Evidence Base

Evidence Base

It is only worth spending more time and money on a project if you are confident it works.

Since its inception, Social Film Drama has set about building an evidence base that can show what its films are achieving in practical terms.

We are currently working on an evaluation of the film ‘Leaving’ which is about domestic abuse.  We want to know:

  • How does the film affect people?
  • Does it lead to changes in awareness, perspective and attitude?
  • Does it lead to action – in terms of personal behaviour or policy change?
  • Does it lead to improved learning?
  • Does it lead to positive social change?


Based on the instant feedback we get after screening, ‘Leaving’ is clearly having a strong emotional impact on audiences and individuals.  Here is a selection of the questions we are trying to answer:

  • What proportion of people have this strong emotional reaction to the film?
  • To what extent is the type and strength of people’s emotional reaction the result of the story’s inherent drama and to what extent the result of it triggering memories or feelings in people’s own lives?
  • How does the film affect victims and survivors of domestic abuse?
  • Does the emotional empathy the audience develops for the characters, lead to a desire to take action? If so, for what proportion of the audience?
  • How long do these feelings and the desire to take action last?
  • Of those who feel they want to take some kind of supportive action, how many actually do so?
  • Is the film capable of producing action and behaviour change on its own, or can it only happen if the film screening is followed by direct personal prompting from people?
  • How does the film affect people’s desire and capacity to learn about the subject matter?
  • Does creating a strong emotional engagement with the subject matter at the start of a domestic abuse training session allow people to learn better?
  • If they do learn better with that emotional engagement, how much better? The initial evaluation results for Leaving have been very encouraging.  Results will be made available in due course.


We are currently using questionnaires post-screening to collect data.  Most audiences to whom the film has been shown have been invited and therefore their decision to attend pre-disposes them in favour of having a positive reaction.  In time, we hope to carry out research with random selected audiences; as well as combine quantitative with qualitative research.

We are currently looking to develop a partnership with an academic research team who would like to work with us on furthering this work.  If you are interested, please get in touch.


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