Brussels, 6 August 2013
MEDIA and Creative Europe in the spotlight at Locarno Film Festival
Nine films supported by the European Union's MEDIA programme for cinema will be screened at the 66th Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland (7-17 August). Five of the films are in competition and four will be shown in the 8 000 capacity Piazza Grande, one of the world's largest open-air screens. Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner responsible for the MEDIA programme, will attend the festival this weekend. Highlights at this year's festival will include appearances by Christopher Lee, Faye Dunaway, Anna Karina, Werner Herzog, Sergio Castellitto, Otar Iosseliani and Jacqueline Bisset, who will receive a lifetime achievement award.
"The MEDIA programme is once again in the spotlight at Locarno, which has always been a fantastic platform for European films," said Commissioner Vassiliou. "MEDIA stands for a strong European film industry and for cultural diversity. I am delighted that MEDIA will continue to support our most talented film-makers as part of the new Creative Europe programme from next year," she added.
Some 150 000 cinema-goers fans are expected in Locarno over the course of the festival, as well as 3 000 professionals from the film world and nearly 1 000 journalists.
In addition to specific support for films at the festival (see list below), the MEDIA programme also provides funding for the festival's 'Industry Days' (10-11 August) and 'Step In' initiative, which offer a networking platform for producers, agents and distributors specialising in independent and art-house films.
Locarno will also host the latest in a series of 'PUENTES' workshops, which bring together producers from Europe and Latin America with experts, potential financiers, sales agents and distributors from both continents. The PUENTES scheme is supported by MEDIA Mundus, the international version of the MEDIA programme. Projects developed after previous PUENTES workshops at festivals include Gloria, the new Chilean-Spanish drama by Sebastian Lelio, which won the Silver Bear for Best Actress (Paulina García) at this year's Berlin Film Festival.
Launched in 1991, MEDIA (acronym for 'Mesures pour encourager le développement de l´industrie audiovisuelle' – Measures to encourage the development of the audiovisual industry) has invested €1.6 billion in film development, distribution, training and innovation with the aim of increasing the diversity and international competitiveness of the European film and audiovisual industry.
33 countries currently participate in the MEDIA programme: the 28 EU Member States plus Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and, the latest to join the scheme (since July), Bosnia and Herzegovina.
MEDIA has allocated €755 million in funding under the 2007-2013 EU budget. Around half of this sum has supported the distribution of foreign films in the participating countries and 20% has gone to producers and directors developing new film projects. The remainder supports marketing and training for film professionals.
Film production companies selected for funding from MEDIA receive a subsidy of
MEDIA Mundus has supported cooperation between European film professionals and their counterparts overseas since 2008. It has a budget of €15 million for 2011-2013.
Creative Europe – the future of the MEDIA programme
2014 marks the start of a new era for MEDIA and MEDIA Mundus as part of the Creative Europe programme. The new programme will continue to provide grants to support film development, training and distribution, as well as launching a new loan guarantee fund aimed at making it easier for the cultural and creative sectors to access loans. Creative Europe is expected to have an overall budget of around €1.3 billion in 2014-2020, an increase of nearly 9% compared with the existing MEDIA and Culture programmes. The new programme is subject to final approval from the European Parliament and the Council of the EU this autumn.
For more information
European Commission: MEDIA
Follow Androulla Vassiliou onTwitter @VassiliouEU
ANNEX 1: Films with MEDIA support at Locarno
Film title, director and country of production. Figures are the amount in MEDIA funding received so far.
MEDIA support : €35 000
MEDIA support: €33 063
MEDIA support: €83 500
MEDIA support: €24 000
Concorso Cineasti del presente
MEDIA support: €23 000
Hors compétition Piazza Grande
MEDIA support: €50 000
MEDIA support: €68 000
MEDIA support: €66 000
MEDIA support: €50 000.