The European Commission has announced €5 million of funding for 2009 to strengthen cultural and commercial relations between Europe's film industry and film-makers of third countries. The EU funding will enable European film makers, animators and other audiovisual professionals to learn new skills, and promote the industry, by cooperating with professionals outside Europe, and vice-versa. 40 projects will benefit from EU funding. They include joint training, reciprocal promotion, distribution and film screenings and other actions to encourage audiences in Europe and abroad to discover foreign films. The funding takes place under MEDIA International, an initiative for EU funding of international film cooperation started in 2008. Compared to 2008, this year's funding and number of selected projects have more than doubled (last year, 18 projects were funded by the EU with €2 million, IP/08/1273 ). This was made possible thanks to last December's vote by the European Parliament to increase the budget for international cooperation in the film sector.
"Europe has an exciting, culturally diverse and innovative film sector which is eager to share its knowledge with audiovisual professionals from other parts of the world and at the same time to learn from them, taking into account other cultural backgrounds and experiences" said Viviane Reding, EU Media Commissioner. " The €5 million announced today for project funding demonstrates the EU's enhanced commitment to boosting Europe's audiovisual industries internationally. I am particularly grateful to the European Parliament for its decisions which have highlighted the importance of cross-border cooperation and cultural diversity for the film sector in Europe and in our partner countries. "
To strengthen the global outreach of Europe's film sector, the European Commission announced today the 40 projects selected out of the 95 applications for funding under MEDIA International, an EU funding action that is running over three years (2008-2010). The European Parliament voted last December an enhanced budget of €5 million for 2009. Today's announcement is the start of intensified EU efforts to increase consumer choice by bringing more diverse films to European and international markets and create new business opportunities for audiovisual professionals from Europe and around the globe.
A total of 23 training projects will be funded, partnering European and global professionals to deepen understanding of the operating conditions, legal frameworks, and financing of the audiovisual markets abroad. For example, the Babylon International project will organise workshops in cooperation with West-African countries.
Ten projects that help audiovisual works to access international markets and promote their chances for distribution have also been funded. The Producers Lab Toronto will build on its strong links with the Toronto International Film Festival to create new in-roads for up-and-coming European and Canadian producers with strong projects targeted for international co-production.
The EU is also supporting 4 projects on the distribution of European films in third countries and vice-versa. In particular Ventana Sur is opening up a major new film market for Latin-American productions in Buenos Aires thanks to cooperation between the Argentinean Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales and the Cannes International Film Market.
Furthermore, the EU is also supporting Europa Cinemas , a network of 342 cinemas in Europe and 183 in third countries for the screening of European, Mediterranean, Asian and Latin-American films.
Finally, MEDIA International will support 2 projects aiming at increasing the potential audience for foreign films. One of them, called Operation Kino, will use a travelling digital projector to bring European and International films to cinema-deprived areas.
The MEDIA International preparatory action was agreed by the EU institutions in 2007 to pave the way for the new MEDIA MUNDUS programme. This new EU programme for international film cooperation will run from 2011-2013 and provide €15 million of funding to capitalise on growing interest and the opportunities offered by global cooperation of the EU audiovisual industry ( IP/09/26 ).
Within Europe, the existing MEDIA 2007 programme will provide €755 million to Europe's audiovisual industry from 2007-2013, helping European professionals get training and develop, distribute and promote their works around Europe ( IP/07/169 ).
Over the past years several MEDIA-funded films produced in Europe have proven the investment worth winning prestigious awards including, at the Cannes Film Festival, the Palme d'Or ( Entre Les Murs, France ), the Grand Prix du Jury ( Gomorra, Italy ) ( IP/08/800 ) as well as Oscars for The Counterfeiters ( Die Fälscher/Austria-Germany ), La Vie en Rose ( La Môme/France ) ( IP/08/298 ) and most recently Slumdog Millionaire (UK) ( IP/09/284 ).
- List of projects supported so far under MEDIA International:
- On MEDIA MUNDUS: http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/media/mundus/index_en.htm
- RESULTS OF 2 nd CALL MEDIA INTERNATIONAL, PREPARATORY ACTION 2009 - Tables