Euro culture ministers gathering for confab

Forman feted, to discuss Euro filmmaking

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.

–Alison James

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