Covid-19 Pandemisi ve Sinema Sektöründe Kriz: Yapısal Sorunlarla Yüzleşme FırsatıHakan Erkılıç, Senem Ayşe Duruel Erkılıç, Süleyman Değirmen
Bu çalışmada Covid-19 pandemisinin sinema sektöründe yarattığı kriz ve bu krize yönelik destek paketlerinin incelenmesi amaçlanmıştır. Krize ve destek mekanizmalarına yönelik görüşmelerden elde edilen veriler, sinema salonları, sinema çalışanları ve yapım grubu başlıkları altında toplanarak incelenmiş ve betimsel olarak analiz edilmiştir. Sinema sektöründe Covid-19 pandemisinin yarattığı kriz, sektörün yapısal sorunlarından (örgütlenme, güvencesiz ve ağır çalışma koşulları, telif hakları, dağıtım ve işletmecilikte tekelleşme, yeterli sermaye birikiminin olmaması gibi) bağımsız olmayıp birbirleriyle ilişkili bu alanlardaki krizi daha da derinleştiren bir seyir izlemiştir. Çalışmada sinema sektörüne yönelik farklı destek paketleri oluşturulması gerektiği ortaya konmakta ve sektörün desteklenme yöntemleri tartışılmaktadır. Destek paketleri kısa vadede Covid19’un ortaya çıkardığı problemleri gidermeye, uzun vadede sektörün yapısal sorunlarını çözmeye yönelik olmalıdır. Sektör temsilcileri ile yarı yapılandırılmış derinlemesine görüşme tekniği başta olmak üzere nitel yöntem kullanılmıştır. Pandemi, sinema sektörünün var olan yapısal sorunlarını çözmek için katalizör işlevi görebilir. Sinema, gerek ulusal kültürün temsilcisi olma niteliğinden ötürü, gerekse kültür ekonomisi içinde yüksek katma değer yaratma potansiyeline sahip olması nedeniyle kriz zamanlarının da ötesinde desteklenmek zorundadır. Yirmi birinci yüzyılın pandemi gibi krizlerle geçeceğine dair genel bir kanıdan hareketle bu çalışma, destek mekanizmalarının kalıcı olması için yasal düzenlemeler yapılarak, “Sinema-Televizyon Kriz Destek Fonu” oluşturulmasını önermektedir.
Covid-19 Pandemic And Crisis In The Film Sector: Opportunity To Confront Structural ProblemsHakan Erkılıç, Senem Ayşe Duruel Erkılıç, Süleyman Değirmen
This study aimed to examine the crisis in the film industry as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and its corresponding support packages for behind-thecamera employees, movie theaters and film productions. Since the crisis is dependent on the structural problems of the sector (i.e., organization, unsafe and poor working conditions, copyright issues, monopolization in distribution and management, insufficient capital accumulation, and piracy), it deepens the current crisis in these interrelated areas. Thus, various support packages specific to the cinema sector should be created. To explore potential support packages, the study conducted semi-structured in-depth interviews with representatives of the sector. The pandemic can be a catalyst for solving the existing structural problems of the film industry, which exhibits different dimensions in this process. Cinema should be supported even beyond crisis because it is an important representation of national culture and holds the potential to create high value in the cultural economy. Based on the general assumption that crises, such as pandemics, in the 21st century will come to pass, this study proposes a permanent support mechanism called the Cinema-Television Crisis Support Fund through legal arrangements.
The Covid-19 pandemic is an economic, social, and cultural crisis. One of the sectors most affected by the pandemic is the film industry. Several changes, such as the closure of movie theaters, the delay of screenings or their shift to digital platforms, the halt of productions, the unemployment of film workers, the postponement and cancellation of festivals, or the transition to online festival screenings shook the global film industry to the core. In other words, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused enormous damage to the film industry worldwide. According to data from Statista, the revenue loss of the global film industry in 2020 is USD 26 billion. Thus, scholars predict that regrouping may take five years for the global film industry a result of the crisis initiated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Similar to the rest of the world, one of the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in Turkey is the cinema sector. In Turkey, the total box office revenue for 2019 is 976,942,970 Turkish Liras (TL), which decreased to 299,444,667 TL by 2020. Thus, developing new business strategies and working practices is crucial. The cinema value chain should be reorganized with the development of digital platforms. Whether the film industry is considered within the field of culture, as in Europe and especially in France, or as an entertainment industry, as in the United States, both cinema policies should be supported and protected during this period of crisis. In this context, many countries exerted efforts within their economic capabilities to keep the sector alive through support packages.
As the Turkish film industry continues to struggle with the crisis, it suffered an even deeper wound for approximately one year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In other words, the film industry, which failed to overcome the 2019 popcorn crisis (caused by ticket revenue sharing between mainstream producers and movie theaters), entered yet a new crisis with the Covid-19 pandemic and was forced to face structural problems. Despite the difficulties posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the current study views the situation from a different perspective and considers the pandemic a catalyst for confronting the structural problems of the film industry in Turkey. This study advocates the view that the film industry can take this crisis as an opportunity to eliminate the deficiencies in institutionalization and solve its structural problems.
This article is based on the authors’ conclusion report numbered 120K625 for the Project TUBITAK 1001 Covid-19 and Society. In this study, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the cinema industry are evaluated from a political economy perspective using descriptive research method, categorical content analysis and in-depth interviews. Using this methodological approach, the study analyzed the crisis resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects on the film industry through a contextual approach. Furthermore, analysis was conducted through the cultural, political, institutional, and industrial determinants of the national film industry. The study uses the research design approach, which employs data collected from various sources (i.e., face-to-face interviews, audio–visual materials, documents, and reports) in a detailed manner and thoroughly analyzes themes related to the case. Participants were selected from various groups (i.e., unions and professional organizations), relevant official institutions, behind-the-camera employees, producers, filmmakers, cinematographers, screenwriters, actors, film theater operators, distributors, and festival directors. In-depth interviews were conducted online with 52 people. Furthermore, the study examined and analyzed secondary sources, such as legislations, reports, and literature. In addition, data from Box Office records, the Social Security Institution and the Turkish Statistical Institute were analyzed.
In this context, the study groups support packages for the film sector under the following categories: (a) Economic Stability Shield Package, which is within the scope of the general support package; (b) Covid-19 Film and Television Relief Fund, which is created directly for the sector (behind-the-camera employees) with the cooperation of the Cinema & Broadcasting Union, Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts and Netflix; and; (c) the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism Cinema Fund.
The cinema, which is an important representation of national culture within the film industry and holds the potential to create high added value, requires incentives and support policies. Especially during periods of crises, such as pandemics, the sector should be supported in accordance with its project-based nature and work conditions for freelancing. Instead, of creating short-term solutions using support packages, this support policy should be reconsidered to increase the competitiveness of the sector in the long term. A general assumption indicates that the 21st century will feature many other crises. Therefore, creating support mechanisms is imperative. Specifically, the Cinema-Television Crisis Support Fund should be established and rendered permanent through legal regulations.