Brussels, 10 June 2008
"The cultural diversity of Europe's cinema and the attractiveness of our MEDIA programme have led to repeated requests from film-makers from South America, Asia, Russia and other continents to build bridges with Europe's audiovisual markets in order to mutually boost their potentials. In the same way that MEDIA pushes for fully exploiting the opportunity of Europe's single market, a MEDIA MUNDUS programme would facilitate the circulation of our films worldwide and vice versa, the distribution in Europe of films from partner countries all over the world. This means more choice for citizens and more culturally diverse films – all this in the spirit of the UNESCO Convention on cultural diversity," said EU Media Commissioner Viviane Reding.
Already in December 2007, the Commission, with the support of the European Parliament and the Council of Culture Ministers, launched the preparatory action "MEDIA International." With a budget of € 2 million in 2008, "MEDIA International" aims to strengthen exchanges between audiovisual professionals in the EU and third countries sharing the same priority for cultural diversity. It will run for up to three years and test ways of facilitating deals and widening networks between EU and third countries' professionals, to a mutual benefit. Actions supported in 2008 include continuous joint training (to be extended to film schools cooperation in the next years); joint promotional campaigns for the commercial distribution of cinematographic works; and support of projects between cinema networks – all of which will encourage film-goers in third countries to enjoy watching more European films in their own cinemas and vice-versa.
The public consultation now launched by the Commission on a possible MEDIA MUNDUS programme seeks feedback from stakeholders on the idea of complementing the MEDIA programme for the promotion, development and distribution of European films (annual budget: around €100 million) with a new international programme. Stakeholders are consulted on specific issues such as:
On the basis of the contributions received from the public debate, the Commission will decide before the end of 2008 about a proposal for a possible MEDIA MUNDUS programme. This idea has already found strong support among the Culture ministers participating in Europe Day 2008 at the Cannes Film Festival on 19 May.
Europe’s MEDIA programme already helps film-makers from 32 countries to access financing for the distribution of their audiovisual works worldwide. It is providing €755 million to Europe's audiovisual industry from 2007-2013 (IP/07/169).
Last month four MEDIA-funded films won prestigious awards at the Cannes Film Festival, including the Palme d'Or (Entre Les Murs) and the Grand Prix du Jury (Gomorra) (IP/08/800). These films were amongst the 14 screened at the Festival that had been developed or distributed with the support of more than €900 000 from the European Union's MEDIA programme (IP/08/741). MEDIA-supported films have already triumphed at the Oscars ceremony, with this year Oscars going to The Counterfeiters (Die Fälscher/Austria-Germany) and to La Vie en Rose (La Môme/France) (IP/08/298).
More info on the Public online consultation:
More info on the Public hearing:
Further info on MEDIA International: