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Cultural Exception Petition Hits 5,000 Names

A petition that wants film and TV industries excluded from trade talks between the European Union and the U.S. — known as the “cultural exception” — has reached 5,000 names.

It includes filmmakers Michael Haneke, (pictured) Aki Kaurismaki, Marco Bellocchio and Pedro Almodovar.

A statement issued Tuesday by bodies repping all sectors of the industry, including Eurocinema, Europa Cinemas, Europa Distribution and Europa Intl., said the European Commission “continues to maintain a dangerous position for the future of culture in Europe. These European organizations encourage (EU) member states and European leaders to take into account the issues and risks such a large negotiation mandate holds for cultural diversity.”

They also called on members of the European Parliament to adopt a draft opinion voted on by the European Parliament’s Intl. Trade Committee that excludes the cultural and audiovisual sectors from the trade negotiations.

Parliament is due to vote on the issue on May 22.

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