Tuesday, December 16, 2014

FREEDOM DEAL: Story of Lucky - Popular Among Youth in Cambodia & Thailand

Interesting year-end analytics of a section of Camerado's Southeast Asian supernatural historical drama, FREEDOM DEAL: The Story of Lucky, clearly demonstrates the movie's popularity among local (Asian) audiences.  

Of a total 194, 463* minutes viewed (*4.43685041 months), the breakdown is as follows:

As the movie is set in 1970 along the Cambodia / Vietnam border during the US-Vietnam conflict, and is produced in the Khmer language, it should come as no surprise that Cambodia's metrics take the lead here, with 47% of total views (91, 227 minutes watched).  

Thailand follows with 28% (54, 465 minutes watched), lending support to a regional supernatural & historical appreciation of the film's context.  Thailand also happens to share a similar supernatural being, which is called the 'Arb' in Cambodia, yet named 'Krasue' in Thai language.

Vietnam follows with only 6.5 % viewership (12, 585 minutes), which is notable since the story is set during the US-Vietnam war (aka 2nd Indochina conflict). 

However, it's worth pointing out that the Vietnamese principal characters that will appear in the expanded FREEDOM DEAL project do not appear in the 'Story of Lucky', which is a standalone medium length drama based on a section of the feature screenplay.

The US comes in 4th in terms of total views, but is slightly higher than Vietnam in terms of minutes watched and average view duration. Both numbers would obviously be expected to increase pending the involvement of name US / Western talent in the expanded feature & episodic variations of the FREEDOM DEAL project.

Another key point of the metrics seen here is the traffic source (not pictured yet), which shows an overwhelming use of mobile platforms for viewership.  This factor indicates a heavy viewership among the youth demographic, which is satisfying overall since that demographic - particularly in Cambodia - frequently lacks significant context and understanding of their own country's history.

Thus, even in the adapted format (medium length movie versus anticipated feature and episodic), FREEDOM DEAL is effective in revealing a little known historical chapter of  the region's history to an important, emerging youth demographic.

Even so, the Entertainment-Education format used the a prosocial vehicle in 'Story of Lucky' seems to be lost on some viewers, notably and curiously, a significant swath of international film festival programmers and reviewers. 

Reception among that group appears to be driven by a tendency or political imperative to embrace Western or international-skewed depictions of populist elements in the SE Asian context - i.e., what a Cambodian or Southeast Asian story 'should be' - rather than an acceptance of what local Asian audiences (especially youth) actually find to be appealing according to the data driven analysis, above.