Culture ministers from 20 out of the 25 countries in the newly expanded European Union are due to meet in the Palais today for the fest’s second European Day, co-sponsored by Variety.
“It’s a miracle to have so many ministers coming to Cannes,” European Commissioner for Culture Viviane Reding told Variety Monday. “It’s a strong sign of support for the European cinema.”
Milos Forman will discuss life as a European filmmaker, and throughout the day ministers will swap views on a range of issues, including piracy and the cross-border distribution of films.
“There are 750 films produced in Europe each year — only 10% of them are distributed outside their country of origin,” Reding said. “That’s not enough.”
Reding is bidding to up European Media Programme aid for cross-border distribution, currently E80 million ($96.1 million), by 30%-40% when the multiyear program is renewed in 2007.