Gen-Z viewers are driving the interest in foreign-language film in the US and UK

28 June 2024

Lucerne, Switzerland / Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, 28 June 2024 – Gen-Z viewers in the US and UK are watching more foreign-language films than older generations, with more interest in exploring new cultures and stories and being less put off by the need to view with subtitles. New data commissioned by Allwyn, the leading multi-national lottery operator, has shown the generational divide between English-language viewers.

36% of 16–24-year-olds from the US and UK are watching more foreign language films today than five years ago, compared to just 10% of respondents aged over 55. For this younger audience, 39% say this is because of an increased interest in new cultures and stories compared to only 26% of those above 55. Similarly, whilst over a half (53%) of viewers over 55 are put off foreign-language film due to the need to read subtitles, this drops to less than a third (29%) for Gen-Z viewers.

Responding to the findings, Pavel Turek, Allwyn's Chief Officer of Global Brand, Corporate Communication, and CSR, said: “Like lotteries, film is a universal language that has the power to bring people together from around the world. It is great to see young people leading the way in giving international film more reach and embracing diverse and engaging storytelling.”

Allwyn reveals these findings ahead of the tenth annual Future Frames – Generation NEXT of European Cinema, a programme organised by the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and European Film Promotion. Since 2015, the Future Frames programme has enabled European directors to launch their careers in the film industry. Each year, ten promising directors are invited to the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival to showcase their films, receive tailored mentorship and training, and build relationships with people established in the industry.

Last year Allwyn became a partner to Future Frames and will again be supporting the 2024 programme. Allwyn’s sponsorship expanded the programme to allow one director to attend a month-long scholarship in Los Angeles to learn from the best in the film industry, with a dedicated programme of mentoring, shadowing and training. Allwyn also launched the Future Frames ceremony, taking place during the film festival to celebrate the work of all ten selected promising directors. The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is one of the oldest and most prestigious film festivals in Europe. It takes place this year from 28th June to 6th July 2024 and celebrates its 58th year.

Allwyn’s research showed nearly half (48%) of US and UK respondents think young people face barriers to entry when taking a job in the creative industries, rising to 63% for 16-24 year olds. Perceived barriers to entry include the need for connections or industry contacts (39%), and a lack of funding for academic qualifications and training (33%). Allwyn’s support enables the Future Frames programme to directly address these barriers by offering networking and support to young film directors.

Speaking ahead of this year’s event, Pavel Turek added: “At Allwyn, changing lives for the better sits at the heart of everything we do, and we are very excited to again be giving talented young directors the opportunity to work with the very best in the film industry. The Future Frames programme does just that in bringing young directors together to share their stories to an international audience.

“We look forward to meeting this year’s nominees as we join them to celebrate the future of European film making.”

Last year, the Allwyn sponsored Los Angeles residency was awarded for the first time to Amalie Marie Nielsen, the Danish filmmaker. Talking of her experience, she said: “Going to Los Angeles and having the chance to meet with and learn from influential figures in the international film industry was an incredible experience. I feel very grateful to have been awarded such an opportunity which has meaningfully shaped my career. The network I have built with my fellow directors means that we can collaborate and support one another, so that we all thrive and grow together.”

"At KVIFF, we are dedicated to supporting and celebrating emerging talent in the film industry. Our long-term partnership with Allwyn, the main partner of the festival, through the Future Frames programme exemplifies this commitment, providing young directors with the opportunities and resources they need to succeed on an international stage," says the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival’s executive director, Kryštof Mucha.

“Thanks to our partnership with Allwyn, we can add a transatlantic element to FUTURE FRAMES and offer all 10 filmmakers selected for the programme an insight to the US industry and one of them even concrete access to key players in the US industry”, says Markéta Šantrochová, President of EFP (European Film Promotion) and Head of the Czech Film Center.


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About Allwyn

Allwyn is a leading multi-national lottery operator. Allwyn builds better lotteries that return more to good causes by focusing on innovation, technology, efficiency and safety across a growing casual gaming entertainment portfolio. The lottery-first approach of focusing on affordable recreational play has earned Allwyn leading market positions with trusted brands across Europe in Austria, Czech Republic, Greece and Cyprus, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States (Illinois).

About Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF) is the largest film festival in the Czech Republic and the most prestigious such festival in Central and Eastern Europe. It is one of the oldest A-list film festivals (i.e., non-specialized festivals with a competition for feature-length fiction films), a category it shares with the festivals in Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Locarno, San Sebastian, Montreal, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Among filmmakers, buyers, distributors, sales agents, and journalists, KVIFF is considered to be the most important event in all of Central and Eastern Europe.

About Future Frames

Since it started in 2015, Future Frames presents ten outstanding emerging directors from Europe each year at the Karlovy Vary IFF. Recommended by the European Film Promotion member organisations and selected by a team at Karlovy Vary IFF, the ten outstanding film students and graduates from schools throughout Europe take part in a tailor made programme - containing training, networking and promotion to kick-start their international film careers. The young professionals also take part in an exclusive masterclass with an internationally renowned filmmaker and have industry meetings with festival programmers, world sales agents, producers, film funders and other important industry members.

EFP FUTURE FRAMES - Generation NEXT of European Cinema, in collaboration with the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF), is made possible thanks to the support of Creative Europe - the MEDIA Programme of the European Union and Allwyn, a leading multi-national lottery operator, as well as the participating national film promotion institutes, EFP’s member organisations: Austrian Films, Cinecittà (Italy), Czech Film Center, Danish Film Institute, Flanders Image (Belgium), German Films, Icelandic Film Centre, Romanian Film Development, Slovak Film Institute, Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales / ICAA (Spain), The main media partner is Variety, with Cineuropa and Fred Film Radio as additional media partners.

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