For someone who loves film as much as your correspondent does, Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou’s presentation of the European Commission’s proposal for the new Creative Europe programme at the Berlinale International Film Festival (9-19 February) is a happy revelation.
The Commission has proposed a budget of €1.8 billion for the 2014-2020 period for ‘Creative Europe’ – of this sum, more than €900 million will be allocated to its MEDIA arm, which supports the European film industry and audiovisual sector.
Commissioner Vassiliou said: “Europe can provide significant added value through targeted investment in the audiovisual and cultural sectors, which are important contributors to growth and jobs. Creative Europe will help the European film industry to respond to the challenges of digitisation and globalisation, while at the same time helping us to safeguard and promote Europe’s cultural and linguistic diversity.”
From 9-19 February, the 62nd Berlinale will screen some of the best current European and international movies, including 19 European films supported by the MEDIA programme – in total, they have received more than €1.6 million, mainly for film development and distribution throughout Europe.
The Berlinale selections cover many different cinema genres – these include Culinary Cinema, which focuses on films about food and the environment; the Panorama Special programme features new films by renowned directors, debut films and new discoveries; The Generation films, which are targeted at younger audiences (K Plus for children and 14 Plus for teenagers).
The Commission will have a MEDIA area at the festival, hosting around 175 professionals including producers, distributors and trainers. In addition, the Commission is supporting four specific aspects of the Berlinale:
Shooting Stars is an initiative that aims to promote new acting talent. Ten actors from across Europe are chosen by a panel of experts from potential candidates nominated by the member organisations of the European Film Promotion (EFP) body.
The Berlinale Co-production Market, which presents around 40 film projects each year to potential investors. Around 65% of the projects originate in Europe. MEDIA has supported the market since 2005 and has contributed €105,000 for the 2012 event.
The Berlinale Talent Campus, which is a training event for more than 350 young filmmakers from all over the world, who participate in workshops and master classes given by leading experts in various fields. In the past, it has given many young directors a first step towards an international career.
The Berlinale Residency is an international fellowship programme that enables six filmmakers to bring their projects to Berlin for four months starting in September. It is supported through MEDIA Mundus, the international version of the MEDIA programme.
Overall, the MEDIA programme is contributing €755m to support Europe’s film industry from 2007- 2013, with a focus on improving the distribution and promotion of European films and strengthening the competitiveness of the sector.
This post was originally published on New Europe.