European movies to be given a boost

12th June 2008, Comments 0 comments

The European Union is hoping to boost its movie industry by supporting international co-productions and facilitating global distribution of films.

12 June 2008

BRUSSELS - The European Union announced plans Tuesday to boost its movie industry by encouraging international co-productions and widening the distribution of European films around the world.

If approved, the plans would set up a EUR annual programme from 2011 to support international cooperation, said European Commission spokesman Martin Selmayr.

Film makers from South America, Canada, Asia and Russia already have expressed interest in the programme, the EU's headquarters said in a statement.

The programme would expand the EU's current support system for European movies which aims to counter the dominance of Hollywood movies in European theatres by pumping EUR 100 million a year into productions such as the French Oscar winner "La Vie en Rose."

However, EU officials said the proposed Media Mundus programme would not exclude cooperation with film makers and distributors in the United States. "Nobody is excluded from the beginning from this programme," Selmayr told reporters. "It's an open programme."

Currently American movies account for over 60 percent of the EU cinema market. Films made in the EU hold a market share of about 28 percent market and productions from other countries less than 4 percent.

Outside the EU, European movies take up just 2 to 5 percent of the world market, Selmayr said.

"A Media Mundus programme would facilitate the circulation of our films worldwide and ... the distribution in Europe of films from partner countries," said EU Media Commissioner Viviane Reding. "This means more choice for citizens and more culturally diverse films."

The EU has opened consultations with filmmakers, distributors, rights holders and other industry officials and plans a public hearing on the proposed programme on 25 June.

[AP / Expatica]

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