EU hails French Oscar success with penguin film

6th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, March 6, 2006 (AFP) - The European Union hailed Monday the Oscar success of EU-backed French movie "March of the Penguins," which took best documentary prize in the weekend Hollywood awards.

BRUSSELS, March 6, 2006 (AFP) - The European Union hailed Monday the Oscar success of EU-backed French movie "March of the Penguins," which took best documentary prize in the weekend Hollywood awards.

But the 25-nation bloc's executive arm lamented that too few European films break out of their national markets, saying more EU coordination was needed.

"European films succeed not only on their own national cinema markets, but also and increasingly in other European countries and other continents," said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for the Information Society and Media.

"At the same time ... European films still miss huge opportunities because of the fragmented audiovisual market in Europe and of the lack of a more proactive approach on new markets worldwide," said a commission statement.

French movie "La marche de l'Empereur", by Gallic filmmakers Luc Jacquet and Yves Darondeau, took one of 24 Oscars at Sunday's 78th-annual Academy Awards. It received 1.13 million euros in funding from the EU's MEDIA programme.

But Reding, noting that the audiovisual industry employs one million people in the EU, said that the financing of European film "remains a worrying issue."

"We need to improve Europe's strategy on film exports at a time where digital distribution and film online offer new possibilities and look at new markets such as Brazil, South Africa or China. I am working on that," she said.

The EU commission is seeking to double the current budget of the MEDIA programme -- which supports the distribution of nine out of 10 European films outside their home country -- to over one billion euros from 2007-13.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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