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Catering to an International Audience: The Case of Oppressed Majority

The New York Times recently ran a story on the newfound viral status of a 2010 French short called Majorité Oprimée (Oppressed Majority). The film depicts a day in the life of a schlub who goes about his duties in a parallel Parisian society where women reign supreme. While the daddies run day care, their wives run topless. The protagonist eventually shoulders his fair share of sexual harassment and abuse in an exercise that begins with a touch more subtlety.

The majority of the article discusses arguments over the role of gender in France’s workplace, but also of note to filmmakers is the fact that the YouTube video skyrocketed to 8.5 million views in under a month after director Eléonore Pourriat added English subtitles. A blog entry several months back at VHX determined that subtitles increase the likelihood an international audience will purchase a film by 200%. For a site that derives 48% of sales from outside the US, that’s not a bad stat to capitalize on.

Even if you feel your film is unique to a particular demographic, chances are, it’s a greater one than you think.

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