Close-up / Next generation and their lives with film, series and social media

NEW REPORT. The Danish Film Institute is proud to release a comprehensive new report, which offers an in-depth look into the media habits of children and young people in Denmark.

The insights gained from 'Close-up: A study of 7–18-year-olds and their lives with films, series, and social media' will contribute to a broader understanding of young audiences' media consumption. This report is intended to serve as a resource for filmmakers to create content and for educators and policymakers to stimulate content that resonates with younger generations - the future audiences."

This qualitative study explores the preferences and behaviors of 122 participants aged 7-18, focusing on their engagement with various visual media, such as films, series, social media content, and games.

The full report, "Close-up: A study of 7–18-year-olds and their lives with films, series, and social media," is available for download.

Strategic Head of 'Closer to the audience' at The Danish Film Institute Sanne Juncker Pedersen says, "Our experience shows that deeper and ongoing insights into children and young people's actual behavior, lives, emotions, and thoughts can break echo chambers and be creatively inspiring. We all need to listen more if we want to maintain and strengthen relevance and appeal to new generations. The study is an important part of supporting this."

Key findings from the report include:

  1. Young audiences prefer edgy narratives, genre play, and boundary exploration over social realism and 'the all-too-nice'.
  2. Social media's 'real content' satisfies the need for identification, but relatable and authentic emotions remain crucial in fiction content.
  3. Surprising and preferably explosive character developments are more important to young viewers than the message, theme, and narrative itself.
  4. Young audiences want to 'feel' the content they see, using emotions as navigation and evaluation parameters within seconds.
  5. As they grow older, they transition from seeking laughter to desiring relaxation, reflection, and partial disconnection.
  6. Movies are associated with Friday, friends, family, and weekends.
  7. With limited time, serial narratives and short formats—especially less complex ones—fit better into young viewers' daily lives with screen rules and bedtimes.
  8. Local movies are perceived almost as one genre; young audiences crave genre diversity and fascination.
  9. A closer connection to content creators strengthens their engagement with the content itself.
  10. Children and young people actively watch and create user-generated content, evolving from play to a critical part of identity formation. They are aware of sharing risks and are interested in co-determination and competence development in an educational context.

Special Consultant Charlotte Giese concludes, "We want a deeper understanding of the role of film in children and young people's formation processes, and what moving images mean for their experience of themselves and their surroundings. Which narratives, formats, genres, and platforms are relevant to them, and what does their own production and sharing of content mean? Children and young people's attitudes and habits are important to know, also when it comes to the continued development of a film and culture mediating practice. New knowledge is nourishment for actors in both the film, culture, and education sectors, and we look forward to sharing the study's insights."

The report is conducted by will&agency.

For more information

Sanne Juncker Pedersen
Strategic Head of 'Closer to the audience'
Phone: +45 2244 0037

Charlotte Giese
Special Consultant
Phone: +45 2332 9030

About the Danish Film Institute

The Danish Film Institute is the national agency responsible for supporting and encouraging film and cinema culture in Denmark. Its mission is to ensure that Danish film remains a vital and distinctive part of Danish and global media culture, both now and in the future.

The Danish Film Institute supports the development, production, and distribution of films, provides resources and services for the film industry, and promotes Danish films and film culture at home and abroad.