On 11th of May, Victor Hadida (President of Metropolitan Film export and President of FIAD – the International Federation of Film Distributors’ Associations) and Stefano Massenzi (Head of Acquisitions and Business Affairs at Lucky Red and President of Europa Distribution) had an online meeting with Commissioner Gabriel and her team to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the film distribution sector.
Mr Hadida explained and emphasised that distributors are the critical link between production and audiences organising the circulation inside EUROPE and creating value and awareness around the films they release, theatrically and on all other existing means of distribution to the public, physically or digitally.
Furthermore, Mr Hadida stressed that distribution is a fragile sector by its nature, dealing with an important risk taking between the upward investments and the future potential incomes. The confinement measures to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus has increased the level of financial risk to the sector, since the closure of cinemas has curtailed the reach of many films.
Commissioner Gabriel was sympathetic to the concerns raised by Mr Hadida and Mr Massenzi and was understanding of the specific threats COVID-19 pose to the European distribution sector. She confirmed her commitment to adapt the Creative Europe MEDIA programme and to increase the budget in the next Multiannual Financial Plan to support Europe’s cultural sector through and after the COVID-19 crisis.
She encouraged Mr Hadida and Mr Massenzi to maintain a dialogue with her and her team in the coming weeks. Please find here Commissioner’s Gabriel tweet after the meeting.