Is there any reason, under Film Entry, that there isn't a "Country" field, similar to the same field on Discogs? I don't see a forum entry anywhere for this topic, and I think it'd be a useful field to have.

hey lexionangel, that is a good point, I don't think there is a good reason for this information not being there. Will look into it, thanks for the feedback

FWIW, as I've been adding/updating films, I've been noting any non-US releases by the country of origin in the sub-genre field. I know some of my esteemed colleagues prefer a stricter reading of sub-genre, but I've never seen a clear reading of how strictly to follow it.

Country of origin is a location - not a sub-genre. Until there is a dedicated field for country of origin, I would think that information should be place in the NOTES field.

  • 1 for Country of origin for 'Film' submissions.

I'd also pitch for Country of Distribution for 'Release' submissions. These are generally known as 'Territories' in the industry.

I know this isn't always clear, but they can usually be established by Classification bodies and/or distributing company / division of company. Adding Territories would help narrow down searches - especially as the database gets more populated - on my travels, I have noticed some Films already have close to 30 releases (perhaps there are some with more?) ... and the database is still so very young.

Country of origin is a location - not a sub-genre. Until there is a dedicated field for country of origin, I would think that information should be place in the NOTES field.

+1 Sub Genre field is not a country field. And why should only non-US releases being tagged. If we do this I think all countries of origin should be tagged including US. Also this gives problems. based on what are we tagging this. Based on production? Based on first release?

I vote country (countries) of production for "Film", and territory (territories) for "Release" submissions. I would hope for a drop-down similar to what already exists on Discogs.

We've added these to fields. Countries to film and Territories to releases. We hope to have drop down suggester type functionality for them in place soon.

Let us know if you have any further thoughts or comments on these. And as always thanks for the feedback and suggestions.

If there are any bulk edits we could possibly do via scripting. Moving countries from subgenre to this new country field, let me know. Happy to look at automating repetitive manual data entry away when possible.

Just saw this. It's awesome. Nice work!

That's great and swiftly implemented too!

Just for user information - the term 'Territories' is used by distributors because it is sometimes more than one country e.g. UK & Ireland, or USA & Canada are often treated as single territories.

And sometime it is less than a country, e.g. India has up to 10 Territories for cinema releases within its borders - though truthfully I'm not sure this applies to DVD/Blu ray.

Are there any guidelines to add a Country to the film. As asked in a previous comment: is this based on production companies? Lots of European arthouse films have several (sometimes around 10) different financiers from different countries. So in that case Country is Netherlands/ Belgium/ France/ Germany/ Spain? Even when the actors and director is Dutch... Is that correct? Also more production companies should be added and updated to confirm Country.

Is Territory based on the market? Most dvd’s I have are Benelux copies, but the discs can have German, U.K., Irish, Spanish, Italian and Swiss right society on discs and or artwork. In that case, what is the Territory.

For RELEASES - wouldn't the TERRITORY be where that particular item was officially distributed in?

Oteis is right, both a Film's country of origin and a Release's distribution territory are not always straightforwardly identified. However, I think we can make sense of them here on Filmogs - especially since it is the problems that make for the need to account for them here. I apologise up front, this is a long answer - despite paraphrasing.

I'll start with the problems of ascertaining country of origin and distribution footprint - 'territory' as it is known. The issue for both here is law. Since each country (or even states within countries) have their own laws - they each have their own ways of defining both nation of origin and distribution for their own reasons - usually finance, tax issues, copyright etc. as well as political and cultural reasons. So the way Russia decides a film is Russian isn't the same as how France decides what a French film is.

The factors used in the decision can be any degrees and combinations of the following: content, technical facilities used, locations employed, human resources employed, financing bodies, skillsets/training used, distribution territories and 'windows' (a window is: theatrical, Premium TV, Free to air TV, DVD etc). Since every country sets its own rules for its own purposes and new governments modify them periodically, there can never be an absolute international standard.

However, that which is generally accepted is to follow the money - by which I mean the finance and funding bodies that originate a film. I suggest this method is best because e.g. allocating by production facilities alone is tricky. For example, if we did this then TRON wouldn't be an American film - since most of its post-production (in a post-production heavy film) was done in Taiwan. Just because a film was made somewhere does not make it culturally, economically or legally of that country. TRON is clearly an American film, financed, produced (production overseen at least) and distributed by an American studio for largely American interests. IMDb allocates the USA as country of origin since Disney's offices, that green-lit the production, are registered in America. Disney simply used Taiwanese animation houses because they were cheap, just like the reason Apple Computers and Nike sportswear use China to manufacture their goods.

So if we concentrate on finance and funding, this covers a lot of bases. Besides, many financiers will stipulate certain content/locations/production skill sets/human resources/distribution footprints as part of their financial package. It is in their interests to do so, since they will require returns on their investment and those returns might be economic and/or cultural and/or political.

IMDb, by concentrating on the home nation of the offices of the studio/production company originating the project does indeed follow the money too. And using IMDb as a rule of thumb is probably the way for us on Filmogs to go, even if they sometimes get it wrong. E.g they sometimes fail to acknowledge the international subsidies and tax breaks that Hollywood studios frequently make use of to co-finance their films, only detailed reading of the credits will reveal these.

And yes, as Oteis suggests, often this will mean many countries involved. The reasons many international co-productions feature quite so many countries is that each is lobbying strongly for their inclusion because they are increasingly and more pointedly aware they paid up front and demand acknowledgment. This is very common in European co-productions.

Anyway - if a Filmogs user wishes to make an alteration to country/countries of origin as allocated by IMDb, Allmovie, or any other film resource, it is perhaps for them to argue the case here in the forum, using factual data from the release in hand.

As for Territories. As EK_ states, this is the principle distribution footprint of a particular release. So yes, Oteis, it is my understanding that 'Benelux' is a standard single Territory - since each of the member countries has decided to align their individual laws to facilitate the distribution of films to them all, in one fell swoop.

As I have said before - Territories can usually be ascertained by cross-referencing:
Company. E.g. Artificial Eye is a UK based distributor for the most part in the UK & Ireland alone) Universal Pictures (UK) is the UK (& Ireland) Territorial division of that major studio.
Classification bodies - Classification is a legal requirement by some (but not all) countries - so their inclusion will indicate primary marketplace(s).
Country Codes in Catalog Number / UPC (barcode).
Region encoding.
Language(s) used in packaging.

I should note that dubbed or subtitled languages is not always indicative of primary territory, of course, since often a company will re-use parts/discs/authored prints in a repackaged form for secondary territories. So there is absolutely no need to re-list the languages in the languages and subtitle section as Territories in the Territory section.

I propose that sticking to primary territories would be be best practice. This will not always be exact - however, it is potentially useful in identifying a specific release precisely because of the legal particularities of individual countries/territories of that primary territory. For example, the listing of copyright for the UK & Ireland territory will generally include a Limited Company (Ltd) since that is legal terminology for companies incorporated within that territory, Benelux will use BV, etc.

Is this making any sense?

Determine by using GS1 country code found in UPC/EAN

Thanks EK_ GS1 is potentially useful in identifying Release Territories, but I'm unsure it can be the only one. I confess ignorance about barcoding - since I've only started noting them as a consequence of using Filmogs - just a few months now - but have begun to notice patterns. Perhaps further research on how this pertains to Territories including more than one country is required. Certainly the majority of UK & Ireland codes begin with a 50x which aligns with GS1 UK code, but not necessarily Ireland.

Plus I have noticed that Warner Bros UK prefixes most often with 7321 (which would be Sweden(?) and this is for discs often without Swedish subtitles) and I have noticed a percentage beginning 871x (Disney I think) which would suggest Netherlands. Universal seems to use switch between UK and French GS1 codes - despite English language packaging. It is quite possible these multinational companies register in countries beyond prospective territories and/or outsource to their other offices occasionally? I have friend who works at Warner Bros and another at Sony. Next time I see either, I will ask.

Further to Oteis' concerns re: Film countries of origin. If actors or technicians come from one principle country - though it certainly can - it doesn't automatically follow that originating Film funds came from that country.

It is very easy to see how confusion arises. Especially when, for example, Japan funds British period costume dramas because they sell well in their home market. And conversely the UK has funded several samurai films for the same reason.

In the spirit of some light relief on this topic... just a few days ago I had the following conversation with my mother:

She: I just saw an Indian film called 'Life of Pi'.
Me: It's not Indian! Just because it is partly set in India, features a lead Indian character and a few Indian languages can be heard in it, doesn't make it an Indian film. There were tigers in it too remember? [winking] And tigers made it.
She: [laughing] Of course they did!
Me: Truthfully, it's an American/Taiwanese/UK/Canadian co-production based on a Canadian source novel. I.e. not especially Indian. American/Taiwanese/UK and Canadian companies all paid for it to be developed and produced, so they get the credit.
She: [not in the least interested] I see!
Me: But... thinking about it... I'm prepared to bet that those financing companies outsourced the writing of reams and reams of CGI code to an army of cheaper Indian programmers. So actually, I think you might possibly be right. It could arguably, and by sheer coincidence, be just a bit Indian.
She: [smiling and nodding wisely] Mother always knows best.

