Creating female audiences: The decline of the ‘girly’ heroine and the return of the formidable ‘femme’
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Although cinema is routinely classified as a creative industry in the twenty-first century, countering its designation as a “business, pure and simple” at the beginning of the twentieth, Hollywood productions are increasingly determined by the commercial imperatives of the conglomerates and the domination of young males as the most profitable audience within this sector. Notwithstanding, recent developments in delivery systems have afforded those seeking to reach female viewers unprecedented access to this audience by enabling them to engage creatively with the geographies of twenty-first-century screens, including home-viewing, through various broadcast, cable, satellite, internet and digital services, as well as through the increasing number of film festivals serving most major cities. While the ‘girly’ film, or chick flick, is in decline, the woman’s film, its hybridizations, in particular in the form of franchises targeting young female viewers, and its various televisual avatars have proliferated, with women directors emerging in the independent sector and art house directors developing ambitious projects for television in its new incarnations that take the female audience into account.
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