×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Media Plus unveiled

EU pledges more cash to distrib'n, fests

BRUSSELS — The European Union’s culture commissioner, Vivane Reding, has responded to the growing film industry clamor for a more powerful audiovisual policy by outlining plans for a new funding scheme for European cinema.

Speaking to industry representatives and varied politicos at the end of EU Cinema Day in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Reding revealed more details of the replacement for Media II, the EU’s program of support for the film business.

Aiming to increase budget

Media Plus, as the successor will be designated, will channel funds into improving the distribution of European films, both within Europe and across the world. Reding declared that she aims to increase the budget for the entertainment industry and called on the newly elected Parliament to give her its support.

The culture supremo pointed to signs of renewal in the industry, with 814 million tickets sold in Europe in 1998, close to 1980 levels, which marked the previous high. Reding pointed out that the number of movies produced and distributed in Europe is also on the increase, and that video sales are continuing to rise in spite of the increasing number of TV channels.

However, Reding then pointed out that 75% of the ticket sales were accounted for by U.S. pics, 18% by domestic films and only 6% by films from a different European territory.

Although she declared herself an optimist, she said she recognized that the industry was in a parlous state and was dependent upon “the often brutal sanction of the public.”

Major challenges

The allocation of Media Plus funding will be determined by the two major challenges that Reding sees facing Europe’s film business –globalization and the digital revolution.

It is becoming clear that Reding is not prepared to fight to the death in defense of the EU’s controversial import quotas on movies and TV shows.

Reding dismissed apocalyptic fears of the impact of globalization on Europe’s culture. She condemned protectionism and called for a more open European culture.

The “top priority” of Media Plus will be to support the better distribution of European films in other European territories. Reding also wants to award a greater slice of the funding cake to promotion, especially to film festivals and trade fairs.

Media Plus will also focus on funding pilot projects aimed at developing new channels for distribution, such as the Internet.

Reding added that she aims to set up a publicly funded foundation charged with caring for Europe’s massive heritage of old movies.

The culture chief will formally unveil Media Plus in December. The birth of the new program looks likely to be overshadowed by the start of the World Trade Organization talks in Seattle, in which the EU’s audiovisual quotas will come in for sustained attack.

More Biz

  • Streaming Powers U.S. Latin Music Market

    Streaming Powers U.S. Latin Music Market to 18% Growth

    The U.S. Latin music business experienced its second year of double-digit growth in 2018, driven almost entirely by streaming, according to the RIAA’s year-end report. The Latin market grew 18% in 2018 to $413 million, driven by a nearly 50% growth in revenues from paid subscriptions, the report says. Streaming formats made up a whopping [...]

  • Game Industry Layoffs Driven by Past

    Game Industry Layoffs Driven by Past Mistakes, Uncertain Future (Analysts)

    The video game industry is facing a seemingly never-ending string of layoffs and studio closures: Telltale, ArenaNet, Activision, and now EA. According to industry analysts, companies are facing declining earnings, diminishing product pipelines, and an uncertain future that is almost certain to be driven by new technology. While the debate over whether games as art [...]

  • NF_D_JGN-D14-5180.raf

    The Sexist Metal Scene in 'The Dirt' Is Painfully Accurate, Say Veteran Female Execs

    UPDATED: The fallout from Friday’s premiere of Netflix’s few-holds-barred Motley Crue biopic, “The Dirt,” began even before the film, which focuses on the quartet’s ‘80s-‘90s decade of decadence, was released. The group’s ill treatment of many women in their orbit is a matter of public record, and is depicted both seriously and unsettlingly light-heartedly in [...]

  • univision-dish blackout

    Univision, Dish Network Reach Carriage Deal After Nine-Month Blackout

    Univision and satcaster Dish Network have reached a carriage agreement after a nine-month blackout that marked one of the longest standoffs between a major programmer and distributor. Univision channels went dark on Dish Network’s satellite and streaming platforms on June 30. The sides were at odds over carriage fees that have become increasingly contentious for [...]

  • BMG Posts Strong Earnings for 2018

    BMG Posts Strong Earnings for 2018

    BMG announced solid earnings for 2018 — its tenth year since the “new” BMG opened for business after its previous incarnation merged with Sony Music — as part of parent company Bertlesmann’s results Tuesday. According to the announcement, despite “negative exchange rate effects,” BMG’s revenues increased by 7.5 percent to €545 million (around $644 million), [...]

  • Rahm Emanuel

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Calls Jussie Smollett Deal a 'Whitewash of Justice'

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel blasted the decision by Cook County prosecutors to drop charges Tuesday against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. Flanked by Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Kevin Graham, the president of the Chicago police union, the mayor said the decision sends a message that high-profile people will not be held accountable for their [...]

  • Viacom HQ LA

    Viacom Shares Spike on DirecTV Deal, Renewed CBS Merger Chatter

    Viacom shares soared 10% on Tuesday after the company reaffirmed financial guidance for its media networks wing on the heels of sealing a hard-fought carriage renewal agreement with AT&T’s DirecTV. The stock gain underscored the importance of maintaining its presence on DirecTV and other AT&T channel bundles. Viacom on Tuesday reaffirmed its guidance of affiliate [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content