FIAD attends the event "The Film Industry and the Digital Single Market – Not a Contradiction!"
On Tuesday, 7 March 2023, The FIAD Secretariat participated in an event "The Film Industry and the Digital Single Market – Not a Contradiction!". The conference brought together leading figures of the German Film Industry, including the Umbrella Association for the German Film Industry (SPIO) as well as FIAD's German Member Verband der Filmverleiher e.V. (VdF).
Chaired by the Minister for Federal and European Affairs of the State of Hessen, Lucia Puttrich, and the President of (SPIO), Christian Sommer, the event provided a platform for a productive discussion on the challenges faced by the film industry in the digital age and the importance of preserving the geo-blocking exemption for the film industry to safeguard and preserve the financing and distribution model that underpins Europe’s cultural diversity.
The event was introduced by Friedrich von Heusinger, Director of the Hessian State Representation to the EU, who delivered a speech on the magic of cinema and the success of the German film industry.
Christian Sommer, the SPIO President, gave a keynote on the complexity of the film sector and the financial risks involved in the production, distribution and exhibition of diverse films. This is why pre-financing is so important in the industry, as it allows for the secure allocation of funds necessary for the production, thereby sharing the financial risk for investors. However, he also emphasised that digital policies are not always in line with the interests of the sector, which is why “geo-blocking is seen as an absolute necessity to protect the diverse media landscape in the EU”. Pre-financing and geo-blocking are two important aspects of the film industry that contribute to the success of a film. The industry is complex and full of financial risks, but with the right private and public interventions in place, it can thrive and create value for the EU, he concluded.
Björn Böhning, CEO of the German Producers Alliance – Film & Television, spoke about the courage of producers and the importance of favourable working conditions for the film industry. He highlighted the role of private companies in financing the German film industry and the need for transparency in publishing quotas by platforms. According to him “politics, economy and culture must express courage for production to approach all of that with enthusiasm”.
In conclusion, the event emphasized the unity of the sector, sending a strong political message in the heart of Brussels. The discussions and speeches provided a clear picture of the complexity of the film industry and the crucial role played by pre-financing and geo-blocking in ensuring the success of a film and preserving the cultural diversity of Europe. The event was a significant step towards creating a supportive environment for the film industry to thrive and bring value to the EU.