FIAD participates at European Parliament hearing on Creative Europe
At the European Parliament in front of MEPs and leading figures from the cultural and creative sector FIAD's Secretary General - Robert Heslop - emphasized that the support schemes that film distributors are eligible for within MEDIA are key aspects of Creative Europe and play a vital role in contributing to Europe’s film sector and Europe’s cultural diversity.
Robert recalled that the business of releasing non-national European films – bringing films from Helsinki to Palermo, Warsaw to Lisbon – is an inherently risky enterprise. Distributors make investments in a film at the script stage, in the promotion and advertising of the film to attract audiences, as well as in the dubbing and/or subtitling before revenue is earned at the box office.
FIAD's Secretary General told the audience that support through MEDIA helps offset some but not all of the risk taken by the film distributors. MEDIA will never finance a film 100% - private investment is and will always be essential. The financing and distribution of a film is intrinsically linked to having the exclusivity to exploit it within a territory and this is the security a film distributor must have when they have taken the risk to invest in the production and marketing of the film.
Moreover, Robert stressed that the theatrical release of a non-national European film remains essential to give a film its visibility, raise its value and create a positive momentum for the film across other offline and online distribution channels, including VoD.
In his intervention, Robert brought to attention the Commission's mid-term evaluation of the Creative Europe programme (2014-2020), released in 2018, that delivered a positive verdict on the success of the schemes by reporting that “MEDIA has enhanced the cross-border circulation of European films and audiovisual productions and opened or widened the possibilities of access to such European works by European citizens .”
To conclude, Robert emphasized that while more sectors and stakeholders than ever are asking to benefit from this precious programme. When considering the future, it is essential to maintain properly financed film distribution support schemes that focus on theatrical release – one that continues to provide added value and relevance to Europe.
FIAD was invited by MEP Smeriglio to presents its views on the Creative Europe 2021-2027 programme in light of the upcoming European Parliament Implementation Report of the Creative Europe Programme 2021-2027