Why Is IMDb SO Focussed on Hollywood Films To The Neglect Of Foreign Films???

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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Personally, I feel as an avid film fanatic that Hollywood films are just inferior in artistic merit to films from just about anywhere else in the world. That's just my personal opinion. I don't expect to, nor want to change anyone else's opinion about Hollywood films. I don't want to disparage anyone else for loving Hollywood films either. However, all that I can tell you is that for a while now I have been ONLY viewing foreign films.

However, IMDb is woefully inadequate in terms of someone like me who primarily wants to view films produced in Continental Europe (France, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Russia, etc).

All your listings for upcoming new films are ONLY for Hollywood films. Your list for Top Award Winning Films only include Oscar winning, that is, Hollywood produced films. You Top 250 Films list is about 99% Hollywood produced films, which is not surprising since you don't give your subscribers very good access to good foreign films so that they could make comparisons of Hollywood versus foreign films, thereby giving foreign films at least a shot of even getting on your Top 250 Films list.

The killing thing about it is that your database already does have A LOT of foreign film title pages, and A LOT of foreign director pages, but the only way to access these pages is by searching for a particular foreign film title, or by searching for a particular foreign director name.

It is obvious that IMDb has a close business relationship with Amazon, since so many of your film title pages, both for Hollywood and for foreign films link to Amazon Instant Video and Amazon DVD sales. And That's Just OK With Me Because I Love Shopping On Amazon For All Kinds Of Things!!!

The point is that since you have So Many foreign film title pages already in your database and So Many foreign director pages already in your database, and since So Many of these foreign film title pages link to Amazon already, you really need to a better job of allowing your subscribers to get structured access to the MANY foreign film pages that are already sitting their in your database and that link to Amazon.

How about a separate listing of all the Cannes Film Festival winners and all the Bodi Award winners that are already in your database? How about a separate listing, by country, of all the foreign director pages that are already in your database? How about a separate listing, by country, of all the foreign film titles that are already in your database? How about a separate listing for at least SOME upcoming new foreign films?

Seeing that Amazon already has SO MANY of the foreign films that are in your database available on Instant Video and/or DVD already, your business partner Amazon would probably financially benefit from and therefore appreciate such an improved subscriber access to your foreign film database also.

You REALLY need to think about what I'm saying here, because I bet that there are a lot of foreign film lovers among your subscribers that, at some level, feel the same way that I do. Moreover, a structured improvement in accessing foreign films on your site would probably create  a lot more new  foreign film lovers among your subscriber population as well.

Thank You For Listening To My Whining !!!


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Joe Kulik

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Posted 4 years ago

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Vincent, Champion

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A few points:

Data to the site is uploaded by visitors who come here and edit the pages. If there are "foreign" films that are not being uploaded it is because no one associated with the film or who has at least watched the film has bothered to upload any data about it. IMDB does not actively go out and watch every film on the planet, they simply attempt to verify data entered by the users of the site.

Upcoming films in particular must be uploaded by the people who make the film.  If you are talking about the actual advertising, those are paid services and it's up to the people who make the film to choose to advertise on IMDB.

I'm also unsure of why you keep going on about subscribers. 99% of the visitors and editors (users like you) are not subscribers. The subscription service (IMDBpro) is primarily for film industry workers (actors, producers, agents, etc) so that they can upload resumes to their pages and make industry contacts to find work. Most of them will only take an interest in updating pages of movies they actually worked on. Very few people who come to IMDB are subscribers, there is just no reason to be for the average person who does not work in the film industry.

As for the "top 250", these aren't decided by IMDB. These are based on votes by visitors. If a film is not in the database it is because no visitor put it there and if a film is not in the top 250 it is because not enough visitors voted for it.

IMDB does not promote films of it's own choosing. IMDB is simply a tool that someone who makes a film can use to promote it and it is the visitors to the site who make it what it is.

Feel free to add as many foreign movies to the database that you wish so long as the information you are adding is factual no one will stop you.

As far as searching for foreign films, there isn't really a category for "hollywood films", it's just all of them and any perception of one type or another not being equally represented is due to the visitors not bothering to enter the data for what you think is missing: and that includes you.

In summary it is the visitors to the site that make it what it is; and missing data will stay missing until a visitor adds it. Films that get promoted are done so by the makers of that film and so on. IMDB simply provides a place for this information to be uploaded and gives film makers tools to promote their films.

You can find volumes of information in the help area on how to upload films:
http://www.imdb.com/help/show_leaf?titletopfaq
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bluesmanSF, Champion

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In addition to what Vincent says, and as he suggested above, the search capability (the whole point of the site is to be a searchable database of as much accurate and complete film/tv info as possible) does not insert "Hollywood" or any country-based criteria. You can search anything you want via the search feature http://www.imdb.com/search/title

Note that nothing is filled in and notice the example on what to use the search feature for suggests:

Welcome to IMDb's most powerful title search. Using the options below you can combine a variety of the types of information we catalog to create extremely specific searches. Want Canadian horror movies of the 1970s that at least 100 IMDb users have given an average rating above a 6? You can find them here.
No mention of Hollywood.

The site, keep in mind, is free to use. So they can't be really blamed for following clicks and putting up front what the bulk of their users are searching for and clicking on. If you're looking for any type of film, this is the place to search it out...as long as someone is interested enough to add it. There are certainly a lot of Contributors who add from their country as they know it best. Of course, not knowing where you are, I don't know if you consider them "foreign" or not. But, I am sure there are many countries where people don't add data or perhaps have language problems getting through the forms?

Anyway...my two cents.
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DavidAH_Ca, Champion

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In addition to what the others stated, I would note that the site was started by a group of British fans and later bought by an American-base firm. The site is in English, so the majority of Users will be English-speaking and therefore likely to be most interested in English-language films. We may deplore it, but Hollywood produces a large proportion of these films. Moreover, Hollywood films are known by the general public around the world, while films of other counties generally aren't.

As for the Oscar, while it is a Hollywood award, it too is known around the world. Check the statistics on the number of international viewers of the Oscar Show. No other award comes close. I agree it would be nice to have other awards like BAFTA added to the Advanced Search, but where would IMDb draw the line?

At the moment IMDb does not allow selecting by any Festivals, so Cannes is not available for searches (and neither is TIFF, which has gained a lot of credibility).

You do have some good points, but I think you went a bit overboard on the too-Hollywood criticism.

Note: it is possible to view the winners/nominees for any recorded Awards by going to the Events or Awards Central pages, but they are split by year not in an easy to scan list within the years.