Towards Crossovers in Global Film

In today’s ever growing and consumeristic world, the role of the media has never before been stronger. Our perceptions upon cultures, ideas, people’s, nations, governments etc are all formed off our basis of judgement, by which the majority is influenced by global media coverage. Particularly crucial to the understanding of global media influence is the concept and thus understanding of Crossover Cinema.

Crossover Cinema has many varying interpretations and meanings, which can differ depending on the style of film, film intentions and what is regarded as crossing one culture over to the next. Prominent definitions of this concept include

“It is used to encapsulate an emerging form of cinema that crosses cultural borders…aswell as crossing over in terms of its distribution and reception.” (Khorana 2013, pg2)


“(Crossover Cinema) tends to be movies based on broader themes that the international audience can relate to” (Gupta 2013)

Thus, simply put, Crossover Cinema are films that can include those from emerging film markets and nations, such as Bollywood, and therefore feature films that incorporate varying cultural ideas and influence upon the audience. As a member of Generation Y, it will come as no surprise to us the multicultural presence in films and the varying nature of stories, ideals and messages.

Take for example the 2003 film Bend It Like Beckham, which focuses around two girls, one Indian-English and the other English. Set in England, it shows how within the Indian girls family, her culture is strongly present within the family and how cultural roles are still being enforced. The film examines the issues and boundaries of English and Indian cultures by delving into the issues of customs, social norms and the expectations of both cultures. It goes on to examine the intercultural communication between English and Indian nationalities, and how both struggle to cope understanding one another’s and their very own. The film was well received due to its ability to relate to many audiences that live with or know of the crossover of cultures in society, and the struggle of these people to assimilate themselves and culture into the surrounding environment of society.

The emergence of markets such as Bollywood have given rise to crossover cinema, as through the growth of this market does the audience and markets it broadcasts too. Bollywood is viewed around the world, from the Sub-Continent to Europe down to Australia, it is a growing presence within the community, however not yet society. Bollywood box office earnings have tripled since 2004, and by 2016 revenue is expected to reach $4.5 billion, including domestic and international earnings, which is remarkable considering it is still largely domestically focused and produced.

However, by analysing how Bollywood, Hollywood etc promote and gain market prominence, it is worth noting the cultural influences their works bring with them. A Hollywood film like Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino delved into the racial and cultural issues of an ageing, retired white American dealing with the change his neighbourhood evolving into a multicultural zone, predominantly of South Korean’s. The film was widely acclaimed as it focused on the demographic shifts,much as the difference in generations within their ideas and customs, as well as the common rise of cultural influences in suburbia.

Therefore, in our ever changing and growing world, fuelled by globalisation and cultural integration, Crossover Cinema is a fundamentally crucial element to helping bring tolerance and understanding to the masses. This concept is key to the global sphere, that being the media, people’s and ideals that make up the global community.

Stay Classy UOW,

Todd Steele


Khorana, S 2013, Crossover Cinema: A Genealogical and Conceptual Overview, pg.2

Gupta, S 2013, Project Cinema City Bombay/Mumbai, Tulika Print Communication Services, New Delhi


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