Brussels, 27 August 2008
Cooperation with the European film industry is in strong demand around the globe. The results of the first call for projects of a new EU initiative, the MEDIA International Preparatory Action, show a lot of interest from audiovisual professionals around the world in working with Europe's film and audiovisual sector. The EU will provide nearly €2 million of funding for 18 projects involving partners from Canada, Latin America, India, China, South Korea, Japan, Morocco, Bosnia, Turkey and Georgia. The projects include joint training of film professionals, reciprocal promotion of films and cooperation between cinema networks. This could set the stage for a broader EU film cooperation programme called MEDIA MUNDUS, coming in 2011.
"The idea of a culturally diverse and innovative film sector is triggering a strong desire for cooperation between Europeans and third country professionals. The positive reactions to the Commission's call for projects is a good preview of the EU's role in supporting cooperation that can create new business opportunities and boost Europe's audiovisual industries," said Viviane Reding, EU Media Commissioner. "With the current MEDIA programme already earning accolades for its impact at European level, such as funding Oscar and Palme d'Or winners, it will be exciting to see it play on a world stage. This is definitely an important coming attraction for film fans who will now have more opportunities to watch films from all over the world."
Of 33 applications received in the first MEDIA International call for projects, the European Commission has selected 18 proposals to receive funding for continuous training of audiovisual professionals, the promotion and distribution of cinematographic works and the development of cinema networks. 11 projects deal with continuous training through partnerships with Latin America, India, Canada, Turkey, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia covering films, TV shows, animation, documentaries and videogames. For example, the Cartoon Connection project will organise a joint training on developing and financing international co-produced cartoons for professionals from the EU, Latin America and Canada. Primexchange is a workshop for authors and producers from India and Europe on financing and marketing audiovisual works, with special focus on digital technologies.
The six projects selected by the Commission for promotion of audiovisual works focus on boosting co-production, which can help companies access foreign funding and new markets. For example, the European Producers' Club will organise co-production workshops in China and India and invite local producers to two major forums in Europe. The DOMLA project will organise a documentary month, releasing 12 European documentaries in Chile and vice versa distributing Latin-American documentaries in Europe. The Paris project is a co-production event for European, Japanese and South-Korean producers.
Finally, MEDIA International will support the first international network of cinemas, coordinated by Europa Cinemas, including 230 cinemas in Europe and 148 cinemas from the rest of the world (10 in Brazil, 7 in South Korea, 6 in Japan and Argentina).
The proposals accepted today are part of a Preparatory Action called MEDIA International, for which the European Parliament voted a budget of €2 million last December. It aims to explore ways of reinforcing cooperation between European and third country professionals from the audiovisual industry. MEDIA International will run for up to three years and is also designed to pave the way for a broader MEDIA MUNDUS programme.
In the context of a public online consultation on this future programme (IP/08/909), a public hearing was held in Brussels on 25 June 2008. The French Presidency of the EU held the Cinema, Europe, World colloquium on 8 July to reinforce EU external audiovisual action. On the basis of these contributions, the Commission will decide before the end of 2008 on a proposal for a MEDIA MUNDUS programme.
The existing MEDIA 2007 programme will provide €755 million to Europe's audiovisual industry from 2007-2013, helping professionals get training and develop, distribute and promote their works around Europe (IP/07/169).
This May, four MEDIA-funded films won prestigious awards at the Cannes Film Festival, including the Palme d'Or (Entre Les Murs, France) and the Grand Prix du Jury (Gomorra, Italy) (IP/08/800). They were among 14 films screened at Cannes developed or distributed with the support of over €900 000 from MEDIA (IP/08/741). MEDIA-supported films had already triumphed at the Academy Awards, with Oscars for The Counterfeiters (Die Fälscher/Austria-Germany) and La Vie en Rose (La Môme/France) (IP/08/298).
The call for proposals on MEDIA International and list of successful grantees:
List of projects selected within the framework of Call for Proposals
"MEDIA International 2008/1"