Brussels, 12 May 2011
Cannes Film Festival celebrates 20 years of MEDIA programme
The 20th anniversary of the European Commission's MEDIA programme for cinema will be the focus of the annual "European Rendezvous" at the Cannes Film Festival on 16 May. European Commissioner for Culture Androulla Vassiliou and Gilles Jacob, President of the Festival, will host the event with 20 European film directors, including Costa-Gavras, Théo Angelopoulos, Radu Mihaileanu and Jaco Van Dormael. They will discuss the MEDIA fund's achievements and the future of film-making in Europe. This year, MEDIA is supporting 20 films at the Festival, including eight in competition for the festival's top prize, the Palme d'Or. The films, from both new and well-known directors, include "La Piel Que Habito" (Pedro Almodóvar), "Melancholia" (Lars von Trier) and "Le Havre" (Aki Kaurismäki). See annex for full list. The MEDIA programme has invested more than €1.5 billion in the European cinema industry since 1991.
"I am delighted that European films once again feature very strongly at Cannes: it is the best possible reward for our 20 years of support for the film industry," said Commissioner Vassiliou. "The money we have invested has made a critical difference to the industry and helped to ensure cultural diversity and more choice for audiences. It has also boosted the development of European film-making. Without this support, some great films would not have made it to the screen at all."
During the festival, the Commissioner will also reiterate the European Commission's commitment to maintaining the MEDIA programme under the future EU budget. "Concerns have been raised in recent months and I want to allay those fears once and for all. The MEDIA programme is here to stay. We are determined to build on its successes so that the programme is even more effective in creating jobs and in meeting new challenges like digitization."
During her three-day visit to the festival, the Commissioner will hold meetings with, among others, the French Minister for Culture, Frédéric Mitterrand, industry representatives, and some of the personalities behind the films.
On 15 May, Commissioner Vassiliou will present the 2011 MEDIA European Talent Prize for the best film project to female scriptwriters Virág Zomborácz and Hanna Sköld (see IP/11/550).
She will also meet the team behind "17 filles" by Delphine and Muriel Coulin, which is showing as part of the "Semaine de la Critique" (critics' week) selection. Based on a true story, the film is about a group of high school girls who decide to get pregnant at the same time.
In the evening, she will attend the screening of "The Artist", a black-and-white film by French director Michel Hazanavicius set in 1920s Hollywood. It tells the story of the contrasting fortunes of a young actress (Bérénice Bejo) and a silent movie star (Jean Dujardin). The advent of the 'talkies' spells stardom for her - and the death knell for his career.
On 17 May, the Commission is organising a debate with national and regional film funds on new financial instruments to support the film industry.
The MEDIA programme is investing €755 million in the European film industry in the period 2007-2013 (more than €1.5 billion has been granted since its launch in 1991). The aim is to improve the distribution and promotion of European films and strengthen the competitiveness of the sector. Around half of the funding goes to distributors showing films made outside their own domestic market, with 20% allocated for film development and the remainder for promotion and training. Production companies selected for support receive on average grants of €50 000.
Films receiving support from MEDIA have won 12 Palme d’Or, 13 Grand Prix and 9 Best Director prizes at the Cannes Film Festival (see list below).
For more information:
The MEDIA programme: http://ec.europa.eu/media
The Cannes International Film Festival: http://www.festival-cannes.fr
Commissioner Vassiliou's website:
Annex I: MEDIA films showing at the Cannes Festival 2011
LA PIEL QUE HABITO - Pedro ALMODÓVAR (Spain)
L'APOLLONIDE - SOUVENIRS DE LA MAISON CLOSE - Bertrand BONELLO (France)
LE GAMIN AU VÉLO - Jean-Pierre et Luc DARDENNE (Belgium, France, Italy)
LE HAVRE - Aki KAURISMÄKI (Finland, France)
LA SOURCE DES FEMMES - Radu MIHAILEANU (France)
HABEMUS PAPAM - Nanni MORETTI (Italy)
THIS MUST BE THE PLACE - Paolo SORRENTINO (Italy, France, Ireland)
MELANCHOLIA - Lars VON TRIER (Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany, Italy)
UN CERTAIN REGARD
L'EXERCICE DE L'ETAT - Pierre SCHOELLER (France)
MICHEL PETRUCCIANI - Michael RADFORD (France, Germany, Italy)
LA FÉE - Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon et Bruno Romy (France, Belgium)
CODE BLUE - Urszula Antoniak (The Netherlands)
THE OTHER SIDE OF SLEEP - Rebecca Daly (The Netherlands, Hungary, Ireland)
LES GÉANTS - Bouli Lanners (Belgium, France, Luxemburg)
PLAY - Ruben Östlund (Sweden)
JEANNE CAPTIVE - Philippe Ramos (France)
CORPO CELESTE - Alice Rohrwacher (Italy)
IMPARDONNABLES - André Téchiné (France)
SEMAINE DE LA CRITIQUE INTERNATIONALE
17 FILLES - Delphine Coulin, Muriel Coulin (France)
Annex II: Prize-winning MEDIA films at Cannes since 1991