Film Independent Fri 8.31.2018

Guest Post: The 10 Profiles of Indie Cinema Lovers

Note: at Cannes this year we met select members of The Film Agency, an international film marketing consultancy firm that has worked on numerous hit film releases. We asked the agency, headquartered in Madrid, about their observations regarding film audiences today.


All across the film industry there is a worrying lack of qualitative information and insight into audience behaviour. On the one hand, box office data is no longer representative of the broad spectrum of platforms where films are being exploited; on the other, big data is owned only by big companies, and therefore not shared across the industry. This situation is odd for a high-risk industry full of prototypes.

Frankly, we are basically spending billions of dollars—blindly. Like virtually everyone in the film industry, we at The Film Agency make decisions based on finding a balance between data-driven expertise and gut feeling.

So we went ahead and started to think of what we can do in the face of such a situation, using design thinking tools and empathy maps to identify and shape at least 10 consumer profiles of indie cinema lovers. This content corresponds to our own empirical observation, market studies and ethnographic work (as opposed to the scientific method.) This post is meant to analize hypothetical trends, rather than fact. That said, here’s a sneak-peak of our work:



‘Les Filles Du Soleil’ (2018, dir. Eva Husson)

“There is nothing quite like the feeling of being in a cinema when the light goes off and the movie starts.”

This group is mainly composed of women over 30, highly educated, living in urban areas. They prefer the experience of going to the movie theatre; they like drama (but not too much suffering, they also appreciate feel-good fare!), value the empowerment of women and non-archetypical female characters in main roles, and are highly selective with the content they watch. This group are great fans of European and world cinema, and are loyal movie-theatre-goers. If this is your target audience, you have already solved a few problems!

We have marketed for them films like:

Les Filles Du Soleil

An iconic film they loved:

Toni Erdmann



‘El Angel’ (2018, dir. Luis Ortega)

“All I care about in life is one click away.”

This group encompasses mainly men over 25, highly educated, living in urban areas. Unlike the previous female-equivalent group they prefer the VOD experience (not always legally), as opposed to movie theatres. They are very eclectic, taking in all types of genres in films and series. They want to see everything that’s available, and they want it now—real all-you-can-eat types! If this is your target audience, think about how to reach them through non-traditional and alternative means. The classic movie theatre release pattern might not necessarily be the answer.

We have marketed for them films like:

El Angel 

An iconic film they loved:

Blade Runner



Royal Opera House simulcast

“I have the time of my life. Oh, I never felt this way before… ”

Mainly women over 60, with an average level of education, living in urban areas. This group has a great deal of time on their hands during the week to enjoy culture and take in the opera, ballet, classic concerts and feel-good films about the “Golden Age.” They are classical in their choices, reject edgy narratives and appreciate the beauty of music and the arts. This is the fastest growing age group in the film industry. They are loyal to event cinema and like to plan ahead. If this is your target, you are in a great position to get them into the movie theaters!

We have marketed for them event-cinema contents like:

Royal Opera House or Exhibition on Screen

An iconic film they loved:

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel


Now, having described these three main target audiences—which are quite broad—let’s take a look at some niche audiences that love indie cinema:



‘Lake Bodom’ (2016, dir. Taneli Mustonen)

“I can´t get enough of the adrenaline rush of a good horror movie. It´s a genre that will never get old…”

Similar age group to the hyper-connected movie addicts, but have a clear preference for horror movies, thrillers, slashers, gore and B-grade schlock. They prefer mainstream fare, but have no problem crossing over to indie when these elements are present. This group definitely prefers the VOD experience and does set foot in a movie theatre unless it’s to see a clear mainstream “must-see” or for an event-driven, action offering to bringing together their subculture. If this is your target, be creative about social media and alternative marketing initiatives.

We have marketed for them:

Lake Bodom

An iconic film they loved:

It Follows



‘Cien Dias De Soledad’ (2017, dir. José Díaz)

“Cinema is a fantastic vehicle to show Mother-Earth in all her beauty. We must use it to spread the love for our planet and divulge how to take care of it.”

Similar age group to indie-movie selectives, but have a clear preference for documentaries about the environment and how we live in it. They prefer to watch such contents on VOD platforms and usually share their thoughts about them on social media.

We have marketed for them:

Cien Dias De Soledad

An iconic film they loved:




‘Walk with Me’ (2017, dir. Max Pugh, Marc James Francis)

“I am, consciously, here now.”

Not a purist cinema lover but watches indie content from time to time when it touches their soul. In to mindfulness, yoga and meditation, as part of an ongoing quest to find a different way to deal with the hectic pace of the world…

We have marketed for them:

Walk with Me

An iconic film they loved:

The Great Silence



‘Sea Sorrow’ (2017, dir. Vanessa Redgrave)

“Cinema should be committed to the causes that matter.”

Watches politically-charged documentaries on VOD platforms but also tries to find and recommend indie gems to raise our awareness about injustice, financial and political problems, lack of diversity and corruption in the world. For this bunch, the call to action is key, and they will embrace your content if they think any engagement on their part can help to make that happen.

We have marketed for them:

Sea Sorrow

An iconic film they loved:

Inside Job



‘Stranger by the Lake’ (2013, dir. Alain Guiraudi)

“My activities calendar is so booked, I wish the week had more than seven days. So many interesting things happening, so little time!”

Key opinion leaders and changers with regard to the level of social awareness on issues such as diversity and inclusion. Trendsetters in their social circle niches. They appreciate content where non-archetypical LGBTQIA characters are in main roles and are great fans of quality indie cinema.

We have marketed for them:

Stranger by the Lake

An iconic film they loved:




‘Petra’ (2018, dir. Jaime Rosales)

“There is no greater feeling than watching a good film on a big screen. VOD can never be a replacement for the classic movie theatre experience.”

Usually working in the film industry or some similar domain. Cinephiles of all ages, who adore the cinema screen and the great auteurs, new and old. A fantastic target for edgy narratives and intelligent, slow-paced cinema. Always up with the latest on the film festivals circuit and with what critics are saying; worship certain big name directors.

We have marketed for them:


An iconic film they loved:

The 400 Blows



‘Mirai’ (2018, dir. Mamoru Hosoda)

“Animation is like watching the dreams of a genius.”

A true hipster and geek, usually working in the design or animation industry. A crossover to young hipster parents who want for their kids something other than the mainstream options. Manga films might very well be their wheelhouse, but they also dig into hidden European gems. They love art, illustration, drawing and visual arts.

We marketed for them:

Mirai and The Boy and the Beast

An iconic film they loved:

Ghost in the Shell


NOTE: The opinions expressed in this guest post are those of the authors: The Film Agency’s Sarah Calderón, Raquel Cabrera and Celia Fumanal.

To learn more about The Film Agency, please visit the group’s website. Learn how to become a Member of Film Independent by visiting our website. Be sure to follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram and don’t forget to subscribe to Film Independent’s YouTube channel.