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Films Global Database History

Published 10/05/2012 and rated Ratingstars2 2 out of 5 stars
by Dorothy Distefano
What can you use the app for?

FilmStory is an application developed to assist learners of all ages to learn about historical events via film. The goal is to create a database for the public to interact and learn about history primarily through the use of films. The application's "about us" section claims that the site is interactive, but other than an interactive map on the first page, there is little interactivity on the site. screenshot
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What is the history and popularity of the app?

The app was created in 2012 by a small group of friends who are passionate about the relationship between film and history. Their names are not listed, and there is no further information about the inception of the application or any traffic data.

What are the differences to other apps?

Most sites either feature history or film or the history of film making. FilmStory strives to show historical events through film and to explore the relationship between the two.

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How does the web app look and feel to use?

The app is very new. They are planning to find films from all over the world. Their initial focus is on those films featuring English subtitles or those that are filmed in the English language. The determination of eras, regions, and subjects are somewhat subjective as history does not always easily transition on one particular date and borders are constantly changing. The United Nations recognition and categorization of nation states was used to create the list of regions. The creators are open to discussion with site users to help them better understand if a particular film should be recategorized.

The site is under ongoing construction as the staff is working to expand the contents while improving the site. They hope to include more interactive features, short historical essays, resources, and other information of value.

The movies featured on FilmStory should be available via Internet search for purchase, though they may eventually be able to be purchased through the application.

Users may now browse via era, region, and subject, or do a search. Results for an Era browse describe the era, for example "late medieval", with a timeline and very brief description of the world at that time. A list of films follows, with a picture of the cover, when available, film title, director, release date, production country and a one to two sentence summary of the film. Clicking on the film reiterates the information as well as a list of themes with links to related movies.

What is truly lacking here are in-depth descriptions and/or discussions of the movies and links to view them online or purchase them. Simply knowing the movie is out there somewhere is not really enough information to use for anything... other than looking it up elsewhere.

The other issue is the claim of being "interactive". While an interactive map is nice to look at on the home page, and using it to reach data about that region could be considered interactive, the site would benefit from some discussion or even forum platforms for users to discuss the content... if they can find the films.

How does the registration process work?

No registration is necessary, but users may connect with Twitter, Google +, and Facebook, as well as a contact form on the site.

What does it cost to use the application?

There is no cost associated with this application.

Who would you recommend the application to?

At this point, the audience for the application is very limited. Perhaps researchers seeking movies about certain eras or regions will find the films they want more easily than with a Google search, but finding somewhere to actually view them is still a challenge and makes the site less useful.

  • Sort by Era
  • Sort by Region
  • Sort by Subject
  • Browse by film type
  • Interactive map

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