Film festivals – Art of storytelling

Where great storylines and effective customer engagement meet

Films are produced and directed not just to entertain; through the years, films have been used as platforms to effect social change, send a message and start a movement. And for many acclaimed and ‘independent’ directors today, films have become the perfect medium as well to tell a good story that doesn’t just entertain but also move viewers and critics to think and question their belief systems. Just think of Academy Award winners like Crash (2004) and Kramer vs Kramer (1979). In both award-winning movies, the movies were used as storytelling tools to engage viewers and create a narrative that everyone can relate to or at least talk about.

Crash’ and ‘Kramer vs Kramer’- Films with stories that mattered

In Crash, an ensemble cast that includes Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon, Thandie Newton and Ryan Philippe help weave a compelling storyline that centers on social and racial tensions in Los Angeles, California. The movie was based on a real-life incident encountered by its director, and has since been used to tell stories of social and racial tensions in other parts of the country. In Kramer vs Kramer, Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman starred as the husband and wife who suffered under the strain and stress of divorce and the fight for their son. Both movies are critic favorites, have won citations and are anchored on a good story. So what makes a good film story?

cinema, entertainment and people concept - happy friends watching movie in theater

Great movie stories affirm the humanity of viewers

Some of the best and critically acclaimed movies share common principles including the presence of a compelling storyline. Great stories for movies are usually those that affirm the humanity in the viewers. These are the stories that help viewers and critics confirm some universal truths, and also help them question their values and belief systems. At the end of the day, viewers want re-affirmation that their lives have value and meaning. And one of the best ways is when people make a connection with the film’s story. The importance of storytelling is not limited to film production; even in customer and client engagement, stories matter. Marketing companies like for instance use a great storyline as an anchor to attract and engage an audience.

Films are mere compilation of audio-video clips without a good story. But with a great story, it becomes a memorable work of art that informs, influences and affects viewers for a lifetime.

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