Brussels, 5 February 2014
MEDIA and Creative Europe in limelight at Berlinale
Nearly 30 films supported by the European Union's MEDIA fund have been selected for the official programme of the Berlin International Film Festival (6-16 February). The films, which include four in the main competition (see full list below) have received €2.2 million in EU funding to date. The bulk of funding from MEDIA, part of the new Creative Europe programme, supports the international distribution of European films outside their country of origin. Over the next seven years more than 800 European films will receive a total of €800 million in development and distribution support from MEDIA. Film industry professionals are invited to a Creative Europe information day on 10 February.
Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: "We are honoured that the festival has selected so many films supported by MEDIA for this year's programme. The Berlinale is without doubt one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world and a beacon for the best in European film-making. The Creative Europe programme demonstrates our commitment to supporting cultural and linguistic diversity in the European film industry, as well as helping it to make the most of the opportunities created by digitisation and globalisation."
The MEDIA-backed films at the festival represent a variety of European countries, stories, genres and artistic approaches. The four competing for the 'Golden Bear', the festival's top prize, are: Aimer, boire et chanter (France), Aloft (Spain-Canada-France), Zwischen Welten (Germany) and Kraftidioten (Norway-Sweden-Denmark).
The 'Berlinale Special' selection features a host of top European directors including Volker Schlöndorff, Wim Wenders and Pernille Fischer Christensen. MEDIA-supported films have also been selected for the 'Panorama Fiction', 'Documentary', 'Forum', 'Generation 14plus', 'Generation Kplus' and 'Culinary Cinema' categories at the festival.
The Berlinale will also present the 2014 'Shooting Stars', an initiative which aims to promote new acting talent. Ten actors from across Europe are chosen by a panel of experts from candidates nominated by the member organisations of the European Film Promotion (EFP) body. The 10 stars will be presented to the industry, press and public at the festival, and this is often the launch-pad for an international career. This year's Shooting Stars are: Danica Curcic (Denmark), Maria Dragus (Germany), Miriam Karlkvist (Italy), Marwan Kenzari (The Netherlands), Jakob Oftebro (Norway), Mateusz Kościukiewicz (Poland), Cosmina Stratan (Romania), Nikola Rakocevic (Serbia), Edda Magnason (Sweden), and George MacKay (United Kingdom). In 2014, EFP will receive €510 000 in funding from MEDIA for its promotion activities, including Shooting Stars.
Professionals from Europe and beyond are invited to Info Days organised by Germany's Creative Europe Desk and the European Commission on 10 and 11 February. The first day will focus on funding opportunities from the MEDIA sub-programme, while the second will concentrate on advice on grants from the Culture sub-programme. The MEDIA event will include a discussion with policy experts and representatives of national and regional film funds on release, marketing and financing strategies.
The European Commission will once again host a MEDIA stand at the European Film Market, open to more than 130 European production and distribution companies. The European Film Market is the business end of the festival and the place to be for deal-making between companies and agents.
Creative Europe is the fifth generation of EU funding programmes supporting the cultural and creative sectors. It was launched on 1 January, with a budget of nearly €1.5 billion for 2014-2020.
The programme will allocate at least 56% of its budget for its MEDIA sub-programme and at least 31% for the Culture sub-programme. A maximum of 13% of the budget will be allocated to a cross-sectoral strand, which includes support for the Creative Europe Desks in each country, responsible for providing advice to potential beneficiaries.
MEDIA will support the development, distribution and promotion of content produced by the EU film and audiovisual industries. One of its chief aims is to help European film-makers to reach markets beyond national and European borders; it will also fund training schemes for professionals and nurture opportunities created by new technologies. In addition to its support for film-makers, the MEDIA fund will support more than 2 000 European cinemas, where at least 50% of the films they screen are European.
Three new initiatives will be launched in 2014 with support from MEDIA, focused on audience development and film literacy, international co-productions and video games. More innovations will follow including a new loan guarantee scheme for cultural and creative sectors, which will be launched in 2016.
For more information
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Annex: MEDIA supported films at the Berlinale 2014: