EU adds 9 nations to film finance fund

Move means more countries to compete for same pool of funding

BRUSSELS — The European Union will extend its $340 million Media Plus film finance program to nine Eastern European countries waiting to join the EU.

Beginning next year, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Slovenia and the Czech and Slovak Republics will be eligible for subsidies to support training, distribution, development and marketing of films.

Local filmmakers welcomed the news even though it means more countries will compete for the same pool of funding. “The scheme will be more competitive,” Christophe Forax, spokesman for EU Culture Commissioner Viviane Reding admitted.

Many low-budget pics would not see the light of day without the subsidies.

Meeting in Belgium over the weekend, EU culture ministers reaffirmed their belief that Europe’s audiovisual industry needs protection from market forces, particularly the threat posed by Hollywood.

Films and TV programs will continue to be exempt from free trade rules. This “cultural specificity,” a principle much favored by the French, guides audiovisual policy in the 15-member bloc.

Commissioner Reding said the EU will continue its stance on cultural specificity at World Trade Organization negotiations later this year to protect Europe’s cultural diversity.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading