FERA helps draft directive to protect EU film biz

BRUSSELS — European filmmakers are lobbying the European Parliament to protect Europe’s movie market from U.S. dominance and to back the European film industry in World Trade Organization talks due to begin at the end of the year.

Meeting in Rome, the executive committee of the European Film Directors Federation (FERA) — which represents helmers and independent producers in the EU — agreed to set up a group to begin drafting an EU directive aimed at promoting and protecting the film biz in Europe.

Helmers are continuing to lobby the EU for protection against Hollywood because they are fearful that any liberalization of EU quotas on foreign product agreed upon at the WTO could “endanger our cultural diversity and impose a dominant model.”

Although the contents of the helmers’ planned proposal are not yet fleshed out, its goal would be to “promote European employment in the cinema and audiovisual sector” and “protect European content in the new media.”

It is too early to say whether the European Parliament, whose balance of power has shifted from left of center to right of center, will support calls for protecting the EU industry from outside competition.

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