Media Programme: Commission reassures film industry again
By Nathalie Vandystadt | Friday 18 March 2011
The European Commission is intent on putting an end to the controversy over the future of the EU’s Media Programme of support for the development and distribution of European films in the Union. Three winners of the Cannes Festival’s Golden Palm Award - Cristian Mungiu, Théo Angelopoulos and Costa-Gavras - presented a petition, on 17 March in Brussels, signed by 1,800 film industry professionals, including other well-known names (Ken Loach, Wim Wenders, Bertrand Tavernier, etc)
“The Media Programme has played an invaluable role in supporting the European film industry for 20 years. Rumours that we intend to abolish it or reduce its funding are completely unfounded. On the contrary, our plan is to strengthen the programme in the future,” said Commission President José Manuel Barroso.
Culture Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou added: “Without this programme, audiences would see fewer European films”.
The Media budget for the period 2007 to 2013 is €755 million (€1.7 billion since the programme’s launch in 1991). Nearly 50% of this funding is allocated to distributors who screen films made outside their home market and around 20% for development, ie turning a film project into reality.
On 18 March, around 300 representatives of the cinema industry, including Mungiu and Radu Milhaileanu, took part in a conference on the future of Media, which could be placed with other programmes under the umbrella of a super “culture and creativity programme”. Media would nevertheless retain its specific nature and distinct budget.