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IELTS films essay

This is one of my model IELTS essays lessons where you can

  • read the essay
  • do a vocabulary exercise
  • get a full lesson on how to write the essay

Read the IELTS films essay

In recent years, people watch more  movies from overseas? What are the reasons for this? Should the government give financial support to local cinema to produce local films?

It is unquestionably the case that there is a growing trend for people to watch foreign films in preference to films made in their home country. In this essay, I will discuss why this is the case and why I believe national governments ought to support home grown cinema financially.

Perhaps the principal reason for the popularity of foreign made films is the globalisation of culture in the internet age. In the past, children growing up only had access to the culture and traditions of their own country and so preferred to watch films about their own land. Now in the era of Youtube, young people grow up with easy access to an international culture and so when they go to the cinema, they expect to see films that reflect that international culture and for them a Hollywood blockbuster is much “cooler” than a serious film in their own language.

A second reason why internationally produced films tend to dominate the domestic market is financial. The two great centres of world cinema, Bollywood and Hollywood, have studios with budgets of billions of dollars which can make films with exciting special effects and high production values. In contrast, locally produced films often have much smaller budgets are sometimes therefore less attractive to the mass market.

Personally, I believe that this globalisation of culture is not entirely positive and governments should take action to promote local films. If countries had their own film industries which could compete with the international studios, this would not only help preserve national culture, but would also create more choice for the public as global films offer little variety.

In conclusion, the main reasons for the expansion of international films are a new globalised world culture caused by the internet and the financial power of a few film studios in Hollywood and Bollywood. We would have more choice if the governments subsidised local films.

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Thinking about the question

In recent years, people watch more  movies from overseas? What are the reasons for this? Should the government give financial support to local cinema to produce local films?

This is a tricky double question. It is very important that you answer both halves of this question because if you don’t you will be penalised for bad Task Response. The first part of the question is perhaps the harder half as it asks you to give reasons why “international films’ have become so popular. Some possible ideas for you are:

  • a new global culture
  • the internet age
  • desire to see big budget films
  • the power of Hollywood/Bollywood
  • the influence of American TV
  • the spread of English as a world language
The second part of the question is a “Yes/No/Maybe” question. It is important here that you try and explain the reason for your answer. If you believe governments should provide support you can argue:
  • international films threaten local culture
  • they offer less choice to the viewer
  • it’s the duty of governments to protect national industries
  • local films are higher quality than mass-produced Indian/US films
If you want to argue that the government should not intervene, you can say:
  • there is still a place for local films on tv and in smaller cinemas
  • the new global culture is positive
  • people choose what they want to watch – it’s not the job of the government to interfere

Structure the essay

The logical approach here is to deal with the two questions in the question in separate paragraphs. So a possible structure might look like:


Note both parts of the task and show whether you believe the government should provide assistance

Para 1

Explain the reason why international cinema is more popular nowadays. (This is maybe a complex paragraph to write with the reasoning)

Para 2

Say whether the government should provide financial assistance. Explain why/not. (This is a chance to use an “If clause” which is good for your grammar)


Summarise the main idea in para 1 about why international cinema is popular and the main idea in para 2 about what the government should do.

Thinking vocabulary

Clearly, the main area of vocabulary for this essay is the cinema but you should also think about words and phrases for “finance”, “cause and effect” and possibly “globalisation”. Here are a few ideas for you:


  • provide financial support/support financially/financial backing/back financially
  • subsidise/give subsidies to
  • bankroll
  • give a tax incentive
  • budget


  • the global village
  • global culture
  • the internet age

Film and cinema

  • produce a film
  • film studio
  • blockbuster
  • art house film
  • special effects
  • the audience
  • the cinema-going public
  • film buffs

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14 Responses to IELTS films essay

  1. kanu September 2, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    Thankyou very much for your response. You are really a gem and may God bless you.

  2. rosaline September 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    thank you very much

  3. Dinaz September 7, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    Is it okay to use the word “cooler’ in a formal essay —-?

    Regards Dinaz

    • Dominic Cole September 9, 2011 at 6:54 am #

      Excellent question.

      It is unusual perhaps, but in this context it seems appropriate in that it relates to the attitude of young people who have grown up in the internet age: they regard a film as being “cool”. I have now amended the essay so that “cooler” is in speech marks to show that I am using it in a special way.

      It’s an excellent question as it shows that you understand that there are certain words that you do not normally use in more academic writing. I would only point out that there are no particular rules in this area about what words you should and shouldn’t use and that what matters is that you use mostly more academic/formal language. If you do this, then it does not matter so much if you use a few words which are less academic/formal.

  4. sumon September 8, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    Exilent explanation. I have question ,should we write the essay topic/task on the top or not ? If I write will be loose or bebefited?

    • Dominic Cole September 9, 2011 at 6:41 am #

      What will happen is that if you answer the question part, then you will automatically write about the topic as the question relates to the topic. The mistake is ONLY to write about the topic and ignore the task/question.

  5. sumon September 9, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    Sory, may be I could not explain what I wanted to know. As example shall I write this question at the top then write the answer? If not write will be panalised or not?

    “In recent years, people watch more movies from overseas? What are the reasons for this? Should the government give financial support to local cinema to produce local films?”


    • Dominic Cole September 10, 2011 at 1:33 am #

      There is no need to write out the question if that is what you are asking.

  6. Ann October 1, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    In this essay, the second sentence of the introduction directly says “In this essay, I will discuss why this is the case and ……” Is a good style in essay writing?

  7. Juan February 18, 2012 at 1:56 am #

    Thanks a lot for the page. It is definitely the best out there. Please keep going. It will help a lot of people get a good scor in the IELTS exam.

  8. SHAN November 4, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    hi, Dominic Cole
    This is my practice, please help me improve it. Thank you : )

    Over the last decades foreign films became a highly popular choice of children and adults, especially those blockbusters from Hollywood. My brief is that a new global culture and digital technology breakthrough primarily contribute to the trend and the local governments need to bankroll to local movies industries.
    There are several reasons for making the big budget movies so widely popular around the world. First of all the power of globalization leads to the fact that people are more likely to accept cultures, values and custom overseas, particularly from developed areas, like the United States. More often than not, the public believe the values and behaviors from the movies are advanced and would like to imitate. Generally speaking, this is considered as a new global culture. In addition, it is much easier and cheaper for the masses to watch the films from overseas because of the digital technology breakthrough. For instance, film buffs in China are being able to watch the newest movies produced by Hollywood at the same time as audiences in Los Angeles. What’s more watching movies online is becoming a widely acceptable and cost-efficient choice.
    There is a case to be made for giving subsidies to the local movies industry. The main argument for this is that there is a possibility that international movies are threatening the local culture, with fewer and fewer people, especially the young pay attention to learn and develop local cultures. However high quality local films can be a important way to offset the negative effect. Secondly audience tend to choose foreign films simply because they do not have alternatives, while some films studio would be well able to produce local films if they are given some funds from the state.
    In conclusion, thanks to the globalization and technology revolutions, people are able to watch many high quality movies from overseas. Typically, however the governments need to protect the local films from being completely replaced by offering necessary funds.

    • rishi February 2, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

      Good going shan

  9. Anonymous May 16, 2015 at 7:25 pm #

    Wow !
    This is the question we had it today in the test 16th may 2015. Dose this mean the questions are repeatable ?

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