The Purpose of Films and Why We Watch Films

What is the purpose of films?

Films can have many different purposes depending on what we define a film as. Generally, most feature films tend to do one or more of the following via storytelling:

  1. Convey emotions to the viewer.
  2. Raise awareness about an issue.
  3. Educate about a subject.
  4. Entertain.
  5. Make money.

Why do we watch films?

I believe the main reasons we watch movies are to get entertained and involved into a story. Other reasons depend on the genre of film we’re watching. For example:

We watch comedies because we want to be amused and laugh.

We watch thrillers or horror movies because we want to experience tension and cliffhangers.

We watch action movies because we want to see spectacle.

We watch science fiction movies because we want to see a world and creatures we’ve never imagined.

We watch musicals because we want characters that dance and sing to touch our hearts.

We watch mysteries because we want to analyse and interpret debatable events on screen.

Everyone is different however and people may have unique subjective reasons to go see a film. Some may be interested purely in the visual effects, others may want to see their beloved stars acting on screen, third may want to study the storytelling techniques used in their favourite director’s new film.

I personally watch films not only for the above genre-related reasons but also to get inspired by the story and its characters. There is a message in every film and it has the potential to change lives.

Why do people make films?

The reasons people make films are closely related to the purpose of films and why people watch films. First, movie-making is a profitable business and Hollywood knows it. Second, movie-making is a form of art that talented artists use to make a creative difference in the world. Third, there are other film-makers whose films educate us about things we should know.

Vlad Dimov
Independent Film-maker

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