More than 750 million euro will be made available to European film-makers over the next seven years, Commissioner Viviane Reding announced at the Berlin Film Festival on 11 February 2007.
Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding launched the MEDIA 2007 program at the Berlinale film festival at the weekend, announcing a €755 million boost over the next seven years to help Europe’s film industry.
The program’s priorities include improving production facilities in the European audiovisual sector, supporting countries or regions with a low production capacity or a restricted geographic and linguistic area, and promoting digitisation.
On the latter, Reding has called on EU filmmakers to embrace the new technology to help overcome the fragmentation of the European market and improve access to Europe’s film heritage.
Some 65% of the MEDIA 2007 budget will help screen European works beyond the EU’s borders. The funding is focused on a budget spread across five action lines:
- Training (scriptwriting techniques, financial management and digital technologies);
- project development, seeking new talent, and co-productions;
- distribution via sales agents, broadcasters, cinema exhibitors and digitisation;
- promotion through market access, festivals, common events, and heritage;
- facilitating the access of small and medium enterprises to funding, and encouraging European films on digital platforms, and;
- pilot projects for technologies such as digital technologies for film development, production and distribution.
The European Commission estimates that every euro invested in MEDIA generates €5.8 in follow-up investments, €7.2 in distribution, €4.2 in development and €2.8 in education.
The MEDIA programme has been in existence for more than 15 years and has already supported thousands of European productions, including documentaries, feature films, cartoons. The programme is the follow-up to MEDIA plus and MEDIA training which provided some €513 million for the European audiovisual industry
Around 300 European films annually receive MEDIA backing, as well as more than 50 European films distributed outside their countries of origin, including Oscar-winning documentary March of the Penguins, Amelie, Volver, La Vita e Bella, Mondovino and this year’s Cannes Palme d’Or-winning The Wind That Shakes The Barley.