Global Register of Publishers (ISBN)

https://grp.isbn-international.org/

Search by GTIN

http://gepir.gs1.org/index.php/search-by-gtin

BTW - Looked the GTIN info for my copy of "Life Of Pi"

  • Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment LOS ANGELES CA
    GS1 Company Prefix 0024543

RELEASES are way easier to determine. Since I do not add FILM data, I am not going to concern myself with "Country of Origin"!

Also useful for Territoriesare the Country codes on the spine of Warner Bros films. Z1 was U.K., Z9 was Benelux if I’m correct. I believe there was a list in the forums.

I noticed a dropdown has been added with countries. Most releases I have are Benelux will this be added to the dropdown as well or should I add Belgium, Netherlands & Luxemburg.

You can type 'Benelux' in the Territory field and create that option, sounds like it will get a lot of use

Thanks for the links EK_

And Oteis, I've also noticed such company country codes. I'd be curious to see that list - perhaps even replicated in the submission guidelines.

Falsepriest et al - great job making Territories a free entry field as well as a drop down menu.

And Oteis, I've also noticed such company country codes. I'd be curious to see that list.

We’ve talked about it in the forums before. Check link below.
https://www.filmo.gs/forum/119497-anyone-know-what-the-z1-is-on-the-spine-of-many-major-label-dvds

Thanks Oteis, in the absence of a forum search facility, you are an essential guide

Thanks Oteis, in the absence of a forum search facility, you are an essential guide

Could there be also a territory named Scandinavia? Many releases are shared in Danmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

Could there be also a territory named Scandinavia? Many releases are shared in Danmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

You can add Scandinavia in the territory field, even if it doesn't come up as a suggestion. For now the suggestions are limited to the countries.

You can type 'Benelux' in the Territory field and create that option

Thanks. Just created Benelux.

Some countries in the dropdwon list would need a little bit of editing:

Czechia -> should be Czech Republic
Taiwan, Province of China --> should be just Taiwan (for the sake of clarity)

Thanks!

@tam89rds: We are currently using a list based on the
ISO 3166 standard for country codes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166-1_alpha-2

The entries for the countries you mention come with disclaimers:

Previous ISO country name: Czech Republic

ISO country name follows UN designation (due to political status of Taiwan within the UN)

I guess there will always be these edge cases.

I wasn't aware either for CZ. I was there recently and all official mentions are still Czech Republic (Česka Republika).
Seems Czech people themselves are not aware of the change :)
For Taiwan it is very political of course as "Taiwan, province of China" is how the People's Republic of China calls it. The PRC has the seat in the UN and calls the shots.
Taiwan calls itself "Republic of China" officially, Taiwan being the casual daily use. It is called as such on discogs. The problem is China accuses anybody who just says "Taiwan" of being a separatist, a supporter of Taiwan independence. Difficult to have a neutral position, but Taiwan is still neutral really unless you are pro-PRC...

Not to mention that at the Olympics Taiwan is forced to compete under the name: 'Chinese Taipei'...

However, I think the important thing on Filmogs is consistency. Taiwan is what we see on the sleeve of a release.

But this brings up a potential issue. What about states that have changed their name/borders? Historically a film or release made in West Germany or USSR is made in a different polity and geographic area than present day Germany or Russian Federation. I would argue that remaining true to the name at the time of making and/or release would be best practice. I know that users are able to add free text in the country / territory field, but it might make sense to have commonly entered ones in the drop down list. The USSR made a lot of films!

USSR should definitely be on the list. But if we can add it ourselves, it is OK

And German Democratic Republic of course (+ Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia)

Yeah, this is a tough one. I think the primary guideline should be that data should be added as its listed on the physical item. And the form allows for this as it is, even if some edge cases aren't listed as suggestions.

it might make sense to have commonly entered ones in the drop down list.

We will look into this, we can see which ones the form might need as more data is added.

Can Territories be made a mandatory (red asterisk) when making an entry? i noticed that for the VCDs there are some entries that have no territory listed.

Can Territories be made a mandatory (red asterisk) when making an entry? i noticed that for the VCDs there are some entries that have no territory listed.

We just started with the adding Territories so most of the releases in the database are still missing the Territory.

Yes, like Oteis said, territories were added recently, so making them mandatory now would mean that all older submissions are invalid. Which would make them harder to update.

Furthermore I'm not sure it is always possible to identify a territory from a release .

We could update all of those older submissions just to have a "Other" or "Unknown" territory. And then slowly they would get the correct territory I would imagine. But I think we'd have to think through the pros and cons a bit more.

Notwithstanding legal issues etc, I think we should simplify the countries list, as per my Discogs experience: most users can not differentiate on Discogs between North Korea and South Korea.
How do you expect them to distinguish between what we have here:
Korea, Republic of
and
Korea, Democratic People's Republic of
?
No way, this is going to be a mess.
We already have releases here under Korea, Republic of, and someone created North Korea... so it is already messy.

I suggest:
Replace Korea, Democratic People's Republic of by --> North Korea
Replace Korea, Republic of by --> South Korea
Replace Taiwan, Province of China by --> Taiwan

Let us be pragmatic!

Plus, as on Discogs, delete useless entries that will never be used or only used wrongly, because the territory has no population or no civilian population (only army base). Those extra entries just clutter the list and leave the field open for little jokers that like to add fantasy countries:

Bouvet Island (no population)
British Indian Ocean Territory (only the US army base of Diego Garcia there)
French Southern Territories (only scientific bases, anyway included in Antarctica)
Heard Island and McDonald island (no population)
South Georgia and the South Sandwich (only scientific bases, under Antarctica)
US Minor Outlying Islands (no population, only army bases)

I second both tam89rds suggestions.

USSR should definitely be on the list. But if we can add it ourselves, it is OK

Just added Soviet Union to the list for a film entry I just created. One problem though. It is currently Estonia. Should I add Estonia to Territory as well?
https://www.filmo.gs/film/298904-porgu

I would not add Estonia as a territory here, those were the Soviet times. I would put it in notes.

Tam89rds is right. The country (not territory - that is a release term) producing the film was USSR/Soviet Union.

Filmogs staff. The list of countries needs updating as per suggestions here. Already we have the potential for two separate countries - USSR and Soviet Union where only one will do. A decision should be made and the name added to the drop down list.

Same goes for East Germany, West Germany, Russia (pre Russian Federation and Soviet Union) Yugoslavia, and any other film producing country that no longer exists. Thanks.

Any update on this?

No, not yet. We have not prioritised changing this country list, still thinking about the best way to go.

There are couple of reasons that I don't think this is super urgent:

  • You can add things that aren't on the list
  • If/when we do change the options, or even if we don't, it is still fairly easy to bulk change and consolidate the options (e.g. moving all submissions from Soviet Union to USSR or vice versa).
  • I'm not all too eager to edit and maintain our own version of an otherwise standardised list. So thinking if there's a better fit.

[otherwise standardised list]

It is not. Country names change all the time so the list has anyway a need to be updated regularly. Corrections as mentioned above are part of this regular maintenance. By allowing to enter anything as "country" you already have a pending disaster on your hands, with the same country entered twice or more in different forms (already the case for the 2 Koreas). Why not to straighten it now that there are only few subs, rather than later?

Discogs list of countries is the best, updated list available. If you want a good standard list, just copy the Discogs list, and you are done.

It is not. Country names change all the time so the list has anyway a need to be updated regularly.

They do change indeed. But we are using a software package that is based on a a standard, ISO 3166 (that is periodically updated, which why I'm keen to avoid making personal changes to it).

ISO 3166 is a standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that defines codes for the names of countries, dependent territories, special areas of geographical interest, and their principal subdivisions (e.g., provinces or states).

By allowing to enter anything as "country" you already have a pending disaster on your hands, with the same country entered twice or more in different forms (already the case for the 2 Koreas). Why not to straighten it now that there are only few subs, rather than later?

I think the having suggested values but with the free text option is the best way to go:

  • It allows users to add options that we might have missed (countries that no longer exist, territories like Benelux or Scandinavia, etc)
  • It doesn't require developer/admin time in order for users to submit correct data.
  • Spotting and merging duplicates is easy if/when we decide to do so.

I don't think the Discogs country list is undisputed either.

[Discogs country list is undisputed either.]

It has been updated a few times after discussions and consensus, and stands currently undisputed.

[ISO 3166 is a standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that defines codes for the names of countries, dependent territories, special areas of geographical interest, and their principal subdivisions (e.g., provinces or states).]

Well, except that you are not using it fully: subdivisions like provinces and states are not included. But what you have in your ISO list are territories without any population or permanent population, that should not be in the list.

But if you are ready to correct mistakes, double country entries, joke subs etc along the way, and you believe it is less work for staff and developers than having a strong list to start with, fine with me.

Or are these corrections rely on dedicated users, like on discogs, thus indeed saving staff time? ;)

I think the having suggested values but with the free text option is the best way to go

Sounds good to me. I’ve already added Benelux and Soviet Union a couple of times.

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