies under strict COVID restrictions in Flanders, centred on a prison visiting space. Every episode is written and directed by different screenwriters and directors. The case study clearly shows how a combination of creativity of Flemish independent producers, a felt need to counter the damaging effects of COVID on Flemish audio-visual industries, and the need to produce under strict hygienic and social distancing rules, resulted in a unique creative concept, that, ironically, might not have been achievable under normal circumstances. The analysis shows that the smallness of the Flemish market, which over the past decades resulted in an industry dynamism characterized by improvisation, voluntarism, high dependency on collaboration and short term financial planning, is precisely what might have provided the ideal backdrop for the production of this unique series.