Tuesday, February 13, 2007

New EU Media 2007 programme

Launched yesterday evening in Berlin, the EU's new MEDIA 2007 programme will provide a €755 million boost to Europe's film industry over the next seven years. Almost 65% of the total budget will help broader circulation of European works to other countries in Europe and worldwide. MEDIA 2007 provides easier access to finance – in particular for SMEs – and increases the use of digital technologies, making Europe's audiovisual sector more competitive.

MEDIA, the European Union's audiovisual support programme, has been developing and strengthening Europe's film industry for 16 years. On 1 January 2007, Rumania became the 31st member of the MEDIA programme (EU27 + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and soon Switzerland). Through MEDIA I, II, Plus and Training the previous programmes have supported the development and distribution of thousands of films; as well as training activities, festivals and promotion projects throughout the continent. Under MEDIA Plus and MEDIA Training (2001-2006) alone, more than half a billion euros were injected into 8000 projects.

Every year 300 new European film projects are funded by the European Commission, and half of the European films watched in cinemas are shown with the support of the Commission.

"Digital technologies are substantially changing the way the film industry works. Embracing digitisation by training our professionals, modernising our cinemas and developing new distribution channels are keys to success," said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for the Information Society and Media. "MEDIA 2007 provides the right tools to help Europe's film industry in this direction."

The €755 Million funding from MEDIA 2007 is focused on the phases before and after film production, with a budget spread across five action lines:
• Training (scriptwriting techniques; economic, financial management; digital technologies) (7%);
• Development (single projects, catalogues, new talent, co-productions, other financing) (20%);
• Distribution (distributors, sales agents, broadcasters, cinema exhibitors, digitising works) (55%);
• Promotion (market access, festivals, common events, heritage) (9%);
• Horizontal actions (to make it easier for SMEs to access funding, and to encourage the presence of European films on digital platforms) (5%), and Pilot projects (embracing new technologies, such as digital technologies for film development, production and distribution) (4%).

By making the distribution of European works a clear priority in the new programme, MEDIA is seeking to improve the market share of European films shown in Member States other than the one in which they were produced. The programme will also significantly raise the visibility of our diverse cultures on the world stage and help to increase the competitiveness of our audiovisual industry.

Such financial support for the film industry has had a strong knock-on effect in terms of investment in the sector. During the programmes preceding MEDIA 2007 (that is MEDIA Plus and Training) each €1 of Community funding generated about €6 in private investment from industry.

A total of 17 MEDIA supported films are being shown at this year’s 57th Berlin International Film Festival.

Blog Posting Number: 663

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